We have the potential to be a championship football team.
– John Goodman
SOUTH BEND – And so lets hear it out there for glorious bias, and also pure blindered love.
Cut John Goodman and hell bleed either blue or gold, and so of course he sees all of this ending with Notre Dame winning either a national championship or a bowl game not named after a lawn implement. If he doesnt, after five years in this freighted place, hes got no business here. Neither do any of us bleed-blue-and-gold brothers.
So heck, yeah, hes biased, and so is everyone sitting around him high above the green unlined grass of Notre Dame Stadium. Its media day, after all. And, somewhere beyond us all, the green unlined season shimmers impossibly bright.
They are going to win – or at least can win – every game, these Irish. They are going to take down Navy and Purdue and Michigan and Oklahoma, and even those Hollywood types from USC. You can take that to the bank.
Eight wins with some schools, theyd consider that pretty good, Goodman is saying now. But thats not accepted here. We believe that.
I really came back so we could win a national championship or at least get to a BCS bowl. Show the country what were made of.
God love the man for his love. But you know what I see when I look at this team?
I see no need to keep the sculptors on call waiting.
They love their statuary in these parts – Father Sorin and Fair Catch Corby and various and sundry Leahys and Rocknes and Holtzes – but the Brian Kelly statue remains a project to be named later. His football team went 8-5 last year and 8-5 the year before, and right now theyre staring right down the throat of 8-5 again.
I say this because Ive had a look at the schedule, and its your basic seventh circle of Hell. The Irish have to go to Ireland and Norman, Okla., and L.A. They play four teams ranked in the preseason top 13 and three (USC, Oklahoma and Michigan) ranked in the top eight. They play BYU (10-3 last year) and Purdue (a bowl team last year) and Boston College in Boston, where the Eagles generally give them fits.
And what does Notre Dame throw against all that?
Well right now have they four starting QBs. Three of whom are eligible.
I think were getting closer, Kelly said Thursday, when asked finding a No. 1.
How much closer?
I think probably Monday we start to sit down and talk about how the reps are going to be distributed, was as far as hed go.
As to all else, well, Kelly likes his interior lines and the fact his defense is three years deep in the same system, and he likes the way one of his quarterbacks (Everett Golson) and one of his running backs (George Atkinson III) are no longer on what he calls his heart attack list. He likes the vibe in camp. And did he mention he likes his lines?
I like the way things are coming together, Kelly said. But weve still got to win football games.
No blinders there.