This time a year ago, Notre Dame football was headed for a season-opening clash with Texas that had the look of a heavyweight bout.
Alas, it was not what it appeared. Notre Dame lost in overtime and started the season 1-3. The Irish finished 4-8.
So it’s little wonder that coach Brian Kelly was mentioned prominently on Yahoo! Sports’ list of the 25 most intriguing college football coaches in 2017, put together by Pat Forde.
“At one time Kelly appeared on his way to becoming the next great coach of the Fighting Irish, starting down the national title path walked by Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian, Devine and Holtz,” Forde wrote. “Coming off a 4-8 debacle in year seven, he’s coaching for his job amid major staff change and a personal rebooting.
“Is 2017 a career rebirth or the end of his run in South Bend?
Notre Dame opens its season on Sept. 2 against Temple.