Notre Dame Fighting Irish head football coach Brian Kelly told the media on Nov. 4 that the university does not schedule "glorified byes."
Brian Kelly says the University of Notre Dame is opposed to scheduling "glorified byes."
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This was what the Irish head football coach told The Chicago Tribune's Chris Hine on Nov. 4:
"Perhaps sensing Notre Dame is losing the perception battle when it comes to its strength of schedule, coach Brian Kelly fired a few shots Tuesday in the Irish's defense, saying Notre Dame does not have any 'glorified byes' built into its schedule and that Irish play as rugged a schedule as anyone.
"'In 2012 I think we started the season with the No. 1 schedule in the country. I think we started that way this year, too,' Kelly said. 'That's all we can do. We go into putting this together the toughest schedule in the country, right? Nobody else does it that way. They put on teams that are clearly glorified byes.
"'We don't operate that way. That to me is strength of schedule in terms of the way we put it together. If it's not evaluated that way, there's nothing I can do about it.'
"Kelly's comments come a week after the Irish received a disappointing No. 10 ranking from the College Football Playoff Committee, with the next set of rankings due Tuesday night. The Irish aren't likely to make up much ground, however, after escaping with a with a 49-39 victory over a 4-5 Navy team. According to Sagarin ratings, Notre Dame has the 49th toughest strength of schedule with a chance to earn a quality win this week on the road at No. 14 Arizona State.
"But Kelly defended not just the Irish's scheduling of Navy but its total body of work. To do so, Kelly cited the number of snaps his starters have to play four quarters, and you're going to put a lot on your kids,' Kelly said.
"The Irish's strength of schedule has taken a hit this season because teams like Stanford and Michigan, who were thought to be strong teams like Stanford and Michigan, who were thought to be strong teams in the preseason, have failed to live up to expectations. The Irish may also be at a disadvantage relative to other schools because they don't play in a conference and can't play a 13th, conference-championship game. Kelly said the Irish purposely make their 12-game schedule as rigorous as possible to offset their competitive advantage.
"'Look, we don't play a conference championship game, but we know that the schedule that we have to put together over 12 weeks has to stand up to that strength, and so that's how we do our business,' Kelly said. 'I don't know anyway else to do it, and then let the chips fall where they may.'
"The chips may not fall Notre Dame's way for the four-team playoff even if the Irish win their remaining games, but one thing was clear Tuesday -- Kelly won't go down without swinging."
For now, Kelly and his Irish are focusing on their next opponents, the Arizona State Sun Devils, per NDInsider.com's Bob Wieneke:
"During the first few minutes of his weekly press conference, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly sang the praises of Arizona State, this week's opponent.
"The next several minutes, the question-and-answer part, were all about the Irish, particularly the absence of staring middle linebacker Joe Schmidt, who is out for the season with a fractured/dislocated ankle, and how the Irish replace the senior.
"Kelly, whose team is 7-1 and ranked eighth in the AP and Coaches polls, and was 10th by the College Football Playoff committee (the next batch of rankings will be released tonight), faces an ASU team with a similar record and a No. 14 ranking from the playoff committee. Still, the questions were about true freshman Nyles Morgan and a largely young linebacker corps.
"'It's kind of what it is,' Kelly said. 'It's what we've got.'
"What the Irish are believed to have is a talented but young player in Morgan, who will fill in for Schmidt. Names who potentially could back up Morgan are Michael Deeb, Doug Randolph, Austin Larkin, Ben Councell, and possibly Greer Martini, who Kelly on Sunday said would most likely stay at the weakside inside linebacker spot.
"'That's on the table as well,' Kelly said.
"What's on the table Saturday is a balanced offense that is led by quarterback Taylor Kelly, running back D.J. Foster and receiver Jaleen Strong.
"'That's one of the things that stands our right away,' ND's Kelly said about ASU's balance. 'Just a very dynamic offense that's multiple.'
"Defensively, the Sun Devils remind Kelly of his own defense with its aggressive approach. ASU has eight new starters this season from a team that ND beat 37-34 last season in Arlington, Texas.
"'You can see they understand what they're doing a lot better,' Kelly said."
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