Alabama Football: Brian Kelly seeing through rose-colored glasses

Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Brian Kelly is a bit too optimistic about playing Alabama football

Brian Kelly has a tough history against Alabama football. While the teams have only faced off once since Saban took over, the Fighting Irish lost in the BCS National Championship in a dominating fashion. Despite that record, Brian Kelly remains confident.

Kelly faced plenty of questions regarding how he plans to stop the Crimson Tide in the Rose Bowl. He answered them with the respect that Alabama deserves. This is more than can be said about Dan Mullen, who disrespected Mac Jones ahead of the SEC Championship.

Still, Kelly seemed a bit too confident heading into the Rose Bowl. When asked if Notre Dame has something to prove, he said, “(competing for championships) is our job, and that’s our challenge each and every year, to compete for a national championship and we’ll continue to do that.”

However, it’s not as simple as that. Brian Kelly knows the work that must be done to win a title. He hasn’t even made it to a title game since losing to Alabama football nearly a decade ago. He should be confident for the sake of his players, but it will take more than simply saying that they will continue to compete for a national championship.

Kelly also said that he wants to keep Alabama off the field and control the time of possession. That is easier said than done. Alabama averages less than 2.5 punts a game. They don’t make mistakes, and it is unlikely that Notre Dame will keep them off of the field.

This isn’t meant as a dig on Brian Kelly. He has done a great job to get Notre Dame back to the College Football Playoff, and he is saying all of the right things in theory. He is respecting his opponent, avoiding bulletin board material, and still giving credit to his own team. That being said, he must realize that he is heading into the fight of his life on Friday. Alabama will be looking to make a bigger statement than they did the last time they played Notre Dame.

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Brian Kelly must look through rose-colored glasses for the sake of his team. After all, he can’t have the same candor as he did at halftime of the BCS National Championship. After 30 minutes of the Rose Bowl, we’ll see if he’s back to hoping that Alabama doesn’t come back.