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Kelly makes headlines in Alabama visit

May 19, 2011, 1:16 AM EDT

BKelly Alabama

With his assistants combing the country evaluating recruits, Brian Kelly is on another barnstorming tour of alumni clubs, spreading the good word and at the same time, doing some good work as he visits tornado-strewn Alabama to talk to the Notre Dame Club of Northern Alabama.

Kelly made headlines not just with his $5,000 donation for tornado relief from the Kelly Cares Foundation, but also with his acknowledgement that the Irish need to beat an SEC team before they’re taken seriously.

“Clearly, if I’m one of those average college football fans, I think I’m asking the question,” Kelly said, openly acknowledging the doubters of the Irish’s return to prominence in college football. “Notre Dame will be taken serious when they beat an SEC team.”

While that line seems to be the one that’s caught the most attention, the video below from a local news station also reveals that Kelly and Alabama head coach Nick Saban played golf together recently, with Kelly having a little fun with the local press about the shape of Saban’s golf game.

  1. scardino - May 19, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    I vote yes to using Alabama as a springboard to a national championship.

  2. 1historian - May 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    He’s right – Notre Dame will not be taken seriously until they beat an SEC team. It’s as simple as that.

  3. 1historian - May 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    FYI – I watched ND beat Alabama Monday, December 31, 1973 – New Year’s eve for the National Championship.
    You can say all you want about SEC academics, or lack of same, but that doesn’t change the fact that you gotta beat ’em.

    It can be done.

  4. 10of14 - May 19, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Let’s get back to beating Navy, UM and MSU on a “regular basis” before we start to concentrate on the SEC.

  5. paiten34 - May 20, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    Th SEC only plays cupcakes for their non conference schedule. Other than Florida who plays Miami and FSU what other SEC team plays a tough non conference team?

  6. kaisersoze91 - May 21, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    As an ND student from Alabama I would like to see an ND-SEC matchup. You may laugh at their cockiness, academics, non-conference schedules (most play at least one good one though), etc., but when you win 5 straight championships and your conference championship game becomes practically a playoff you are legit. ND has lost a lot of reputation over the years with losses to Navy and flopping in BCS bowls, etc. Playing a lot of Big 10 (12?) schools doesn’t improve your image outside of the Midwest/Northeast either. Best way to get back? Play the legit teams (and win). I like Texas and Oklahoma on the future schedules, and adding some SEC won’t hurt. Helps with recruiting too.

    BTW there are some parallels between Bama and ND (historic program, won a champion around 1990, then a coaching carousel for 20 years). I remember hearing Nick Saban wanted to play us a few years ago (he’s also Catholic).

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