Everyone seems to have an opinion about the Bowl Championship Series Standings, which were released for the first time this past Sunday—especially with the Notre Dame nation. The 6-0 Irish are ranked 5th.
One person who doesn’t appear to have an opinion is the head of that ND nation.
“I really don’t care,” Irish football coach Brian Kelly said when asked Tuesday. “I’m sorry. I know our fans care. I love seeing Notre Dame out there, that's why we came here, but I don't give it any thought positionally.”
Kelly says the BCS isn’t a topic of conversation or even a goal at the beginning of the season because it takes away from the ‘game to game focus.’
That focus is something people are wondering will be tested this week. After all, the players don’t have classes, Oklahoma is next week and BYU is just 4-3 and coming off a 42-24 loss to Oregon State.
It happens the perfect makings for a trap game.
"Why does that happen? Well, you forget how you got here,” Kelly explained. “We'll make sure we prepare the right way. The seniors know how to practice, prepare. We will look at each other after practice and say is this where we need to be? It’s a 2-way conversation. Not just a head coach saying you aren’t practicing well.”
Kelly says his team showed a competitive greatness against Stanford and that they don’t know to change anything heading into BYU but instead continue to pay attention to what they’ve done up to this point.
What they’ve done to this point is built a team centered around physical and mental toughness.
“The pride and tradition of Notre Dame Football will not be left for the weak, timid or non-committed,” Kelly explains “That’s up in our locker room. It’s not just words in the locker room anymore.”
So where did that mentality come from?
“Did you see me on the sidelines last year?” Kelly said of when he was often videotaped blowing a a gasket as he yelled at players.
“They now know what I want from them on gameday,” Kelly says. “They know the physical toughness I want. It has to start with the head coach. Sometimes it doesn’t play out as good TV. We had to set expectations. Now we don’t have that.”
Notre Dame an BYU will kickoff at 3:30 Saturday at the Stadium. Countdown to Kickoff gets you started at 2:30 on Channel 16.