Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is looking forward to the 2013 season, but that doesn't mean people have stopped asking about how the 2012 campaign ended. Today, on The Dan Patrick Show, Kelly was directly asked if his Irish could have won the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama last season. His answer was interesting:
Dan Patrick: Could you have won that game against Alabama?
Brian Kelly: I think the circumstances needed to be a little bit different. I think if we had played in a playoff format the next week after the USC game, I think that would have been a better situation for us, but look, you know, could have, would have, should have. Alabama won the game, they were the better team that day. I think they were, in terms of preparation - that team was very well prepared. They had been in the moment before and I'm not going to take anything away from their performance on that particular day.
Here's the audio:
Notre Dame's final regular season game, against USC, was played on November 24th. The BCS National Championship Game wasn't until January 7th. Alabama had one extra game in between - the SEC Championship Game - against Georgia.
It's hard to know the source of Kelly's reasoning. Perhaps he feels that the Irish were comparatively in better shape health-wise and that the long layoff aided the Crimson Tide. Or maybe he's insinuating that the hype had more of an effect on his players than Alabama's. Either way, it's an interesting quote that is sure to get some play.