Chat with Matt Fortuna
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Notre Dame blogger Matt Fortuna stops by to chat about the Fightin' Irish's football season.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate.
Send your questions now and join Fortuna Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Matt Fortuna (2:00 PM)
Greetings, all. Thanks for joining the chat during this busy holiday season. Let's get to your questions ...
matt (pittsburgh pa)
Matt, who do you think coach kelly will hire as his new qb coach?
Matt Fortuna (2:02 PM)
Matt, good question. Ed Warinner would seem to make the most sense at offensive coordinator if the hire is internal, given Warinner's success at Kansas in the same post. As for QBs, I'm not so sure. Kelly is a QB guy himself and you wonder if he will take more of an active role there.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Merry Christmas! Who is the Last Fighting Irish Quarterback to play in the NFL? Is he still Playing in the NFL?
Matt Fortuna (2:03 PM)
You too, Chris. Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn are both NFL reserves at the moment.
If Gunner Kiel commits within the next 48 hours as he is suppose to decide between nd, lsu, and vandy. What does that do to the qb depth chart next year, does he start?
Matt Fortuna (2:04 PM)
Chris, that's an awfully big step. He's a big-time QB who has probably done little sitting in his life, but I wouldn't expect him to eclipse the three incumbents so soon. It's a cloudy enough picture without Kiel at the moment.
Kyle (Gloucester, MA)
Matt-What is your true opinion on the quarterback situation? My concern is this: If Everett Golson doesnt get on the field next year he is going to transfer (high possibility). The kid has ALL the tools to be a very special player for ND and it would be sad to have all this quarterback confusion cause him to leave.... thoughts?
Matt Fortuna (2:09 PM)
Kyle, transfers usually happen when a player feels he was promised something by his coach that wasn't eventually delivered. If one guy emerges over another and earns the majority of the snaps, that's simple competition. If the loser doesn't want to sit and learn before his time comes, is that someone you really want on your team?
Matt Fortuna (2:09 PM)
None of that is to imply Golson is that kind of kid. He's the exact opposite, from everything I have heard. But if he isn't the starter next year I would believe it's because he wasn't the best option, plain and simple.
Charlie (Cincinnati, Ohio)
How bad does it look that Coach Kelly hasn't made a statement about Dayne Crist's transfer to Kansas? Is he holding a grudge that Crist is getting all of this press and love?
Matt Fortuna (2:14 PM)
Charlie, he answered whatever questions we had in his most recent press conferences. Beyond that, it's really out of his control. The only one who commented publicly yesterday was Jack Swarbrick in an interview with The New York Times. Now if Crist goes on to have an All-American season at Kansas, that will bring some critics Kelly's way, rightly or wrongly.
paul (pgh pa)
is the third yr a make or break for kelly?
Matt Fortuna (2:18 PM)
Paul, don't see that, barring anything unforeseen in terms of off-field issues or (gulp) a one-win season.
What is the word around the program on the two starting spots open on the o-line next year?
Matt Fortuna (2:24 PM)
Shem, if Mike Golic comes back I can see him taking over the right guard spot. Christian Lombard is a guy I'd like to see at right tackle.
santa clause (north pole)
rumors on espy say that charlie weir is trying to take my job..is this true?
Matt Fortuna (2:28 PM)
Sources close to the situation tell me you have some serious spelling issues. Waiting on confirmation from Santa's workshop ...
So, Jake Heaps is going to Kansas to be a follower of Crist? Happy Holidays! (I stole the joke from the internet)
Matt Fortuna (2:29 PM)
Lane Kiffin (Los Angeles)
Who will still at his current job longer, me or Brian Kelly?
Matt Fortuna (2:31 PM)
If you almost give Pat Haden another heart attack like you nearly did Wednesday (detailed by Arash Markazi here: http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncf/story/_/id/7381857/matt-barkley-makes-usc-trojans-coach-lane-kiffin-sweat-bit), it will be Brian Kelly.
Why is Notre Dame so afraid to play Ohio St? These two schools claim to be the greatest ever but refuse to play each other, even though they are so close in location to each other.
Matt Fortuna (2:33 PM)
There's an answer to that question, and it's join the Big Ten, which ain't happening anytime soon.
Chip Kelly (Eugene)
Who's the best best Kelly- me, Brian, or Ms. Clarkson?
Matt Fortuna (2:34 PM)
R. Kelly, at least in name.
Sven (The Fields of Indiana)
Is our quarterback play going to be more relaxed now with the recent departure?
Matt Fortuna (2:35 PM)
I doubt it. It's not like Crist realistically factored into next year's picture. Throw in the possibility of Gunner Kiel, and it becomes all the more uncertain.
Jim Mora (The Rose Bowl)
How can we talk our ADs into playing another home and home soon?
Matt Fortuna (2:36 PM)
Shouldn't you be making sure your players don't skip practice again?
Chandler (Salt Lake City)
Matt, What is your assessment of the WR position for the Irish next year? Big loss in Floyd, but does the position have the depth to replace his production (both realized in yardage and stats not kept)?
Matt Fortuna (2:42 PM)
Chandler, you don't replace arguably the best WR in school history. You just don't. That aside, yes, there is a bit of a concern without him, even if Tyler Eifert comes back (which would be HUGE). DaVaris Daniels is a guy I'm looking forward to seeing play. Deontay Greenberry is a recruit who could earn some immediate playing time as well (second-team ESPNHS All-America yesterday, in case you missed it.)
Hap (New York)
Matt, Notre Dame has lost 5 out the last 6 to USC and both sides seem to be treating it fairly light do you think this rivalry is fading?
Matt Fortuna (2:45 PM)
Hap, did you read USC's comments before and after the game? Did you see everything ND put into this one -- first night game in 21 years, blue towels, shiny new helmets? And this was all before anyone realized USC was really good this year. Neither side is taking it lightly, and it's one rivalry I don't think will ever truly die given the rarity of such teams so far away from each other meeting every year.
Matt Fortuna (2:46 PM)
Going off that, here's one carrot for ND fans next year now that Matt Barkley is coming back: A chance to upset USC in the final week of the season and maybe even crush their national title hopes.
Any update on Tim Hinton to Ohio State?
Matt Fortuna (2:49 PM)
Nathan, I would be surprised if that happened at this point, but I was also surprised by the wording of each's response when asked about this on Monday. See for yourself: (http://espn.go.com/blog/notre-dame-football/post/_/id/3536/hinton-deflects-osu-rumors)
Matt Fortuna (2:49 PM)
Kelly's answer, not included in that story, was that Urban Meyer would have contacted Kelly if interested, and he hasn't yet.
Don Jr ((CT))
Question, regarding realignment - Is ND happy with all the new schools set to join the Big East? Do you see more development for the Big East and/or ND regarding conference realignment in the off season? I know there are bowls going on - its just unfortunate that this NCAAF season has been mired by so many off the field issues. Anyway have a Merry Christmas and may 2012 have focus on the field and in the classroom with nothing but great games and positive output
Matt Fortuna (2:51 PM)
Merry Christmas to you, too, Don. I'd imagine the relative stablity of the Big East with all these new schools helps the ND admin sleep a little better at night, but, as you pointed out, it's only a matter of time until something else happens in the wacky world of conference realignment.
Will we ever find out what Dayne Crist did to B. Kelly, to warrant a benching after 2 quarters?Crist didn't light it up against So. Florida but Rees made far worse mistakes against lesser teams.
Matt Fortuna (2:57 PM)
After Crist did everything that was asked of him and battled back from several tough injuries, it would have been tough not to give him the starting nod. I do think Rees proved to be a better quarterback for the offense and ultimately Kelly didn't want the youngster looking over his shoulder. Of course, communication I'm sure could've been much better, but it's like it's not a "I don't like you so you're not playing" situation.
Merry Christmas, Fat Man
Matt Fortuna (2:58 PM)
You're the first person to ever call me that. After hearing what a twig I am my whole life (I prefer lean), I'll take it. Merry Christmas to you, too.
IF ND had to join a conference (and that's a big IF), what are your feelings as to what ND would prefer: the ACC or the B1G?
Matt Fortuna (2:59 PM)
Chris, if I'm in charge I say ACC. It keeps your options open along the East Coast for football and basketball, which I'm sure Mike Brey would like. Go to the Big Ten and you're marginalized -- just another tradition-rich Midwestern school in a sea of them: UM, OSU, PSU, Nebraska, etc.
What is your guess on Eifert? It sounds like he should come back for another year, but it depends who is in his ear and what they are saying.
Matt Fortuna (3:01 PM)
Robb, I'd be surprised if he didn't come back. He hasn't sounded overly eager or into the evaluation process when he's spoken to us, and I don't think he's in a rush to leave college. That being said, he could go as high as the second round if he so chooses, and seeing Kyle Rudolph couldn't hurt that.
Matt Fortuna (3:02 PM)
That's all from me, folks. Happy Festivus to those of you who choose to celebrate that today. And Happy Holidays to the rest of you as well.