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)
Welcome aboard, all. Lots to chat about today, so let's get right to it.
Matt, with kiel coming to notre dame, will he be redshirted? and will everett golson start the season to see what we have in him?
Matt Fortuna (2:04 PM)
Matt, if you listened to Beano Cook's podcast with Ivan Maisel, Beano sure seems to think so. I thought Kiel's father's comments to the Chicago Tribune were interesting, as he was effusive in his praise of Tommy Rees. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the spring and summer, though I think saying Golson will start right now is premature.
Chris pittsburgh [via mobile]
is it fair to ask why the ncaa football league hasn't started an actuall playoff scenario for the future?
Matt Fortuna (2:07 PM)
Chris, lots of discussions are on the table for the new BCS contract, which most likely will lead to change and COULD result in a plus-1. A plus-1 COULD be the first step to something bigger, but as a pro-playoff guy myself I'll be happy with baby steps for now.
Ryan (North Canton, Ohio)
I do not see anyway that Kiel will start next year. Will he even get enough reps to even compete for the starting spot since he is going to be fourth string?
Matt Fortuna (2:12 PM)
Ryan, it would be a big, big challenge for Kiel to essentially leap three other players with more experience running the offense, especially when two have seen extended game action. Nonetheless, Notre Dame is faced with a good problem to have heading into 2012.
with kiel enrolling is there talk that hendrix, gholson, or rees might transfer? will they all get a fair chance to start or was kiel promised a starting poistion?
Matt Fortuna (2:17 PM)
Don, Kiel's father has said his son knows the challenge he is walking into. I doubt the staff would promise him anything more than a fair shot to win the job, which I'd imagine the other 3 QBs will get as well.
Dave (El Paso, TX)
Was the 2011 season an improvement from the 2010 season? Also, was it a good idea to extend Coach Kelly's contract now or should ND have waited until he at least took the Irish to a BCS bowl?
Matt Fortuna (2:23 PM)
Dave, on the surface it's tough to say 2011 was a vast improvement over 2010 given the same record, but I do think this was a far better team and, had there not been that little turnover issue, it could have been a 10- or 11-win season. As for the second part of your question, yes, it was a good idea. An extension shows the school's faith in Kelly moving forward and is a strong sign of stability, especially for recruits.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Even though you Cover Notre Dame Football,Who do you think will Play in Super Bowl XLVI?
Matt Fortuna (2:25 PM)
Since you asked ... a Harbaugh Bros. rematch, of course!
Matt Fortuna (2:25 PM)
(And if you think that was a reverse jinx for at least one of the games, you're exactly right.)
I'll break the ice Gunner Kiel? Is he for sure going to stay with us?
Matt Fortuna (2:28 PM)
Ernie (Pleasantville, New York)
Who would you consider the favorite to land the Armstead brothers?
Matt Fortuna (2:30 PM)
Ernie, I'm under the impression that a delay doesn't help Notre Dame, but I wouldn't rule them out completely. I think the last-minute switch of Tosh Lupoi from Cal to Washington really jolted him, and he needs more time to evaluate his options.
Does ND come out proactively with an official position on the Yuri Wright recruiting or do they sit back and see what happens?
Matt Fortuna (2:33 PM)
Sean, not sure about this one. I do hope something good comes out of this and recruits and kids everywhere realize the microscope they are under, along with the dangers of social media.
With Gunner Kiel now in the mix at qb, do you think that Tommy Rees might transfer since Andrew Hendrix seems to fit Brian Kelly's offense better? Will Everett Golston ever get some snaps?
Matt Fortuna (2:39 PM)
Scott, I think you have to keep in mind that Hendrix knew he would play in the bowl game, had more reps in practice with Dayne Crist gone and only started one drive against FSU. If a player transfers, it will be because he is No. 4 and knows he will never climb up the ladder; it won't be because another QB just committed. If that's the case, he shouldn't be at ND to begin with.
Shem (Twin Cities)
Hey Mat, Glad to have you back for this week's chat. Would BK considering adding a new coach to his staff? I'd like to try & bring in an experienced WR coach especially with all the young guys. I like the promotion but maybe the young buck could handle special teams?Thanks,
Matt Fortuna (2:44 PM)
Shem, it certainly sounds like Harry Hiestand and Bobby Elliott will round out the staff, with Elliott at a TBD spot. I wonder if newcomer Scott Booker could go coach WRs and Alford move back to RB duties, though it's all up in the air at this point.
Kevin C (Orangeburg, NY)
Matt, Who do you believe gets 5th years next year?
Matt Fortuna (2:45 PM)
Kevin, John Goodman is reportedly back. I'd be shocked if Braxston Cave, Jamoris Slaughter or Kapron Lewis-Moore don't get welcomed back, and I'd think Mike Golic Jr. would be back, too. Nothing is official yet, however.
Matt Fortuna (2:46 PM)
Also, according to the Chicago Tribune, Sean Cwynar had the chance to but opted against it. Given his outstanding academic record, I applaud him.
Matt,Long time reader here, keep up the good work.It is hard as someone who knows football to not expect Everett Gholson to be our starter next year. If Andrew Hendrix was the future at qb he would have seen more reps in mop up time this season. I expect to see Gholson or Rees as the starter in 2012. Also with Kiel being so soft spoken is he really going to be able to lead our Irish in the limelight that is South Bend?Hoping 2013 is our Year!
Matt Fortuna (2:51 PM)
Mike, appreciate that. I agree that Hendrix not seeing more time last year leads to some skepticism, though his size and skill set cannot be ignored. And yes, it would be very very tough for a freshman -- for any freshman -- to step right in and master that offense against a daunting 2012 slate.
Any word on the Armstead brothers going to ND? I know that Cal is supposedly out of the running, but Auburn is still on their list with ND. Is ND the frontrunner? I would imagine having the chance to play USC next season gives ND an edge.
Matt Fortuna (2:55 PM)
Tony, I'm not sure what kind of impact that would have, especially since it would require USC to release his brother to an opponent. I'd throw Washington into the mix with Lupoi aboard, but that, too, would require releasing Armond to an opponent, this time one in its own conference. I just think the process got to be a bit much, and good for him for settling down and taking it all in for a few more weeks.
Alex Dunning (Indiana)
Do you agree if they made a actual post season for college football that people would watch it more than bowl games
Matt Fortuna (2:57 PM)
Laura (Falls Church, VA)
What's your favorite order at Studebagels?
Matt Fortuna (2:58 PM)
Only been once ... I think I got some cinammon-flavored peanut butter topping, but it was at the beginning of the year and I honestly don't remember.
John Goodman (South Bend)
Should I really have been given a 5th year? who starts for us at reciver next year?
Matt Fortuna (3:00 PM)
I do. You have a shot to start with Floyd gone, you're versatile, sure-handed and provide leadership that could be missing that the young skill position players could use.
Matt Fortuna (3:01 PM)
That's all from me, folks. Thanks for stopping by. Sorry if I didn't get to yours, but be sure to submit anything else on your mind to my mailbag.