Notre Dame notes: Kelly not concerned with BCS standings

604042.png

Notre Dame notes: Kelly not concerned with BCS standings

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It's been just shy of six years since Notre Dame has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the BCS standings. On Sunday, the BCS revealed Notre Dame as a top five team, the first time that's been the case since the week of Nov. 19, 2006.

For everyone outside of the football program, that's a nice bragging point. For those in it, not so much.

"I really don't care, I'm sorry," coach Brian Kelly sighed when asked about his team's BCS ranking. "I know all of our fans care a lot about that stuff and that's great. I love seeing Notre Dame out there and having stories about Notre Dame. That's why we came here. But I really don't give it any thought as to positionally whether that's a better post position for us than, you know, any other. Sorry."

Kelly explained Notre Dame never set the goal of making the BCS championship or a BCS bowl, spurning the big picture for week-to-week objectives. Notre Dame hasn't appeared in a BCS bowl since January of 2007, and has never won the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta or Rose Bowl in the BCS era.

"We don't have a list of goals that says, hey, we want to go to the Sugar Bowl, we want to go to the Fiesta Bowl, we want to win the National Championship," Kelly said. "We don't have any of those goals. They are not written down, you won't see them anywhere, they are not in our locker room.

"All you'll really hear us talk about are the goals as it relates to playing the game, and if you hit these goals, you've got a great chance to win and then how do you get there and so that's how we deal with it on a daytoday basis."

Where, exactly, does Hendrix stand?

If Everett Golson winds up not being cleared for Saturday's game -- judging by Kelly's comments, that's a longshot -- Tommy Rees would, presumably, get the start. But on Notre Dame's depth chart, the No. 2 quarterback is listed as "Andrew Hendrix OR Tommy Rees," just as it has been since Rees' suspension ended after the first week. Kelly said Rees and Hendrix will have about a 60-40 split in the percentage of practice reps with Golson out Tuesday, and that he could use both in case Golson can't play Saturday.

"What we are going to get three quarterbacks ready and at what level they are, it will determine, but we already know what Tommy is capable of doing," Kelly said. "We know he just needs to clean up on some of the finer detail things. Andrew has not got a ton of work, and you know, if Everett can't go till Thursday, then maybe we have to bring it down a little bit. But we have to make sure that you have to defend a running quarterback that can run, that's going to be part of the game plan."

That last line indicates if Rees did have to start a game, Hendrix could be used to keep the zone read, or any other quarterback rushing play, in the playbook. But he hasn't played since Notre Dame's opener, which also stands as the only game in which Rees wasn't available this year.

When asked if there was a situation in which Hendrix would play over Rees, though, Kelly repeated what he said before.

"No, I haven't thought of -- I'm going to have three quarterbacks ready to play on Saturday," Kelly said.

Watch: James Blackmon Jr.'s buzzer-beating 3 gives Indiana win after Penn State erases late deficit

james-blackmon-0118.jpg
USA TODAY

Watch: James Blackmon Jr.'s buzzer-beating 3 gives Indiana win after Penn State erases late deficit

Indiana's season has been pretty shaky so far, and the Hoosiers almost had one of their worst losses yet on Wednesday night.

Despite holding a game-high 14-point lead with nine and a half minutes left and a 13-point lead with five and a half minutes left, Indiana let Penn State battle all the way back in the closing moments. The Nittany Lions scored seven straight to cut the gap to just six with three minutes to play. The Hoosiers had an eight-point lead with a little more than a minute to play, but the Lions used an 8-0 run to tie the game on a pair of Lamar Stevens free throws with four seconds to go.

That's when James Blackmon Jr. played hero, preventing Indiana from dropping to 2-4 in Big Ten play with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that delivered a 78-75 win in Happy Valley.

Check it out:

The Hoosiers slipped away with a win despite an ugly final few minutes. After taking that 14-point lead with 9:19 left in the game, Indiana was outscored 22-11 the rest of the way.

The Hoosiers truned the ball over 17 times on the evening, leading to 17 points for the Lions.

But Blackmon's clutch triple was part of a big night. He scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists. Robert Johnson and Thomas Bryant each scored 17 points and hauled in seven and nine rebounds, respectively.

Tony Carr had a huge performance for Penn State, scoring a game-high 24 points. Shep Garner, who hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to cut it to a two-point game, finished with 15 points, and Payton Banks had 10 points in the loss.

This narrow escape isn't likely to alleviate any of the concerns anyone has about Indiana, which is now 13-6 overall and and 3-3 in the Big Ten. A win's a win, and the Hoosiers have two of them in a row. But there doesn't appear a surefire win left on Indiana's schedule, meaning every night will be a fight to stay on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble, something we didn't think we'd be saying when the Hoosiers scored non-conference wins over Kansas and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, the upstart Penn State group is 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the league, Wednesday's defeat snapping an impressive two-game win streak with victories over Michigan State and Minnesota. Now comes the really hard part: back-to-back games at Purdue and at Wisconsin.

SportsTalk Live: David DeJesus discusses time spent with Joe Maddon, World Series criticism

SportsTalk Live: David DeJesus discusses time spent with Joe Maddon, World Series criticism

"Be sexy."

That was one of two rules manager Joe Maddon told David DeJesus when the Tampa Bay Rays acquired him in 2013.

DeJesus appeared on SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss his time spent with Maddon in Tampa Bay.

"Just be yourself out there," DeJesus said of Maddon when the Rays traded for him. "I want you to have fun and I want you to just have that ora of 'just don't worry, just go out there and play.' It kept the whole team loose."

DeJesus also shared his thoughts on Maddon's questionable managerial decisions in the World Series.

Hear that, and more, in the video above.