Taylor, an All-American offensive tackle at Notre Dame in the early 90s, will be on the call for the Irish-Air Force game on CBS Sports Network. It will be his first time working as an analyst for a game involving his old school.
So Taylor is acutely aware of not wanting to play any favorites.
“I know I have to be more careful,” Taylor said. “I remember once doing a San Diego State game. I happened to wear a tie with red in it. Well, I heard about it on Twitter and Facebook, and this was just from doing the open to the game.
“No question, the level of scrutiny will be up Saturday. I’ll be very careful with my tie. Definitely, no blue and gold.”
Taylor hardly is the first former player to work as an analyst for his former team. He knows the drill.
“I’m not going to be crying on the air if my alma mater is losing,” Taylor said.”I know I’ll be walking a fine line.”
However, make no mistake, Saturday’s assignment is special for Taylor. He said it will be “coming full circle” for him.
“There was a time when Notre Dame might as well have been England to me,” said Taylor, who grew up in the San Francisco area. “I had no idea where South Bend was when the recruiting letters started to come in. Notre Dame is on my Mt. Rushmore of the choices I’ve made in my life along with my wife and kids. It was paramount to what I’ve become.”
Taylor experienced the last truly sustained period of excellence at Notre Dame. From 1990-93, his teams went 41-8-1 under Lou Holtz.
Taylor believes Brian Kelly has a chance to replicate what Holtz did.
“They both have the vision and a specific way to execute that vision,” Taylor said. “Holtz was a little more hands-on. Kelly tried that in the beginning, but he got back to letting his coaches do their thing.
“Holtz was very methodical. Every week we had a game plan. We knew as players if we executed the plan, we’d win the game. Kelly strikes me the same way. You don’t enjoy the kind of success he’s had without having a plan.”