Jeers Jeers to Ole Notre Dame

Rockne, Montana, Ismail, and even Holtz.  These names once meant something in college football.  But over time those names are mere memories of a tradition that is fading and fading fast.  South Bend, the Golden Dome, and Rudy all once were icons.  Now they are simply irrelevant fossils that represent a far greater time.  I am of course talking about Notre Dame football.  The Fighting Irish that are now the “lay down and die Irish.”

Most recently the Irish have parted ways with Charlie Weis as their head coach and brought in Brian Kelly from the University of Cincinnati, fresh off a season that saw a ticket to the Sugar Bowl.  It was believed that Weis would come in and bring the Irish back to glory.  That was far from the case as Weis went a measly 35-27 in South Bend and 2-16 against ranked teams.  It was thought that Weis’ pro football style would translate to immediate success with Brady Quinn and Jimmy Claussen under center. That wasn’t the case.

Notre Dame faces a number of obstacles before they can become the cream of the crop once again.  The main problem is with recruiting.  Once upon time Notre Dame had its players come to them and they were able to handpick who they wanted in South Bend.  Now the landscape in college football has changed.  Kids from the west coast are being scooped up USC’s Pete Carroll. The players from Florida are landing at The U, Florida State, and Florida.  Kids from the south are landing in Texas with Mack Brown or Oklahoma with Bob Stoops.

Another “problem” with Notre Dame football is that the school has academic standards they abide by making the recruitment of an athlete a bit more arduous.  Sure Brian Kelly was successful in building the Cincinnati program, however, he could recruit kids that are out on parole if he so desired.  At Notre Dame, he will not have that “luxury.”

I am also of the opinion that Notre Dame needs to shed its independent label and join the Big East conference.  This would further enhance their ability to get into a BCS bowl game if anything. Now you may be laughing to yourself saying, all that tradition you spoke of earlier would be out the window. Not so.  Notre Dame would still be able to resume its rivalries with Michigan, USC, Navy, and Boston College. Those would be their non-conference games. Joining the Big East would also make them an immediate contender and a perennial favorite to get a Sugar Bowl invite every year.

2010 looks very bleak for the Irish.  After firing Weis, quarterback Jimmy Claussen and stud wide receiver Golden Tate promptly announced they were leaving school early to enter into the NFL draft.  This following a season in which the Irish lost their last four games in a row to Navy, Pittsburgh, Uconn, and Stanford.  Now their best players aren’t returning and everything is bleak in the once Promised Land of college football.

Hopefully the saying, “It’s always darkest before dawn” rings true in ND.

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