Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Week 8 Thoughts - The Overhyped Notre Dame

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 24, 2011


Notre Dame showed against USC that it's still not back to being among the elite.

CFN Analysis 

Week 8 Thoughts, Oct. 24 

Follow Us @CFBnews | Like Us facebook.com/CFBNews
 
Past Thoughts  2010 5 Thoughts | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 
- Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

- Cirminiello: Stanford deserves a better ranking
- Fiutak: Why is Texas Tech ranked behind OU?
- Harrison: Notre Dame still hasn't arrived  
- Johnson: Stanford proved it's a powerhouse
- Zemek: The Big East in the BCS ... UGH
 
By Phil Harrison

Harrison: Notre Dame’s Continued Preferential Treatment by the Media?

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

Did you hear that the Fighting Irish are back among the elite?

Everyone keeps waiting, yearning for Notre Dame to explode back onto the national scene and take its rightful place back on the college football throne.

Enough already.

This Saturday against USC, and two other Saturdays this fall, haven't  left a good impression--once again.

Who else is tired of the embarrassment of praise heaped upon the Golden Domers?

It seems almost every year they’re inked right into the top twenty and prognostications abound about the level of talent and upside the players that have been recruited possess. And almost every year the Fighting Irish fall back to earth from their perceived perch with a thud that can be heard by all. The coaches aren’t immune to it either. From Bob Davie and a young and promising Tyrone Willingham, to the “genius” Charlie Wieis, and now Brian Kelly. All are just the right hires, and the best coaches to turn the program around. Not so far.

Look, it’s not hard to get. Notre Dame is one of the best programs of all time with more tradition, history, and pedigree than almost every college program out there. What everyone should also get though is that the Irish have not been an elite college program since the days of Lou Holtz. If this hasn’t sunk in, then pause to listen closely now--Notre Dame has been a mediocre program for almost twenty years. That’s two decades for you math majors out there--enough to say that this is not just a down turn that all programs seem to endure. Instead, it is, and should be one of pure consequence.

No, ND fans aren’t going to like this, but the situation is more like the aging athlete who has a significant drop in production and has to understand that the new normal is a realization that his body is just different now. The down cycle that the inhabitants of South Bend have been on has been one so deep that teams like Michigan, Oklahoma, and Ohio State have--in all reality, caught up in the historical monster program measurements. The team, that was the team, is no longer the same team.

And that’s the point. The Fighting Irish are a different program now. A check on programs winning percentage since 1995 (according to football.stassen.com) shows Notre Dame not even making the top 25. Instead, it comes in at a cool 31st. Teams ahead of the Fighting Irish on this list are teams like Boston College (29), Louisville (28), Air Force (27),and Georgia Tech (25). The team just behind the ND is Iowa at 32. That’s right, one of the most storied programs in history is now for walking in the same cloth as the Iowa Hawkeyes. While the Hawks have been solid over this same time period, it’s not the neighborhood that Notre Dame fans long to be hanging out in. And their fans are ducking down the back alleys.

Yet for some reason, each and every year, Notre Dame is thought to be back and just a couple of recruiting classes away from contending for really big things. Enough is enough. It’s time to start calling this what it is, and reset the expectations that should be a product of where the program has shown it to be for an extended time. A mediocre, fringe-top 25 one.

For the sake of college football, let’s hope that this notion is dead wrong. Let’s hope that Brian Kelly really does wake up the echoes and restore prominence in South Bend. After all, college football seemed better when the Fighting Irish were in the mix every year. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves since the same history that has been on the side of those shiny, gold helmets have not been so kind in more than recent memory

If you’re not on board yet, then welcome to the media bandwagon. Touchdown Jesus is ready to settle for some more field goals.
Week 8 Thoughts, Oct. 24 

- Cirminiello: Stanford deserves a better ranking
- Fiutak: Why is Texas Tech ranked behind OU?
- Harrison: Notre Dame still hasn't arrived  
- Johnson: Stanford proved it's a powerhouse
- Zemek: The Big East in the BCS ... UGH