Irish Stewed: Waking Up the Echoes and Shutting Up the Idiots

Chicago Tribune sportswriter David Haugh recently penned an almost obscenely ill-informed editorial on Notre Dame football that I feel requires a slightly more informed response.

What would Jesus do? For starters, he wouldn't join the Big Ten.  (Photo - IconSMI)
What would Jesus do? For starters, he wouldn't join the Big Ten. (Photo - IconSMI)

His article rehashes the same tired arguments the Notre Dame family has heard for years: the conferences are passing us by, we’ve become irrelevant, we haven’t won a national championship in 22 years, and my new personal favorite, “joining the Big Ten would help the Irish forge an identity.”

David Haugh adds,

“An independent Irish team that loses its second or third game by Halloween potentially loses focus and incentive with the national title and BCS goal gone. But the same Notre Dame team, in the Big Ten, still would have a shot at winning a league title — no small goal or achievement.”

Yes, Mr. Haugh, it is a small goal. It is a small achievement. Let’s acknowledge conference “championships” for what they really are: mental attitude awards, consolation prizes, and, in the scope of the Big Ten’s modern history on the gridiron, little more than silver or bronze medals after the inevitable BCS Bowl beat-down. If I wanted to stick out my chest about our head-to-head record versus Woody Hayes and our dust-covered shelf of Big Ten trophies while conveniently ignoring the fact my sainted coach won zero national championships while amassing the worst record versus Top 10 teams of any Div I-A head coach who coached in at least 100 games, I’d buy an autographed two-dollar Bo Schembechler glossy off eBay. But, as it stands, I prefer to live in the real world, where being the best matters. If it’s a national championship-or-bust, feast-or-famine cycle for the Irish, so be it. That’s what makes the victories that much sweeter.

You say Notre Dame’s 22-year title drought makes for a compelling case to join the Big Ten. Well, we still have 12 more years to match Ohio State’s drought between its 1968 and 2002 national titles. Michigan went nearly a half century between its ’48 title and its half-title in ’97. And Penn State, after winning two national titles in four years in the ’80s–AS AN INDEPENDENT–has now gone 24 years without a national championship in football. I’m guessing I could find a fan or two in State College, PA who will dispute the Big Ten’s ability to fast-track a team to national title contention. (For further reference, see “Penn State football, 1994.”)

As for the Notre Dame brand’s #1 overall ranking in terms of value, this isn’t the nebulous number you make it out to be. The school has an undergraduate enrollment of 8,300 kids. While its gross margins might not match a school flush with Big Ten Network virtual cash, its net margins as a measure of dollars generated per cost of student–i.e. its actual profit–leave OSU (39,000 undergrads), UM (42,000) and PSU (81,000) in its blue-and-gold dust.

Sorry, Mr. Haugh, but I still can’t get over this quote: “joining the Big Ten would help the Irish forge an identity.” How do you figure? The loss of ND’s national recruiting base–the loss of its identity–stands as the single biggest threat to Notre Dame if it joined the Big Ten. The evidence is right there in black and white, but all the haters and idiot talking heads simply ignore it. Compare ND’s roster to Ohio State’s, Penn State’s or even Michigan’s. When you’re one of the Big Three in the Big Ten, all you need to do to recruit (especially in the case of Ohio State and Penn State) is bar the door at your state line. You ever look at the rosters of USC? How about Texas? Or Florida? Notre Dame does not have the luxury of simply walking outside and casting its line for the best 4- and 5-star athletes in its zip code. Nearly every other elite football program has that luxury, with the commiserate lack of academic standards to grease the wheels with admissions.

Admittedly, I have to give Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney some credit for being an evil genius. He’s managed to create the biggest cash cow in collegiate sports–replete with the most television revenue  and most January bowl bids–even with the conference generally sucking on the sports world’s biggest stages. Here are some numbers, just for a little perspective. In football, Notre Dame by itself has won six national championships since 1966. The SEC has won six BCS titles since just 1999. Meanwhile, the Big Ten can claim a whole 2-1/2 national championships since 1961. How about basketball? Well, since the men’s hoops tourney expanded to 64 teams in 1985 the ACC has won eight national titles. In that same time period the Big Ten has won a whopping three championships. Again, kudos to Delaney for selling people a plate of dog crap and convincing them its filet mignon.

The cost of conference affiliation is simply too high to bear for ND. Not only will it severely regionalize a national recruiting base, it spits in the face of a century-long independent tradition forged–there’s that word again–when Fielding Yost and Michigan, fueled by anti-Catholic sentiment, blackballed Notre Dame as it sought conference membership in the early 1900s. (Ah, irony never smelled so sweet.) If you want to blame someone for ND’s hubris and isolationism, Mr. Haugh, point your finger in the direction of Ann Arbor, not South Bend. And while you’re at it, do some research before your next Notre Dame diatribe. Any research, at all, would be refreshing.

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  1. I disagree with you all. Kelly ran the ball a lot in the spring game and his two strong areas are running back and offensive line. He ran a lot of counters and has two backs in Jonas Gray and Cierra Wood that can break a long run. He has one of the best wide receivers in the country who before his injury accounted for more yards than Golden Tate. He has the #1 tight end in the country. On defense they are moving back to the 3-4 which is what the players are more suited to play. They are also staring more juniors and seniors on defense and will not gamble as much. Plus this Junior class was ranked in the top 5 of recruiting classes.

    As far as other people looking down on us as ND fans, I do my homework and know my team. People who look down on ND has nothing to do with fans, they just hate the school. Kelly has more talent than he did last year and name one top 10 team we will play this year. Pitt or Stanford come on. SC is down and kidd are starting to transfer. Do you think ND is not a top 50 team. All off the games ND lost last year were less than 10 points. If defense holds in the 2nd half they win more games.

    1. What exactly does a Top-50 team have to do with them “Realistically getting 10 wins”?

      A 10-win ND team would be Top-5 in the country – and no, I do not think they are Top-5.

      The worst types of fans in the world are the ones who get unrealistic expectations of a team, and then bitch and whine when those expectations are not met. Unfortunately, Notre Dame has a ton of those types of “fans”.

      ND has far too many obstacles to overcome this year for people to just nonchalantly be expecting 10 wins.

      1. Drew,
        How can you say that a 10-2 ND team would be ranked in the top five. There strength of schedule is weak, they don’t play a top 5 team and they are starting outside the top 25. A 12-0 ND team is in the top 5 but not a 10-2 team. The only team they play that would be even close to a top 5 team would be SC and they are on suspension and there is a mass exodus out of the program. I don’t believe ND is a top 5 team but they are as bad as you make them. I don’t have unrealistic expectations for this team, you need to get a clue and stop thinking they are going to be 6-6 this year. If they can’t win more that 8 games this year it would be a disappointment. I don’t accept 6-6 at ND and no fan should. The talent is there and the scheme on defense was run 2yrs ago. I don’t see why they can’t win 8 games.

      2. They are Notre Dame. A 10-2 ND would be ranked very, very highly. If not the Top-5, they would be at least6 or 7, so the point still stands. Weak schedule aside (which is really isn’t so weak, honestly), big name programs get big name treatment when they are doing well.

        The thing is, you don’t KNOW if they are that bad. I don’t think they are a 3-win team like a couple years ago, of course not. BUT, without knowing Crist’s health, and having no real backup plan – it’s hard to say how they are. Teams don’t just replace Top-3 players at key positions and not miss a beat unless they were already loaded (like a USC has been), and ND has not been.

        If Crist is fully healed, and comes out playing well – absolutely the team could win 9 or so games. But if he’s not, and he doesn’t…there is no way they should be in a BCS game hunt.

        I’m not saying it’s wrong to be hopeful that they can…but given the circumstances, it’s very, very wrong to EXPECT them to.

  2. Mark May saying 10 wins. An Irish coach saying we will rely on defense. We have now officially entered the twilight zone. If this is a dream, its definitely a good one. From all I’ve read, the switch to a 3-4 scheme will allow us to better utilize the talent that we had stockpiled….but for Kelly to come down to SEC country and talk about winning multiple championships and relying on defense??? Our new coach has a set of brass ones. Like Chan, I want to hold off on buying into the hype and just see what this season reveals. But, Kelly has me pretty damn excited about this team.

    1. Talk about excitement, My twin boys participated in the Notre Dame camp held last week and I was able to spend a lot of time over the course of three days watching Kelly and his crew work these potential recruits out hard. We also attended last year’s camp too and the pace and tempo was noticeably faster not to mention incredibly organized even down to the last second. Kelly basically talk about nothing more than having passion. If the team practices are run anything like the camp was, then we are definetly going to be in great shape for the fouth quarter this year.

      Plus I saw Manti and Rudolph coming off the practice field after conditoning work outs one day…they are just freaks. they are so huge.

    1. Haha! I absolutely despise Mark May…because he hates Notre Dame and because he’s usually right (in the last few years) about predicting their mediocrity. This blew my mind seeing is prediction — not that I’m necessarily on board with it, but if Brian Kelly has HIM believing the hype, then that’s saying a lot about the job Kelly has done here. Hopefully that translates into a Sept 4th smoking of Purdue!

      Go irish!

      1. I think Mark May is right. Now I am scared to walk outside to be struck by lightning. I don’t see any team on the schedule that ND can’t beat. Will they suffer a loss or two maybe, but I think 10 wins is realistic wit the talent they have. I think a lot of people are suffering from the CW era when teams were projected to 10 wins and were 6-6. This team has talent on both sides of the ball.

      2. How about the fact that they have new schemes, and lost both a Top-3 QB and the best WR in college last year? Also, their starting Qb has no experience and is coming off a pretty scary injury.

        Expecting this team to come right out and win 10 games is absurd, and it’s why people look down on us ND fans.

        People need to pay more attention to how the team looks than their record this year. Just this year, it’s an important thing…because realistically this team probably won’t win more than 8 games.

      3. I hate to buy into the hype as much as the rest of you. However, do we really know how good this team is? What are we using as the barometer

        In my mind it’s hard to use the past several seasons to judge the talent level that we have.

        Brian Kelly recently said that the Irish locker room was terrible when he and his staff arrived on campus. According to him, they lacked discipline and fight! Correcting the attitude in the locker room was his first assignment as the new head coach.

        These kids could SHOCK a lot of people next year under Kelly’s guidance.

        An undefeated season is a long shot. However I wouldn’t be surprised if Kelly can take these kids the distance and only drop a pair of games.

        Kelly has stated that he’s going to be relying on the Defense (yes DEFENSE) to help take pressure off Crist.

        With Crist in mind, he is a first year starter. A highly touted 5 start athlete but he doesn’t have a lot game experience.

        Is Kelly trying to tell us that he’s going to pound the ball with our stud backs and use our Defense to win games?

        If that’s the case and teams are fearful of our running attack it may leave room for our explosive receivers to break some big plays.

        I sure hope that’s the case anyways. At any rate I’m enjoying the summer weather but I can’t wait for the season to kick off!

        Go Irish

  3. Delta and JC,

    Stop it already! Let’s get on with more constructive discussions. I know I’ve been caught in more than one of these pissing contests myself with a few “regulars” (perhaps even one of you guys) and they’re just sophmoric after a while. I take it both of you are ND fans. Let’s come together and talk about something constructive relating to the program. Drop the egos, name-calling, etc.

    1. /agree

      I just had the realization that I have completely forgotten what in the hell you two started arguing about.

      1. lol. I’m with you man. Actually I’v stopped reading their posts altogether.

  4. Delta,

    Well now, I knew you were not “tired” of name calling and hearing your own vainglorious comments. Your wounded ego won’t allow for it. “Silence can not be misquoted” is a concept you will never grasp. Anything else in your limited armamentarium of knowledge we need to know?

    1. Forgive me but I’ve not yet noticed any alleged wounds to my ego. Certainly none from the likes of you, Mr. JC. For once, you are absolutely correct. Despite my weariness of your stupidity, I allowed you to bait me into yet another response. And not even with valid points or even intellectual statements. But with “crying towels” and “depends.” I’m at a low. I’ve allowed myself to become embroiled in the antics of a fan site troll. Oh well, its been fun though. I will disengage now, and give you your longed for silence JC, as I have plans and obligations over the long weekend. So, I’m sorry I won’t be here to “snipe” your comments with my “name calling” and “vainglorious” comments. I’m sure you will be ok though. Maybe your mom will make you some hot pockets and bring them down to the basement for you.

      Happy 4th to everybody. Remember our vets. And Go Irish.

      1. Mr. Delta prima donna, I won’t miss your continuous moronic insults and rancorous mental attitude of superior to all others. As claimed a Pseudo-ND fan your ethics are pathetic. You should acquiesce, ND and the world will be a better place.

        Yes, remember our vets and happy 4th to all of our Irish faithfull.

        McSweeney, again, excellent article for the nut job naysayers out there who only believe that their brand of relevance is indubitably superior to all others.

  5. DeltaIrish,

    I think your posts speak for themselves, again, you are entitled to your opinion as well as everyone else and McSweeney. However, demanding everyone to accept your exclusive position of “give it a rest” is without question dictatorial…so who started what? Your satirical assessment justifies your still 13 when you don’t get your way. Alpha males are dime a dozen.

    1. JC,

      So your problem with my initial post is that I phrased my opinion in the form of a request that everyone just stop trying to defend NDs relevancy to the naysayers and let our, hopefully, improved play on the field be our response? And you took that in some way to be an order? A mandate? A dictatorial demand?

      I assure you that wasnt my intent. I wanted merely to express my own opinion that the argument about our relevancy was tired and beleagured. Perhaps its for not. There will always be those that will attempt to explain our lackluster play with shouts about or integrity and academic acheivements. And there will always be the naysayers that say we cant acheive what we once did. You can sit back and use our standards and reputations as a weapon and an excuse all day. In my OPINION, we are never gonna win an argument about relevancy in football with arguments about admission standards and GPAs.

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree JC. You stand fast in your love for ND because it turns out high character graduates that play with integrity. I’ll harbor my disappointment that these high character guys get blown out by the low character scumbags fielded by teams like USC. Maybe Kelly can be the middle point where we aere both happy. We get the high character guys that can perform in the classroom and on the field. You know, like the ones I cheered when I was 13.

      1. I have to give to you Delta, you are master at self-celebration. Beyond that, I don’t need your permission to agree on anything.

      2. Wow. I dont know what else to say. I offered an opinion and was blasted for offering an opinion by a guy that assaulted me with “everybody’s entitled to their opinion.” After paragraphs of back and forth drivel I offer a truce and I get this. Its worse than debateing with a USC douchebag. I expected more from an ND fan.

      3. From an alum not just a fan, what did you expect being a fringe type of guy with your rudimentary terminology. Your sniper writing coupled with crying wolf is no new paradox for you. However, one must consider the source since melodrama is your forte rather than substance.

      4. JC,

        I really don’t know what I did to yank your chain. I pointed out my opinion that we won’t win the relevency debate with talk history, GPAs and Integrity coupled with 6-6 seasons. If you think thats wrong, fine, live in your fantasy world.

        Regardless of our disagreement, I cannot understand your continued attacks. A “fringe type of guy”? I may not have attended but I have been a fan and followed the team for years. I’ve been to ND stadium multiple times, went to the bowl games, buy the shirts….I may not have the “alma mater” tie in but I feel I’m pretty invested in being a fan. “Sniper writing”? How so, I put an opinion on a fan site. If anyone has hidden in the bushes and fired its you. I offered an opinion that you are welcome to dispute logically, but instead get attacked as being somehow dictorial.

        “Rudimentary terminology”? Sorry, I guess, for somehow making you read my banter. Melodrama and crying wolf? Don’t see it. You don’t think ND is in danger of becoming irrelevant? After the last 17 years? Well, here’s a hint, in 1993 I never once had to argue ND’s relevancy in college football with anybody.

        I dont know if you have got your ire aroused by thinking you are defending ND against a hater. or if you are just a complete tool that considers him self editor of the internet. Either way, I’ve grown tired of the back and firth between us. I should have known better after your first responsive post. As the old saying goes, never argue with a fool. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

      5. Glad to see that education is working out for you. It’s at least nice to have a debate with someone who knows a few terms as opposed to simply chanting “SEC!”. Alas, you are posting proof that an educated idiot is still an idiot. As for the towels and depends, you better hold on to them. May need them when you run out of tampons.

  6. Ah gee whiz, we all must be suffering from a severe case of acatalepsia by your account. Impressive profanity and prejudice. Harvard graduate by chance?

    1. Acatalpsia? Hardly. Well, not all of us. Judging from your incomprehesible defense of an indefensible position coupled with your premenstrual like irritability this morning you may indeed have such a handicap.

      Harvard? No. I’m a graduate of that fine institution that hadnt beaten ND in 40 years until just recently. Twice. I guess the USNA’s integrity just out played the Irish’s Integrity finally huh?

      The sad thing is, JC, I agree with much you say. Football has to be about building character and I’m extremely proud that ND (to whom I follow with family loyalty even at the expense of my Alma Mater) instills character and does it the right way. Where I feel you go astray is in your position that, because we do it the right way, and have great tradition that is respected “internationally,” we apparently should be satisfied and not have to defend ourselves from claims of irrelevancy. You seem to forget that it was doing it the right way AND winning championships that established ND’s reputation and appeal. So, am I whining? Yeah, probably so. But you have to agree that our on field production has fallen well below our historical standards. And until we get it back to the level that ND has come to expect of itself, until we are gonna be irrelevant in the world of College football. We may have written the record books. We may be the last major team that does it the right way. But, lately, what we do the right way is finish 6-6.

      Please accept my apologies for offending your delicate sesibilities with my light profanity. Hard to teach an old sailor new tricks. I am however perplexed as to your accusation of prejudice. Are you preferring to my ad hominem attack on the bayou bengals? If so, guilty as charged. My mention of USC doing it the wrong way? Thats not prejudice, its fact. My reference to “Europeans”? really, I’d like to know what was prejudicial that I posted. Perhaps its merely my obvious distates for fools and their positions. To which, I respond: You started it.

  7. History shows that winning or loosing in college football goes in cycles.
    At one time or another USC was down, as was Alabama, Nebraska, Miami, Navy, Rutgers, and more. Not that long ago Ohio St couldn’t beat Michigan.
    Now they can’t lose.
    Weis proved that elite high school players will come to ND.
    Find the right head coach as these schools have, recruit well, and winning will follow. Do it without compromising our principals and you have winning with integrity.(doesn’t really sound that hard, does it?)
    History also shows that ND is one of the winningest college football programs (Along with Michigan) of all time.
    That means we are always used in compairison. Used as a measuring stick.
    Fair or unfair it comes with the territory. Just as the accolades or criticism does.
    I’ve been a ND fan since 63′. Seen a lot. A lot of ups, a lot of downs. The best advice I can offer is, “Have a little faith baby, have a little faith”

    1. Shaz,

      I hear ya. Havent been aorund as long as you old timer and I was 13 when we one the last national Championship. Seems like one continuous downslide since then. I hope no one misunderstands me. I love Notre Dame because it “wins the right way.” I’m not advocating that we take the USC road to regain glory. But, I do get tired of touting our team GPA in response to the Bayou Retards down here that keep reminding me of the Sugar Bowl. Winning is important. Winning with integrity is priceless. We have the integrity. But we need the wins. Badly. I have faith in kelly and our recruiting has been great. But until we actually prove we can WIN with our integrity we are gonna face these short sighted attacks that we are irrelevant. And, as much as it pains me, they have some merit. Harvard wins with intergrity. The fact that we try to do it in the top echelon is what sets us apart. But we have to prove we can do it.

      You’re right. Gotta keep the faith. Go Irish!

      1. Delta,

        I have a son who was born in 1985. He grew up liking the Michigan Wolverines even though the rest of the family are hardcore ND’rs.
        It’s hard to blame him. In all his 25 years, ND gave him little to get excited about.

        There’s a lesson in there for somebody!

      2. Thats sad Shaz. Maybe the turning of the tables with Kelly and Rich Rod will bring him back to where his genetics have been calling him all along.

      3. I’m afraid he’s a lost cause.
        Although he likes ND, and pulls for them, Michigan is clearly his team.
        We are as close as father and son can be…. except that one Saturday each fall when we, and our teams, face off agianst each other.
        In 2006, 2007,& 2009 he happened to get a bit worked up and vocal. Had to cut off the poor lad’s beer conumption. (It was for his own good you know)
        Him and his wife are exspecing their first born in September, a son.
        You can bet that I’ll be humming our fight song in his ear from the first day!

      4. Congrats of your upcoming grandfatherhood. Maybe sanity skips a generation and your grandson will “wake the echoes.”

        In a way I feel your pain. When I got out of the service I moved down here near my wife’s family. All LSU supporters. I watch my kids around their cousins like i would if they were around known molestors. I swear I think hell is trimmed in purple and gold.

        Keep up the good fight.

  8. JC,

    Really? Mr. Pot, this is Mr. Kettle, you bastards have a lot in common. You wanna grasp the obvious? ok…here it is. You can rant on and on about how we “win the right way” and somebody will pay for our TV rights cause we have a national brand etc all you want. But there is one major flaw in your sophomoric reasoning….we havent been winning, the right way, the wrong way or any way. And until we do, the naysaying legions of ND hatred won’t stop. Am i sayiying we need to act like USC? No, but we also need to stop touting the “we win with integrity” stuff when we dont win. Winners dont have to make excuses or argue their relevancy. And its high time we became winners again.

    now, you might be happy that Europeans know all about our beloved institution’s tradition of excellence. And I take great pride in that myself. But, I must admit, I’d like the SEC chest thumping rednecks down at the Buffalo Wild Wings to recognize us too. And they arent gonna do that until we stop going 6-6 and gloating about winning with integrity.

    Now, how bout you jump on that sanctimonious high horse of yours and tell me I’m wrong.

  9. DeltaIrish,

    No, everyone is entitled to their opinion, we have to put up with reading yours, so stop whining…it is america. By the way, please post something that is not an immediate grasp of the obvious and lecture-monious, thank you! Like the lecture? Give the whining a rest.

  10. Can we please give the “ND is irrelevant” argument a rest… I’m so tired of that ridiculous back and forth. Idiot: “You aren’t relevant cause you havent one a national title since 1988!” Fan: “We’ve been to 2 BCS bowls in the last 5 years!” Idiot: “Lost them both!” Fan: “We havent had good coaching!” Idiot: “Cause you are irrelevant!” Fan: “If we are irrellevant what the hell you doing reading our site?”

    The fact is guys, we are gonna continue to hear that we are no longer a national player until we actually win some FN football games. I think Kelly is the real deal. And I’m willing to temper my expectations a bit this year because its his forst, new offense, new QB, etc. But we are out of excuses if we can’t pull this thing together and be in the Championship discussion after this year. Got the coach, got the players, got the intangibles. This year, we have to prove we can win the games we are supposed to win. Next year, we prove we can win them all. Then, we are back to where we belong, in the “supposed to win” them all category.

    Until then, we will continue to suffer the slings and arrows of dumbass critics who scream about our “irrlevancy.” We are college football. We are ND.

  11. Well boys, if you have ever traveled internationally, you would know ND is the 1# football brand discussed worldwide across the board vs…NFL, CFL, College or back yard scrimmage, etc. Especially in Europe, what’s a Ram? What’s a Long Horn? ND can survive without NBC, the fans and alums no, but I guarantee you someone would be standing in line bidding for ND’s exclusivity pertaining to football broadcast rights. So, can ND remain independent? Yes, naturally it is all about the money and ND has the BRAND to pick up the phone and acquire a new network sponsor if they so desire, let’s not count ourselves out yet. Swarbrick likes drama and knows ND is more relevant in all areas of life than the competition is willing to admit. Like Forbes NO BRAIN magazine.

    Winning the right way is indeed arduous and winning the wrong way is not.
    So, maintaining the MORAL RUDDER and FOLLOWING THE RULES is certainly the #1 reason WE ARE ND! Suck it up naysayers.

  12. Please dont confuse the Catholic Church with Notre Dame. ND jettisoned their catholic identity when Fr Ted signed the Land O’Lakes agreement between schools which has morphed into research facilities. Lets stick to football….

  13. steel fan rob , one of the reasons now that they are hesitant to join a conf. is because when you are in a conf. you are required as a univ. to join in academic research with the rest of your conf. that could and probably would include stem cell research which as you know the catholic church is against.

    1. SeanCsd and Chris,

      My post was simply by way of historical information. What I said is a fact. ND wanted to join other Mid-West football powers in their conference but was prohibited from doing so by bigots in the early 20th c. No doubt the university now has economic, athletic, and academic reasons why not to join a conference. But back in the day they were stopped from doing so because the school was Catholic. Last time I checked, ND was still Catholic. If not, what is it? Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal? Hindu? Muslim? NO! In spite of what I might think about this or that decision, or this or that administrator or faculty member, ND IS a Catholic institution. Of course, you have some “Catholics” (SPPX-types) who will tell you even the Catholic Church jettisoned its Catholic identity and no longer exists!

  14. I would really like to see some stats and information about ND’s new training program and how the athletes are responding to it.

    Are they getting bigger, smaller, leaner, faster or more explosive? Are their 40 times getting better?

    The recruiting sites always give us an idea of what kind of athlete were looking at. 6’2″ 235 ib MLB, 4.58 40 yrd dash, and so on.

    I’d like to see some numbers on how Monte Teo’s athleticism is improving.

  15. How many years has ND been independent? There is a reason besides football. It’s not just about football, it’s about faith, family and high moral character. I’m sure with a winning will soothe most people’s fears, but in the same breath it is how we win. Do you want your childern taught by the wrong characters? Many of these conferences are just about money and bcs titles now. So do we want titles like USC? I have faith we will continue to follow the correct path.

    Amen C-Dog

    1. Come on now, JC

      Do you think ND would remain independent in this world if NBC wasn’t paying its way?

      Of course it’s about the money. I’ve been a die-hard fan since I’ve watched college football. There is no question in my mind that ND wants to remain independent because its football operations fund virtually every sport and some other important university missions as well.

    2. JC,

      ND football is independent because way back in the day (at the turn of the 20th c.) anti-Catholic bigots, like Fielding Yoast at Michigan, didn’t want ND in their conference. Recall that the Mid-West (specifically southern Indiana) had replaced the Deep South as the base of the restored KKK, which in fact tried to destroy the fledgling Catholic university in South Bend. ND is independent because it was Catholic (and early on admitted Jews!) That’s the “forgotten” history of why ND football never joined a conference back in the day. Now it’s all about money. But back then it was about anti-Catholic prejudice. Plain and simple. Nobody wants to talk about that fact today, however.

  16. I think this article is weak and omits one key point (at least): Notre Dame no longer is able to schedule big-time programs. Take a look at the 1990 schedule:

    Mich. State
    Air Force
    Penn State
    Southern Cal
    The Irish played the major teams from the major conferences. Sure, Tennessee was sometimes traded for LSU and maybe Stanford was traded for Arizona, but most times, Notre Dame sought to play a national schedule against the toughest teams in the country — and in large markets. These teams typically reciprocated.

    Last year, the schedule went like this:
    Michigan State
    Southern Cal
    Washington State

    That is a far weaker schedule focusing on smaller markets and inferior football programs — at least in part because of the challenges ND has with scheduling great teams from major conferences. It’s a lot easier to schedule Connecticut than LSU. It’s easier to schedule Washington State than, say, Cal.

    I am not saying the Big Ten is the answer. I’m not sure that it is. Nearly all of those schools are too large to really be comparable to ND. But, the athletic department is thinking fairly short-term if it thinks that it can ignore these massive conferences. If ND is to stay independent, it needs to move aggressively to schedule the great teams — and the inferior teams in the large markets.

    1. I have heard this argument before. I fail to see any substance in your point about our alleged “inability to schedule big-time programs”, specifically in the two years you have highlighted and into the future. Of the schedules that you compared, there are seven teams that were played in both years. That’s a very high rate of repeating teams. I see striking similarities between those schedules. If anything, the 2009 schedule highlights our ability to schedule games to put us in a position to succeed on and off the field.

      Both years (like any year for Notre Dame) contain games that canvas all across the country in a variety of conferences. Each of those schedules has one perennial national title contender of the particular era (Miami in 1990 and USC in recent years, although last year was a “down year” for them). Both have a group of nationally ranked teams (Michigan, Tennessee, Penn State in ’90; Pittsburgh, Stanford in ’09). Also, the 2009 schedule is a little skewed because of recent down years for Michigan. Now I certainly would not argue that the 2009 schedule was as difficult as the 1990 schedule, but is that really what we need? I was a freshman in 2003 when we played a schedule that was ranked in the top 10 in terms of SOS. I saw what happened on the field, and it wasn’t pretty.

      If anything, the 2010 schedule shows just how able we are to schedule who we want (and where we want to play them). We handpicked a game against a weaker opponent from a BCS conference, and convinced them to travel over 1000 miles to our “home game” in one of the most fertile recruiting territories in the country just so we could sell our program and cater to local alumni. What other team in the country has the ability to do that? Sure, I would like to see a SEC school on the schedule as well, but don’t forget that Tennessee was on our schedule a few years ago, and we do still schedule those type of teams every so often. It’s important to not look at just one year when drawing conclusions about our ability to schedule properly. Besides, would a 2009 Tennessee team really make our schedule more difficult than the 2009 Connecticut team? If there was a difference on the field, it was not huge. A look at future schedules shows that we have the ability to schedule traditional power schools like Oklahoma and Miami. And for every Western Michigan that we schedule, there is a up-and-coming high quality team like Utah. Make no mistake, Utah has been a top-15 caliber school over the last several years. That is according to AP voters and BCS formulas which, by the way, determine national champions. Need further proof that Utah is a legitimate football team? Ask Alabama. There is no shortage of quality opponents on Notre Dame’s schedule. I think it is great that in addition to our regular slate of opponents we can schedule Oklahoma, Miami or maybe even Texas down the line. But would I want to play all of those teams every year in addition to our regular slate? Absolutely not. That is not fear either, that is putting your team in a position to succeed.

      Our independence is essential to our identity. There needs to be a much more convincing argument than our schedule to even begin to think about abandoning independence. Our scheduling ability is one of the many aspects of our football program that makes us unique. We are a national school that plays a national schedule, and a Big Ten schedule would regionalize us. As long as we can schedule quality opponents and have the ability to compete for a national championship, then I vote independence.

      Go Irish!

  17. With the football news around ND kind of slow right now, I decided to scan some USC sites and blogs these past few weeks to see how their fans were reacting to the penilities handed down by the NCAA.
    When they say that California is the land of fruits and nuts they aren’t kidding!
    These people really believe that EVERYONE cheats, and the NCAA is just picking on USC because they are jealous and envious of USC’s success.
    It comes as no surprise that there is some deep seated anger among USC fans, but many of these fans seem hell bent on channeling their anger towards ND. (I guess because we run a clean program, and a few of our fans decided to take the oppertunity to polk at them with a sharp stick and tell them “I told you so”)
    It’s the classic situation of them wanting their cake and eat it too.
    I’ve read more than a few their entries, where they say that they will wipe the floor with us on Nov. 27th. Or how they are going to beat us by 30, and how it’s going to be their “Bowl Game”
    I for one am not impressed with all their big talk. I say we go in there and put the finishing touches on a completely disasterous year for USC. It started with slimeball Pete Carroll skipping town, to the lies and discrace of Reggie Bush, to a beat down by the Irish on their home field to cap off a truely humiliating season for the Trojans.
    You know, we can have our cake and eat it too as well.
    For USC… I say let them munch some crow for a while…. it will be good for them….. courtesy of ND!

    1. Please bring your A game. We so want you to be undefeated when you come.

      Actually, ND is not so much on our minds as Stanford and Oregon this year. But ND can’t stop posting crap about us. So we will give you something to think about all off season while we endure our humiliating season.

      1. LowCal,
        IF there was something good to say, anything good, we might post it, but there is nothing but crap. We can’t help but smell your stink clear accross the country!
        If your Mascot shit on the fifty yard line during a game, no one could smell the differance!

        And you already have given us much to think about….
        Like how Liars, cheaters, and gutter slime never wins.

        The group of repribates called the USC football program, ruined the entire 2005 football season, Heisman award included, for the whole college football loving nation.
        That’s why everone hates your crap team.

        And I got news for you pal, the humiliation brought on your University, by the self-centered, greedy few, will last long past this year!
        It’s now part of your glorious history, your tradition, and your reputation.

      2. NorCalTrojan,

        I’m sure your not humiliated, cheating is a common modus operandi at USC. The NCAA will give you something to thing about all season long. By the way, if USC ever plays by the rules we will be happy to watch USC playing Division II football. Thats about all your team will be worth with a clean slate and a level playing field. ND is not about winning at all costs like USC. Actually, playing you this year is a worthless and meaningless event playing a bunch of PROVEN cheaters. We won’t get any style points while beating you morons by 30+ this year.

  18. McWeenie,

    The truth is there are two reasons ND won’t join the Big 10. One, their gigantic ego won’t allow it and two, they would struggle to qualify for any bowl game and they are least smart enough to realize it even though the fan base doesn’t.

    Besides, we get a team that is a much better fit in Nebraska.

    1. Hey Sweatfest Big 10,

      Conferences are like jury duty….they are all sheep forced to jump off a cliff.

      Especially when the cute power play farted in your face….now your cryptic agenda is public, go ahead be our guest and live with BUSH LEAGUE revenue from Nebraska, LOL. I’m sure the Big Ten is in it just for scoring TD’s LOL and a better team LOL. Change your handle to NAT-BRAIN WITHOUT A CALCULATOR…..DUH.

  19. i dont care how long a drought is, i feel that notre dame will come out of it soon. in fact they could have already done that if they would have chosen a coach that could handle both sides of the ball, and not just the offense. weis, was a great offensive coach, yet lacked the skills to control the deffensive side. and thats what truly hurt the irish these last 5 years. quin and company, had what it takes to win, yet the deffense could never hold off the other team, and thats what done the irish in. what kelly brings is just that, a coach that knows both sides, and surrounds himself with coaches who he trusts, and knows. he has that fire and grit, of a holts and or rockne, which gives me hope on what he can bring the irish. i feel though, that the schedule is the one thing that will keep the irish out of a championship run this year. there hardest teams to play, are there first 6 games.. and USC is there last game.. but with the sanctions against the USC, really hurts the irish’s chances at a possible champ bowl.. but i feel they will earn a bcs this year easily.
    the one thing in the irishs favor, is own knowns. on offense and deffense. kelly brings in a dark horse, that will have all teams scratching there heads, wondering what they will be instore for.. and that is why i think the irish will stun the college scene this year..

    1. First, this article is awesome. I’ve lived in and around campus for 14 of the last 19 years, and three things remain true:
      1) Haugh sucks as a sports writer;
      2) ND won the 1993 title but Free Shoes were given it (first tie-breaker in all sports when teams have the same record is head-to-head); and
      3) ND football is the gold standard, pun intended, when it comes to results in the classroom and on-the-field.
      PS michael, turn off the computer,
      you have some reading to do to prepare for first grade this fall., i.e. “own knowns” should be read “unknowns”

      1. hey android, it was a typo.. when you start writing something when your tired it happens.. and i agree with the 1993 title.. i am suprised that kevin didnt go pro after that year..

  20. Notre Dame is about being a small school that will play anyone. I believe that this decade of loosing will end. The one thing I am proud of being a fan of this school are guys like Joey Getherall who go back to their community as a graduate of this great University and help. There is a great article about him in the Blue and Gold. 95% of college players don’t play in the NFL and those that graduate from this University gain more than football, they get an education and are part of the ND family. That is what makes ND great not wins and losses. They will rise again and become relevant in the college football landscope, but they don’t need to sell their sole as a University to do it.

  21. This is a great topic and has spurred on excellent posts by the faithful. So I’ll add mine.

    Who cares about NFL football? I sure don’t. Who cares about SEC football? I sure don’t. Who cares about the USC dominated PAC ( Whatever)? I sure don’t.


    Because while football is a great game to build character through the need to be both tough and smart, it’s a hollow shell of what made it great over 100 years ago. With very few exceptions, character is no longer built. For every Drew Breese, Tim Brown, or Kurt Warner, there are hundreds of Michael Irvins, Plaxico Buress’s or T.O’s. If all you care about football is wins and losses instead of sportsmanship and character, then I say go gambling and take drugs until you die. And hopefully fast so our society can clean itself up for the coming struggle with Asia.

    ND is still about building character. And that is what makes us more relevant and more needed than ever. This country needs things like, “The Field of Dreams”, “Hoosiers”, “Rudy”, the Miracle on Ice. This country needs Notre Dame football. Because Notre Dame football truly is about more than just winning a kids backyard game.

  22. You all sure spend a lot of time and energy on stuff that doesn’t interest me. ND is polarizing and there are differing opinions on many issues that the bloggers above have zero ability to impact…what else is new? I am an ’89 grad and was at both the Catholics vs Convicts game (31-30 still the best game I have ever experienced) and the Fiesta Bowl, our last National Championship. I am a passionate fan and I spend way too much time on this and other websites looking for news on the Irish. Thanks to Shazamrock for the head’s up on the ESPN article, good read. The most recent article posted on this website is 4 days old and is in my “opinions vary, get over it” category. Since then, QB recruit Bubba Starling has reportedly given a verbal to Nebraska and we have our 10th commit of the year a DE/LB from FL. I’de sure like to find some more info on things like recruiting, summer workouts, installation of the new offensive and defensive schemes, etc is working out. GO IRISH!

  23. Check out today’s story over at ESPN by Pat Forde about ND’s Strength coach Paul Longo. Excellent reading. They provide the “Stat of the Day”….
    42-1. That’s the record of Paul Longo and Brian Kelly goin in to the fourth quarter of games that they had the lead in, during their time together at Central Michigan and Cincinnati.
    Now together at ND, 100% of the players have bought in to Kelly’s and Longo’s approch. Good news. Very good news!

  24. I can’t even lie…I laughed out loud at the Schembechler dig. Well done.

    I live in PA, and am surrounded by brain-dead Penn State fans. It’s painful.

  25. Jack, all I have to say is Go Irish! Mark May is a d-bag and so are all his buddies. Buddy, we will be back in the next couple seasons and all these ND haters that have nothing better to do than read our websites, because THEIR TEAM is irrevelevant, won’t know what to say. Enjoy it you idiot haters cause the Irish will be back soon, then what will you do?
    To the idiot that wants a jumbotron go to Rossade Stadium

  26. I nearly hurled when I read haugh’s article and the series of ND NEEDS Big 10 articles. He used to write in SB and he still had his facts screwed up. Great retort.

  27. I like how someone who doesn’t like the University writes a post on this site. The fact that your are commenting shows how important Notre Dame is to college football. Did anyone talk about the 80’s teams of Ohio State, no because no one gave a shit oustide of Ohio. Did anyone talk about Texas being nothing in the 80’s, NO, because no one gives a shit outside of Texas. If Notre Dame wanted to join any conference they would let them in on draw alone. This program will be great again and I can’t wait to see the douche bags like Mark May and the other ESPN ass hats have to eat shit.

  28. If it was so bad, then why did you waste your time reading it? Last time I checked, this was a site intended for Notre Dame fans, right? The school is about tradition. Thats why we don’t have insignias on the field, or gold painted end zones, or jumbotrons, or names on jerseys (except bowls), or any of that other useless crap. That is what’s wrong in college sports today. Besides, most college football fans know when they see Notre Dame stadium on TV without even needing any of that shit. If you don’t like ND, fine. Just change the channel on your TV when someone is talking about “irrelevant Notre Dame” again, because there are millions of others (largest fan base in college football, but we’re irrelevant…) whom are interested in ND football.

  29. What a ridiculous article.

    You mention Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan? What do they have in common over Notre Dame? All 3 in recent years have at least eneterd November in contention for a national championship something ND hasn’t done in 17 years. all 3 have won BCS bowl games. All 3 have had seasons with fewer then 3 losses something ND hasn’t done in 17 years.

    why live in the past? Meatballs like you who write this stuff need to get into the 21st century. We can’t have an HD jumbotron, we can’t have an ND painted at midfield because of “Tradition”.

    When was our last top ranked class? 1990. We have not even been a top 30 program since 1993 going by results on the field. Not to mention it makes no sense for us to be in the Big east for other sports.

    Fact is we are not even one of the top 2 college programs in the state in football. Butler and St Francis are both more successful.

    lastly yuou remind me of Chicago Bear fans constantly living in the past celebrating a team that won the super bowl 25 years ago.

    1. Wow buddy, wow.

      First, have you ever seen a game in ND stadium? No, I’m dead serious, I honestly don’t understand how anyone who’s ever seen a game in ND stadium could ever want to see a logo or jumbotron involved in sports again. ND should maintain it’s independence if only for that reason, playing the game the way it was meant to be played: two teams in a packed house with zero distractions.

      Second, you almost have some compelling stats. Almost. when you say something like
      “When was our last top ranked class? 1990. We have not
      even been a top 30 program since 1993 going by results
      on the field.”
      You come off as foolish. I mean seriously just for the point of proving you wrong I’m going to go ahead and ask you to see where ND ended the year in ’05 and ’06 “going by results on the field” they won’t be hard to find, they’ll be in the top 20. Not that that’s acceptable, just that you shouldn’t make outrageous claims that clearly aren’t true.

      And third, you might have had something to say, no matter how much I vehemently disagree with it. But you make it brutally obvious you’re not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination if you’re going to have the audacity to even think of mentioning Butler and St. Francis as being in the same league (or in your case, greater) than ND football.

      lastly yuou remind me of Philadelphia Phillies fans (sorry frankie) genuinely proud of the atrocious behavior of your fans at the games doing things like intentionally puking on children and storming the field. Somehow you seem to think that by disgracing all that your city and teams represent you’re contributing.

      1. As a Philadelphia native, I can assure you that nobody is “proud” of the jackasses that feed the national media-spawned negative image of Philly sports fans.

        I hate morons like you that buy into that garbage. What you get in Philly is no different than what you get in any other sports city that cares about their teams. The difference is, ESPN doesn’t tell you about it when that sort of nonsense happens in other places.

        We hate idiots like that puking retard just as much as everybody else.

      2. Calm down Kyle. That’s not why you hate me.

        You hate me because I’m a cowboys fan and I LOVE taking shots at philly. I know, I know, you guys give lots of material. And the media does love covering it. But hey, maybe if you guys didn’t have so many crappy fans, and people in general, in your city you’d see the bad rap fade over time.

      3. As a life long Chicago Black Hawks fan, I was fearful of winning the Stanley Cup on Philly Ice.
        While there were a few boo-birds (not unexpected) I was pleasently surprised by the Fans in Philly.
        They didn’t throw trash on the ice. They didn’t get rude or disrespectful. Their fans stayed and watched the Cup presentation. And most gave the Hawks a round of applause.
        Yes, they lost a hard fought series, but they didn’t use that as an excuse to burn, pillage and loot.
        I give them credit! They behaved a hell of a lot better than our neighbors to the north!

    2. Bohart, you are projectile vomiting disinformation on this one, buddy. Thank you for citing the records “in recent years” of OSU, UM and PSU. I notice you conveniently left out the fact Michigan and Penn State have averaged the exact same 8-5 record in the 21st century or that PSU compiled a 26-33 record from 2000-2004.

      And our last #1 ranked class was 1995, not 1990. Since 2006 we’ve had three Top 10 classes and our 2008 class was ranked #2 in the country–a three-year haul better than OSU, UM or PSU.

      Phew! Glad you brought Div II and NAIA teams into the discussion. For a second there I was worried you were going to hold on to at least a shred of dignity.

      Please, find another team. Your lack of loyalty or insight is embarrassing.

      1. Now THAT is the McSweeney that I am used to reading. Also, thanks for wiping off last year’s schedule and scores off the top of the page.

  30. Great Post McSweeney,

    I like your firebrand, how about the same on USC? I would like to hear your point of view on them.

  31. This whole deal of its been 20 years since so you are irrelevant is such bs, I live in Pittsburgh and they said that about the steelers until 2006, Duke b-ball was about to be labelled as such, and Bama was certainly lost in the wilderness for a while. And do we really think that Miami will never be heard from again, God I hope Kelley can deliver us from that nonsense soon.

  32. Ewwwww Weeeee… McSweeny dropped that heat with that post! Shit man, I’m all fired up and ready punk slap some talking heads! Haahaa, well researched and well written McSweeny!

  33. also…haters read our websites and comment on our blogs…irrelevence? I don’t look at websites for Wake Forest or Idaho and dont get fired up about them either. The idiots cannot figure out that recent mediocracy and irrelevence is not the same thing. Living in Indianapolis I get Purdue fans saying how we suck, the thing is if they had had our last decade it would have been a golden age for them and for many programs.
    Go Irish!

    1. I personally know 4 Purdue grads. They are pretty mediocre in their jobs. They have more of a chip on their shoulder than Michigan grads. I guess being one of the two headed step children inside the Big 10 makes you that way.

      Notre Dame is a D-3 school with D-1 great athletics. What I mean by that is that most attendees of D-1 schools care more about the football or basketball team than what they are actually there for, which is to earn a degree and be a contributing member of society. Most grads from D-3 schools love their sports too, but don’t carry a grudge with them if say Lehigh beat Lafayette ( slip in Williams/Amherst, Depaw/Wabash, or your own D-3 rivalry) in the last year’s football game. Those rivalries are carried on by intelligent folks. But it seems Big 10 grads can’t get over it. And unfortunately too many SEC grads don’t seem to get professional jobs. So for them the D-1 sports thing is the reason to pay the tuition.

      You go to ND to get one of the best educations in the country. You become an ND sports fan while at ND so Indiana winters don’t drive you crazy. And because like the Greeks, you know that Sports and Academics round out the individual. And let’s throw in Faith and Service too.

  34. And the quote this guy said about a conference giving ND an identity….National Titles/Heroic comebacks/Heisman winners/Hall of Famers/All Americans/4 Hoursemen/The Gipper/NBC/TD Jesus/Golden Dome/Fight Song/Games of the Century/national fanbase
    Who are we? What is our identity?
    WE ARE ND!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. I have to second a comment I read about our troubles coming from idiotic hires rather than independence. Seriously, Davie-first head coaching job, Ty-runner up prize after O’Liar fiasco, Weis-first head coaching job-
    Let’s see where Kelly takes us after a few seasons-he is a tried and accomplished coach.
    The Irish will be back soon!
    Go Irish!

  36. Seriously, though, how stupid and uninformed do you need to be to get a job as an “opinion”sports writer? I think that the guys who write more on the facts–as opposed to writing columns–probably know their stuff. But if I (a) was an idiot, (b) was an awful writer, (c) liked to write in two-sentence paragraphs, (d) was an idiot, or (e) was all of the above, I could do Haugh’s job. Maybe they write down to the average person’s grade-level, which I’m sure is below college-level. That’s no excuse, though, because you can write simply and intelligently at the same time. It’s our fault for reading and paying attention to this drivel, I guess.

    1. Haugh is actually a pretty good writer. However, i do remember reading countless articles of his while he was with the SBT that made me think, why are you even here? If you hate ND and the Bend so much please leave! Finally he did, but Chicago isn’t far enough away…even though i live in California now!

  37. I agree with everything except the six national championships in football since 1966!

    Lot of us count 1990 and 1993, but not enough people do to claim them!


  38. Everyone has their own idealistic beliefs, and I respect that of the traditionalist. You may (based off of your other posts) beg to differ and belittle me. I mean argue your points with the keen point of view of a dictator. I mean… Oh well I give up. You say in regards to a conference championship that “…it is a small goal. It is a small achievement.” Based off of that argument, how many times in the last 22 years would you say that ND could have won the Big Ten? Hmmm? 4 or 5? maybe? Based off of final AP rankings since 1988, ND has finished higher than all other Big Ten schools 5 times. The last time being in 1993.

    You continue to drive the point that the “Big Ten can claim a whole 2-1/2 national championships since 1961.” How many national championship games has there been a Big Ten team playing in since 1961? Notre Dame? I think you may be able to strengthen your argument by including that little gem.

    Being a lifelong ND fan I really do understand the want to stay independent. I believe ND can stay independent no matter what happens on the football landscape. What is really at stake is relevance. ND hasn’t lost that yet. But if they can’t win a National Championship and soon (within ~5-7 years), I think they might just be in trouble. I was young when ND won their last national championship and they were a strong football team throughout most of my childhood. ND was a big deal growing up. Now I would almost argue they are becoming irrelevant among young people. ND needs to inspire another generation to save themselves from eventual irrelevance.

    I am not sure ND can get back to the days of old that many cling to. Many things have changed since 1988. There are reduced numbers of scholarships, so no more hording talent. ESPN and other sports networks televise just about every division 1 game so there is a little less incentive for a recruit to come to ND. Feel free to correct me on this point if you can, but I believe I recall reading somewhere that Rice and Zorich wouldn’t even be admitted at ND today. As I recall it was because ND was beginning to get an image of a football factory so the decision was made to tighten back up the academic standards for athletes. This was about the time that Holtz’s recruiting coordinator, Vinny Cerrato, left to become an NFL scout and AD Mike Wadsworth came in.

    In the current environment with all of the stars aligning I think ND will be lucky to be in the discussion of a national championship once every 5 years. Something needs to change.

    1. It’s hard to go back and quantify how many NC games the Big Ten has played in, as pre-BCS the bowl conference tie-ins precluded a de facto championship game. The fairest barometer I suppose would be to look who finished second in the polls. Since ’61 the Big Ten has won 2-1/2 consensus titles and finished second an additional 8 times. Notre Dame has been the NC runner-up three times in that same period. To review, a Big Ten team has finished the season first or second in the country 10-1/2 times since ’61, and Notre Dame by itself has finished first or second seven times. Advantage: still Notre Dame.

      Winning cures everything. ND’s problems have nothing to do with its independence and everything to do with a string of abysmal personnel hires, both administrative and coaching-wise.

  39. Make sure to remind this ‘hole about his comment regarding conference championships if and when the Irish ever win the Big East in basketball. By the way, why do the Irish bother playing in a conference for all their other sports?

  40. I am trying to understand how 2-3 losses in an 8 conference game schedule gets you in to a conference championship. Of course if the assumption is that all the loses are out of conference losses and they you run the table in conference I guess you could still be playing for a conference championship.

    In the next few years when Texas leaves the Big 12 and becomes an independent, and Florida decides to do the same and maybe even USC, then we will see how many think Notre Dame’s decision to stay as an independent was brilliant.

    1. The only and I mean ONLY way I see that happening is if ND pioneers some sort of Semi-conference.

      Basically it’d be a conference for ever sport that’s name Doesn’t begin with ‘F’ and end with ‘ootball’. That way Schools like UT, ND, USC, FU, Miami and others could qualify for championships where conference affiliations are necessary to earn a championship bid.

      The only Football Championship crowned from this conference would be the National championship, hell you could call it the National Conference.

      That said, I think this is highly unlikely.

  41. Frank – Outstanding! Thanks for the research and hard facts. 11 weeks until the new order is in place.

  42. What has it been now, 22 years or so since ND did anything other than produce some of the most mediocre football teams of all time. You might as well face it, ND is irrelevant!

    1. dumbdick,

      The Big Ten, Big 12, and Big East don’t seem to thing so.
      ND is on top of just about everyone’s wish list these days. Can’t read an artical about conference exspantion without ND being a major factor.
      I can’t explaint, but you might as well just face it!

    2. I provide multiple salient posts to disprove ND’s irrelevance, and your response is, “You might as well face it, ND is irrelevant.”

      So, your retort boils down to the ever-insightful “Just Cuz Theory”?


  43. Frankie,

    Outstanding post, seems like the Big Ten lackies are red faced since their cute power play back fired…..thanks to Texas. As I stated on my other post, now is the time for innovative thinking by ND along with developing some new alliances to insure the future of ND’s independence. Totally achievable “thinking outside the box”.

    1. JC,

      YOU GO JC! I’m 100% behind you.
      “Innovative thinking, totally achievable, thinking outside the box.”
      It’s all true because ND has allways beed a LEADER!
      ND has helped fordge the future of college football since it’s conception.
      And I believe they will continue to so now.

  44. Seriously dude… if only we all could still be angry about shit that happened in the 1900’s when we weren’t even alive… Seriously… it is bad enough that Butler has surpassed ND in Basketball, but their 11-1 record (in D1-AA) is more appealing than watching another overrated and awful ND football team.

    1. Thanks for taking a small kernel of my story and over-emphasizing it to obscure the fact you don’t have a leg to stand on in this debate. You’re right: who gives a shit about the 1900s? I’m more concerned the Big Ten as a conference hasn’t managed more than 2-1/2 national championships in football in the last half-century. I’m more concerned with the stupidity level of people who feel it’s relevant to interject into the conversation a broke-ass I-AA football team with three winning seasons in the last 15 years. (And I say that as a Butler fan.)

      Please, step away from the keyboard before you hurt yourself.

  45. I noticed this posted on the article today:

    Noter DAme is good at football and do not need the Big 10 (12 whatever). The Irish have Kelley now and will beat Micigan and the other big 10 loosers. ND is best and big 10 is no good. Go irish!!!


    McSweeney_UHND (06/17/2010, 8:11 AM )

    So this wasn’t you right? Or you were just checking to see if they would post something that makes you look like a dumb irish fan rather than the original post you sent that I noticed is still not up.

    1. “Kelley”? “loosers”? “ND is best and big 10 is no good”? That poster is obviously not me. Hell, that poster might not even be human. Sounds like a gibbon with typing skills.

      1. Apparently you have an internet stalker.

        I was reading it and I was thinking to myself, there is no way McSweeney wrote this.

        But I had to ask.

  46. “As for the Notre Dame brand’s #1 overall ranking in terms of value”?? per Forbes 12/2009, “We put the capitalized value of the Longhorns at $119 million, $11 million more than second-ranked University of Notre Dame.”

    1. Oh yeah, Dewy, Cheatem and Howe accounting firm by Forbes……………sure moron. “We put” should have been your first clue, clueless.

    2. I see math isn’t your strong suit, whatsamataU. $119M divided by the UT’s 38,168 undergraduates equals yields an assessed dollar-value-per-student of about $3,100. ND’s $108M divided by its 8,371 undergrads yields an assessed dollar-value-per-student of $12,900.

      1. oh, i love it when someone puts a math lesson on… nice mcsweeney

  47. Yay though I say unto thee that it was that Mr. Haugh went upon the tribune and spouted heresy and untruth. And McSweeney came forth and with the sword of truth broughteth the smacketh down upon the uninformed ass of Mr. Haugh. And so it was that independence was acknowledged and celebrated by all upon whom the almighty bestowed the intellect of atleast a chimpanzee. Whilst those with lesser intelligence scurried back to the darkness of Ann Arbor. Thus it was, thus it is and thus it shall be. Amen.

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