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At Notre Dame, the Legacy Lives On

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Student fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish wave towels before a kick-off against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 34-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Colin MehiganCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

The importance of Notre Dame to the world of college football cannot be overstated.

On the day Charlie Weis got fired, ESPN's College Football Live dedicated its entire 30-minute schedule to the Weis dismissal. Taking into consideration that Notre Dame is a 6-6 football team and has not won the national championship for over 20 years, this was extraordinary.

I visited Notre Dame in 2005 during Weis' first season in charge and witnessed a comfortable victory over Syracuse. The South Bend campus is a special place. The university grounds are beautifully landscaped and the atmosphere generated by the adoring faithful was awe inspiring. Over the years I have seen in person 14 NFL games and two other college games, but my excursion to Notre Dame left an everlasting personal legacy.

A strong Notre Dame team is good for college football. It undoubtedly delights TV companies and executives alike, and the overall interest in the sport is amplified when the Irish challenge for national championships.

Notwithstanding the fact that, according to the Sagrin Power Ratings, Notre Dame currently languishes as the 48th best team in the country, the Fighting Irish are the single-most important team and single-most important news story in the sport of college football.

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