If you are an Irish fan you have to be irate at the articles and blog posts out there regarding Notre Dame's inability to recruit and bring in a big time coach.
I really would love the opportunity to talk to some of the folks out there that say not joining a conference is a mistake for the University.
I would love the opportunity to talk to folks out there that claim Notre Dame cannot recruit top players from around the nation due to academic standards and the landscape in South Bend.
Well, I will take advantage of this opportunity to educate some of you on just how relevant Notre Dame is and what the Irish will be able to achieve when the right pieces of the puzzle are put in to place.
First of all lets get into recruiting.
Even after the announcement that Charlie Weis had been fired the university has had a verbal commit from a four—star recruit in Louis Nix from Florida. This must really irritate all of you Florida fans that assume that if they play in your backyard they are automatically going to sign with one of your schools. In fact, of the 18 verbal commits Notre Dame has received, four, are from Florida. Within this group of verbal commits there is only two from Indiana, the rest come from a number of places across the nation, including, Ohio, California, North Carolina, Georgia. Illinois, Texas, New Jersey and Utah.
It is not a lack of recruiting abilities that has hampered Notre Dame over the past eight years just a lack of leadership. You cannot tell me that Notre Dame's offense has been inept or lacked an ability to make plays. However, the defense has been in dire straits for quite some time.
Notre Dame had no problem winning a national championship in 1988. The schedule was an extremely tough one and Lou "The Saint" Holtz had no problem defeating his foes with a team that will remain as one of the greatest in college football history. Holtz led his team to victories over #9 Michigan, #1 Miami (Catholics vs. Convicts), #2 USC and #3 West Virginia. Oh, and I forgot to mention they also played Purdue, Stanford, Pitt and Penn State. With a defense that included All—Americans such as Frank Stams, Michael Stonebreaker, Chris Zorich and Ricky Watters ND couldn't be stopped. Notre Dame had 28 players from the NC team that were drafted into the NFL!
Apparently to many people across the college football landscape, Notre Dame will not be able to return to glory without joining a major conference. This I say is a load of malarkey!
Why is acceptable to any college football fan, regardless of your loyalties that even if you have a .500 or below win percentage and you win your conference you are going to play in a BCS game? Notre Dame is not offered those same luxuries. The Irish have to go out and win against a number of middle—of—the—road programs and big time programs each and every week and prove themselves capable to play in a BCS game. Every team that Notre Dame plays, plays like it is a bowl game. I guess Randy Edsall, head coach at the University of Connecticut, saying this was the biggest win in the history of his football team means nothing.
I honestly feel that the biggest travesty in the history of college football was the inception of the Bowl Championship Series. It is meaningless to any fan of the game that honestly cares about the best team being crowned National Champion. How is it that the Florida Gators, who got beat,is crowned national champion over an undefeated Utah team? It is complete bull! Tell me why Boise State didn't have an opportunity.
If you want real change in college football these kinds of shortcoming of the current system have got to change. So with that being said, why should Notre Dame join a conference? Is it so they can end up like Utah or Boise State?
They need to remain independent and do what they have been doing for years. Continue to schedule Michigan, Michigan State, USC and the likes. Continue to bring in top tier recruits regardless of academic standards and bring in a coach that will effectively mold that talent into the type of players that Notre Dame needs.
Is it okay for Notre Dame to lower it's academic standards to get the players that we supposedly can't get? I guess it's okay for programs such as Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Georgia to accept individuals into their program that have issues and can't get a firm hold on being given the keys to success. That is where Notre Dame sets itself apart from the rest of the pack. Student athletes that make a decision to attend the University of Notre Dame are looking for something more than ball room dancing or underwater basket weaving. They are looking for a higher education, a great college experience, a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in America and an opportunity to become part of the tradition that is Notre Dame Football.
Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick need to stay the course and continue to have high expectations for all that attend the University of Notre Dame. Hold your heads high, because those of us that are true fans and loyal to the University expect nothing less.