Notre Dame's 4-5 Record, Declan Sullivan Tragedy Take Toll on School Atmosphere

Collin O'Connor@@BarkofhinklehhrCorrespondent INovember 1, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 30: A player for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish wears a decal on his helmut honoring Declan Sullivan, a student who was killed while videotaping a Notre Dame practice in high winds this past week, before a game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Notre Dame Stadium on October 30, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On a normal Saturday before a game, the campus of Notre Dame is buzzing with excitement. As the band plays, the tailgaters are out having a good time.

However, this weekend as I walked around campus, I couldn't help but notice that the mood seemed to be much more subdued.

Obviously, the tragedy with Declan Sullivan heavily impacted the atmosphere. The moment of silence was solemn, as it should be.

Leading up to the game, though, walking through the bookstore and to Touchdown Jesus, nothing seemed as crowded or loud as normal.

The fact that it was a game against Tulsa probably had an impact, but I've been to games against Syracuse, Western Michigan and teams like that where everyone was as excited as if the Irish were going up against USC that day.

A then 4-4 record didn't help either. Getting killed by Navy is something that's almost never happened to Notre Dame ever.

Navy just came right out and dominated the Irish from the first kickoff to the last. That should never happen.

While I realize it's a rebuilding season and the Irish have plenty of injuries to deal with, a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits should never lose to a military academy team. I could sit here and make excuses about the triple option, but the offense was inconsistent, and the defense still should have been able to stop Navy from scoring as much as they did.

So, yes, this is just my rant that makes me feel better as I write, but it has meaning. I know I'm not the only Notre Dame fan who feels this way.

Right now, nothing is going right. The Tulsa game never should have been close, but even then they should have come home with a win. With a freshman quarterback, why should Brian Kelly try to make that play?

Nothing seems to make sense right now, but stuff better start shaping up soon.

A lot of fans had very high expectations for Kelly coming into the season, but it hasn't been a very successful one. Questionable play calling and a lot of bad luck have made this season a very forgettable campaign.

One can only hope that Coach Kelly can get things back on track soon. Irish fans can't wait much longer.