Boy, have the times changed! Being manhandled by the Fighting Irish was something that was expected by many a team, but no more. Now it means that your football program is in shambles.
Notre Dame has been embarrassed so many times over the last few years that the once-perennial power is seen as a bottom dweller, a gimmie win.
That is a long cry from the program that won four out of five national championships in the 1940s—but that was 60 years ago. Not since before Rockne has the program been in this state of disarray.
Again the Irish have added to their history. A former coach who lost his position at South Bend for a team that was doing slightly better than the one now lost his position for losing to the Irish. It was the icing on the cake. Some cake.
The last notable game the Irish had been against the Trojans a few years ago. It may just take a win over SC to start to change the perception of” That Little School from the East.” It took wins over dominant Army teams in Rockne’s days to build the reputation of the Irish to begin with. Army was a dominant power then.
So are the Irish up to the task, or for that matter, will they ever be again? The experts will tell you no. A win over USC for the Irish would rock the college world and would be a good start for the Irish. USC has been had before—see the Stanford game of ’07.
This year’s game is shaping out to be a blip on the radar, but oh, what headlines an Irish win would generate. The motivation is there for the Notre Dame team—do they have enough moxie to pull it off?