For a team that has exactly one national championship in the past thirty football seasons, Notre Dame and Company certainly have an inflated opinion of their football program. In fact, the notion that the rightful place for Notre Dame is among the elite of college football each year is, at best, outdated, and more aptly, lamentable.
Coach Charlie Weis was rewarded with a 10 year contract midway through his first season on the way to a 9-3 record and a Fiesta Bowl appearance. Visions of Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz danced in the heads of Golden Dome decision makers.
Now those same individuals are ready to pull the plug on a coach whose results have left the Irish Nation seeing the Ghosts of Coaches past, namely Gerry Faust and Bob Davie.
So what should Notre Dame do? Well, it is really quite simple. The Fighting Irish need to take advantage of whatever minor bowl game they get as a "reward" for a 6-6 season to end a bowl losing streak dating back 15 years.
Then, the Domers need to accept that these types of bowls are more than likely what their future holds. No other independent 6-6 team would even garner consideration for a bowl game in most circumstances.
All of the millions in NBC's bank account will not erase the fact that the Irish are surrounded by schools with more captivating offensive styles designed to attract the nation's top high school talent. Ohio State, Michigan, and Illinois, are just a handful of the programs which look more attractive to the typical recruit.
Lowering expectations is difficult for a program with 11 consensus national championships, but those were in a different college football universe. Paying Charlie Weis north of $15 million to exit stage right will not erase that fact.
Let's hear it for the 2008 Texas Bowl Champions, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish! Next year, it's PapaJohns.com Bowl or bust.