For decades, Notre Dame has been the darling of mainstream “Catholic” football fans nationwide; which has repeatedly earned them the title of America’s college football team.
The problem with that designation is that they have not been relevant since the 1980’s.
Each year, we as college football fans are forced to witness the agonizing effort of a team struggling to compete in their ubiquitous televised games. Each year, we wonder if this is the moment that NBC finally comes to their senses and realizes that these games are pitiful. Much to our dismay, NBC never seems to get the point!
The reality is that Notre Dame Football is only relevant nowadays because NBC will not seem to give up on their massive television contract with the school. For this fiasco to have continued for so long, it is obvious that the ratings and advertising revenue for the network is much more important than actually broadcasting an exciting and competitive college football game.
Many years ago, other schools that were previous “big time” college independents were well ahead of the curve. Schools such as Penn State, West Virginia, Florida State, and Miami realized that the independent was a dinosaur that could no longer compete for a national championship without joining a major conference.
Unfortunately, Notre Dame has chosen to remain an independent for the sake of collecting millions from NBC annually. This deal with the devil will inevitably keep them in the cellar of college football for years to come.
Without a major conference, it is difficult for a school to obtain a competent BCS ranking that would enable them to be in contention for a BCS bowl game. Conferences such as the Big 12, Big 10, ACC, and SEC supplies an automatic power ranking to a team within the conference prior to a game ever being played in the regular season. Also, the constant intra-season battles between schools associated with the conference enhances the power rankings as well.
The problem that Notre Dame faces continually is that they have no association with a power conference. The games they schedule are usually scheduled a few years in advance and if the opponents are lousy that particular year, then Notre Dame will suffer on strength of schedule. To compound the problem, they continue to lose to inferior teams on the schedule as well as the good teams.
Unfortunately, this will be as good as it gets for Notre Dame until they finally eliminate their arrogance and realize that they have fallen from grace and can’t get up!
Until then, Notre Dame Fans will continue to cheer for their green and gold and television ratings will no doubt continue to be lucrative enough to maintain that farce of a contract with NBC.
When they finally come to their senses, maybe then, will they join a major conference and compete for a national championship.
In the meantime, Notre Dame Fans can continue to rejoice in the lone satisfaction of: “At least we are on television every week!”
We all have NBC to thank for that misery!