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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Norte Dame Golden Days Seem Like A Long Time Ago

Though only his first season, Kelly is not winning.
MassMedia/CreativeCommons
Though only his first season, Kelly is not winning.

There was a time in America where college football could be summarized in two phrases: Notre Dame and Touchdown Jesus. Sadly, since the 2006 season, the program has been going through a harsh dry spell. Notre Dame’s best record since a 41-14 beat down by LSU has been just 7-6. The 2007 season was an all time low for the Irish, compil- ing a dismal 3-9 record. While the team has shown some bright spots including a huge win in the 2008 Hawaii Bowl and two epic game against Michigan that last two years, the negatives far out weigh the pos- itives. Last year things looked to be going excellent for the Irish, who sported a nifty 6-2 record through their first eight games. Then on November 7th, everything seemed to turn when they suffered a 23- 21 loss at home to rival Navy. The Irish did not win a game after that loss finishing at .500. Notre Dame made headlines in the college foot- ball world at the end of the season when they declined a bowl invita- tion and fired head coach Charlie Weiss. Declining a bowl was more due to an embarrassing end of the season than anything. Weiss was al- ready on the hot seat when the sea- son started, thus him getting fired was not a huge surprise. There was a silver lining to the 2009 season for the Irish however. The fact that they played every team close de- spite a .500 record is rather impres- sive. Even more impressive is none of their losses were by more than a touchdown. They even came with- in a touchdown of top ten-ranked USC and Pittsburgh. It is however, uncharacteristic to be heaping praise on Notre Dame for playing a team close. After all, we are talk- ing about a team that is possibly the most storied university and team in all of college sports. With 837 wins, 11 national titles, and seven Heis- man winners, the Irish are certainly a very prodigious school. All of the above figures are records for private colleges and universities. It is very unfortunate how the program has struggled in recent years. The struggles have not been limited to the field either. Recruit- ing is down and the hype around the team has greatly declined. There was even talk over the sum- mer about the Irish joining a con- ference, which is completely un- heard of for the program. The Irish have always been independent and proudly refused offers to join a conference; although other sports compete in the big east. As the team gets worse and they continue to re- ject offers to join conferences, more fans and alumni are beginning to view the program as arrogant, pathetic, and uninspired. Perhaps it is time for the Irish to consider taking a step back and assessing their situ-ation. Not many coaches in college football are like Brian Kelly. At his introductory press conference last year, Kelly said “there’s a normal coaching job in football and then there’s the job as head coach of Notre Dame. This is a dream job for me.” One must wonder how many coaches and alumni out there share Kelly’s view. The program has not produced a Heisman trophy win- ner since 1987 (Tim Brown) and has not won a national champion- ship since 1988. The school has lost its luster.