In reply to: Last 25 years of ND Program FEI data graphed. posted by G.K.Chesterton
isn't "When will ND football be great again"? but instead is "Will ND football ever be great again"?
If the standard is Lou/Ara I think it's highly possible. We're a year away from the title game. It's certainly within reach.
The environment that Leahy and Rockne operated in will not return.
What if ND will never return to sustained greatness in football, even though it may have an occasional great season? What if ND's management decides that from now on, football's primary function will be to provide visibility and money to fund great educational programs, develop leaders and carry out Catholic values, especially in places of extreme poverty? If you knew in advance that this would be the purpose of football at ND going forward, not sustained excellence on the football field, would you still love ND football?
There are two questions here. First, even if Notre Dame was never able to return to sustained greatness, as long as it was clear that the administration was dedicated to greatness, I would continue to cheer and support the team.
Notre Dame wasn't built on the premise that we should desire to achieve mediocrity. I went to Notre Dame because of it's insistence on excellence in everything that we do every day in our life. Rarely does anyone even come close to that ideal, but that should always be what we strive for. If I knew for certainty this whole football thing was a money-making charade and the admin truly didn't WANT to succeed or take steps necessary to do so within our values, then I would disassociate myself from the University.
(and it's hard to imagine a scenario where I could have such definitive knowledge, now that Monk is gone), I would "still love ND football" in the sense that I'd root for ND against all others, but my emotional investment in the football program would end. I'd rarely bother to watch the games on TV and would be even less likely to attend the games in person. Such knowledge would keep me permanently away from the Coliseum when ND visits, as I'd have zero desire to watch us get our brains beaten out by a team that's always committed to sustained greatness (albeit traditionally cheating at will to obtain it).
Bring up Alabama's chart and you see nearly 20 years of middling performance that was worse than ND's over that same time period based on the FEI data.
Despite having three horrible head coaches and only two ten win seasons from '1993-2011, ND has been able to recruit as well as anybody over the years. In 2012, Kelly demonstrated that it was possible for ND to play at a high level once again. Who knows if he is the coach but I think it's clearer today than it was say five years ago that there isn't anything structurally holding ND back from being one of the top teams in college football.
First, at least before Alabama hired Nick Saban in January 2007, it would have been very reasonable to ask "Will Alabama football ever be great again?" rather than "When will Alabama football be great again?" -- even though, at that time, Alabama was only half as far removed from their most recent NC as we are now.
Second, even when they were down (and it was not for as long as ND), Alabama evinced a higher institutional commitment to a winning football program, more competence, and almost infinitely less internal embarrassment about having a winning football program than ND has.
Most of the talent is now down south.
They take 2-3 JCs a year who play significant roles.
They take more players.
They can let in more players.
If ND hired Saban and kept all things equal, I doubt ND would win 3 titles in 4 years.
commitment to win..." Is that Southern for "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin' " ?
I definitely agree that there is a distinct difference in the way Notre Dame and Alabama go about the business of intercollegiate athletics. For that, I am grateful.
I agree that there is a question as to whether or not we can be great again. I think the answer is yes but also think we have a very thin margin of error to accomplish that goal and we're obviously not there yet.
and "institutional" would have fewer than five syllables.
Anyone who's read my posts for as long as you have knows I'm not suggesting ND replicate the Alabama philosophy. (You weren't expecting me to use "Alabama" and "philosophy" in the same sentence, were you?) The approach we had in the days of Hesburgh, Joyce, Krause and Corrigan was sufficient far more often than not. Malloy, Beauchamp, Wadsworth and White got us very far away from that, and I'm not "grateful" for that in the least. We've slowly improved in the Jenkins-Swarbrick era, but we're not nearly as close to being "back" as we should be by now.