I haven't posted at all for a very long time, because I have nothing of value to add. I have frustrations, contempt, ennui . . . a variety of things, but how does one express any of that in a way worth asking others to read? Here you have spoken for me, exactly and succinctly. Thank you.
in contempt but the warped values that have taken over and utterly corrupted something we all held as sacred.
The pursuit of institutional status and revenue increases year over year supplanted the pursuit excellence long ago.
I also place the starting point for this historical shift back to the 80s when Monk and crew ascended the throne. While they raised ND's USNWR standing many rungs in less than five years, oversaw the beginning of ND's endowment meteoric rise, they allowed due to benign neglect the total reversal of increased African American student body numbers from 6% to 1% and the steep increase in rich kid matriculation percentages in less than 10 years.
The lack of any substantive internal or external discussion about these shifts and the decreased impact of ND football program revenue streams on ND's fiscal stability tells me that any change going forward that would embrace excellence must rely on an existential threat to their core values of money and status. This goes well beyond empty seats in the stadium.
This would mean inter alia threatening their USNWR ranking and ability to recruit.
Look ... the Swarbrick/Kelly regime isn't all that great. I understand that. So I'm not defending them here. But at some point, ND fans need to wake up and realize that Notre Dame hasn't been where NDNation wants it to be for years (and well before this duo). And it's looking more ans more like we'll never truly "Return to Glory".
From 1981 on (which is probably even before when many on this board were old enough to really watch college football), there have been 36 ND football seasons. ND has finished in the top 10 of the AP 8 times (7 times in the Coaches Poll). We've only had 5 top 5 finishes. I've seen numerous times people on this board complaining about 2 loss seasons not being "great". Well, we have only had 5 seasons of 2 losses or less in that stretch. We've had another 10 3 loss seasons. We've had 18 5+ loss seasons in that stretch! We have finished the season unranked more than ranked in that stretch.
I don't have the time to do the research, but I'd love to know where we fall on top 10/10 win seasons/<=3 loss seasons/seasons finished ranked over this long, 36 year span. I'm guessing it's not that high. At some point we need to remember that great Bill Parcells quote and realize "You are what your record says you are".
Given its built-in advantages, it's not that hard for ND to be good under the right leadership.
The relationship analogies fail. You can't save a marriage you've ruined over two decades of neglect and disrespect with a grand gesture or two.
You can save a major sports institution with a few good hires. The Cubs didn't just "not win a World Series" for 107 years. They rarely even threatened over the last 50. They were horrendous. Then they hired the right guy, who hired the right guys. They announced a plan, followed it, caught the breaks you need in sports, and won the World Series. It wasn't impossible. In fact, in their hands, it looked like paint-by-numbers. It was harder than that, but they made it look easy.
All of the errors and incompetence and greed and, now, the outright contempt from Notre Dame Athletics could have been mooted at any one moment with the right hire. Gruden instead of Ty. Urban instead of Weis. Stoops instead of Kelly. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't just bad luck that they failed. The wrong guys were hired as ADs, and they did what the wrong guys do -- they failed. Our current AD is not only bad, he's more secure in his job than any ND AD ever. But he has to go. If he does, ND will get its chance again. Hire the right guy, enable him to hire the right guy, and let them go to work.
There are only so many major college football programs. None of them are beyond failure or redemption.
I understand your point that a good coach can change things quickly. But it's not always that easy to get the right guy. If we grant Urban his free passes on some questionable recruits, maybe we do have Urban over Charlie. But we didn't (and that's one of our disadvantages) ... and while I would have loved a few NCs over that span, maybe it's best that we don't admit the Aaron Hernandezes of the world into our school. And "Stoops instead of Kelly"? C'mon ... we never had a chance with Stoops. He wasn't going to leave OU for ND. It's tiring listening to the "We should just hire Saban" arguments. Yeah, and when I was single, I should have just dated more supermodels.
Instead of wondering how badly Meyer would damage Notre Dame by bringing in players like Hernandez, I tend to think, "I wonder if Aaron Hernandez would be a dead murderer today had he been surrounded by all that Notre Dame offers for four years?"
I think your post is representative of people aiming too low. Sure, it would have been tough/expensive to land Stoops and we would have had to work with Meyer to make sure everything fit into place. Instead, we aimed a little lower and that didn't really work out well, did it?
I still believe Notre Dame to be a unique place for college football. Time and again, when we have hired an elite coach, we have been champions. When we have not hired an elite coach, we have fallen short. Based on that, we should be doing everything we can to hire an elite coach. Instead, we have aimed just a little lower, and consistently hired a coach with at least one glaring weakness.
Or to follow your analogy: here's the thing about supermodels - if you don't at least ask one out, you're never really going to know if you could date one. We're a well-tanned, rich, 45-year old on a yacht. Why are we hitting on chicks at TGI Friday's?
Acquiescing to failure is such... bullshit. Maybe when you were single you should've dated more supermodels. You might understand what it's like to actually swing for the fences.
Your post also lets me brag - my current girlfriend is a model. I got her number the night I met her and less than a week later we were out getting drinks together. Boo fucking hoo if she turned me down.
Grow some fucking balls. Notre Dame can and should do better than this endless string of shit hires. Maybe if the administration stops looking at itself the way you do the football program will stop being a national embarrassment.
Urban would not have had carte blanche to recruit whatever players he wanted, so it's unlikely that he would have had the same issues he had at Florida.
Second, we have had more than our fair share of academic and behavioral issues with the players that Kelly has recruited or coached, so it's not as if we have the high-ground on this issue.
Surely you jest.
No competent athletic director could sell a coach on a school that has a big enough national name to draw more talent than he recruited despite far inferior results than what he has achieved at his current school. No chance.
why didn't he take the job?
They're the kind of people who think what's holding us back is field turf and jumbotrons and uniforms. Have you listened to Swarbrick over the past year? Do you really think he is capable of selling the program? I'm sure telling Stoops that he has a ceiling in recruiting at ND is the good approach to explain to him that they actually recruit better at ND with a crap coach than he did at OU.
What would a coach, especially of his caliber and CFB intellect, not know if he was allegedly in discussion?
People are unlikely to make a significant change from a position that is still comparatively pretty good to go work for someone who is less enthusiastic about the possibilities of the job than they are. Not to mention, Stoops likely isn't pouring over comparative team recruiting rankings. And he's likely reinforced the disadvantages of ND in his own recruitment of players and is quick to recognize those. Likely out of proportion to reality.
This is my favorite
Jvan if you want to fix your board you can start with posters who want to short hand bully anyone that might acknowledge that Cfb and notre dames place within it may have changed in the past 30 years
Or we can just get that post another 400 times
Again. It's your board run it how you want.
believe it or not.
ND does a lot of things right. In fact, as far as the really important things go, the narrow mission of the school, which is undergraduate, values-based education, it is undeniably a world class school, probably second to none and that's certainly something I would hold dear as a father of three current students. It's for these reasons I was so proud when my nephew was admitted this spring.
But I think it's fair to separate those things it does well from those things it undeniably does not. There's nothing incompatible with having football success at Notre Dame with its larger mission described above. So the inquiry becomes why and how we get here. I submit it's the people we have placed in AD and HC positions, and why. We had all sorts of forks in the road - Lynch, Orsini, Saban, Gruden, Stoops, others. It was no accident we chose the wrong fork at every turn, and/or could not persuade better candidates to come to ND.
You know very well that despite its qualities, ND has its defects and dysfunction and insecurities that job or it in the football realm. That doesn't invalidate the institution at large or your progeny's hard work and achievements.
In sum, you know Swarbrick and Kelly blow goats.
with "football factories".
The ethics/morality/performance in our program are at an all time low.
(Yay, let's sign up for more of that...)
Couple that with keystone cops on field performance and it's a disaster.
We look anything, but intelligent.
How the same people who try to tell me the CFB landscape has changed, but also celebrate how close we were just 5 years ago.
Pick an argument.
Either 2012 wasn't an aberration and with a few tweaks and assistant changes, Kelly can get us back there and actually win the 2 playoff games versus getting pantsed.
Excellence is no longer an option and we need to re-calibrate downward to expect/hope for pretty good.
I don't care which one you choose, but please, pick one and be consistent about it.
This isn't directed at you specifically, but I have a hard time squaring that circle when it comes to the argument that I need to change/re-calibrate my expectations for ND football, but then I'm also told how awesome we were in 2012 and how close we were, which is evidence that we can win under this leadership. I continue to struggle with those disparate thoughts.
First the problem was that the board is being censored. Now it's not being censored enough?
It is thoroughly unsurprising that you are unable to recognize the problem with the canard that Notre Dame can't compete because of the changes in college football. That is the implication those of us with IQs above 90 choose to mock. It's an excuse for the intellectually lazy who have run out of ways to apologize for Kelly/Swarbrick. No one is refusing to acknowledge college football "may have changed in the past 30 years."
a point without being insulting but it appears your only point was to be insulting.
don't worry about their intelligence being insulted.
The idea that there is a force in the universe that just prevents ND from being able to win when Stanford, who has recruited substantially worse than ND over the past seven years (the Kelly era) and has a fraction of the tradition to recruit from compared to ND, has had 6 top 15 finishes, 3 top 10 finishes, and 2 top 5 finishes is insulting. It's a lazy, self-serving attempt to turn failure into praise for ND for being so gosh darned virtuous. It's stupid. It's cowardly. It's Pharisaical. And it deserves to be insulted.
In fact, I've taken a cue or two after you on this board on occasion recently, but I think you're off base here.
The only reason Notre Dame's place has changed since 1993 is because we've had four consecutive mediocre-to-bad coaches and two consecutive sub-par athletic directors.
I'll refer to my post below and say that the context in which we operate isn't all that materially different than it was 20+ years ago, and it, in fact, is probably better in many dimensions. That we've pulled in a #1 and #2 (then subsequently upgraded to #1) overall classes over the last decade, even as ridiculed and mocked and humiliated as we have been, belies that. That we are still top ten-ish in NFL player production belies that. That we can still sell out stadiums from Dallas to New York to Chicago to LA belies that. We have just sucked ass on the actual football field, and the great majority of that is because of coaching. That's the material difference.
I would argue that college football was much more rogue 25+ years ago than it is today: it is far easier to be caught cheating given the digital revolution; players, even elite players, care about academics and life after football more than ever; there is a hell of a lot more social pressure on the sport to be athlete-friendly, something at which we should (still do, to an extent) excel; the social life is much better at Notre Dame than it was then. The only material difference is the scholarship limit spread talent out more and has resulted in more competitive programs. That and the athletic leadership has been absolute dogshit; also, ND fans are soft, but I don't think that's any news to anyone. There are dozens of kids that have gone to Ohio State and Alabama over the last decade that would have had no problem being admitted to ND, were star players, good kids, and good students; they went to those schools because they know those coaches are elite, not because of the tangential stuff.
I don't post that much on this specific board because I don't have that much to add (as some know, I am a fashion, and not football, expert these days) and agree with the sentiment of most of what's posted. It does get old seeing the same old shit posted again and again and again (though, to be fair, I will still chuckle every single time I see "Martin is really going to improve the running game" because I am a 14 year old boy), but I think the place's track record on calling coaches early and clearly speaks for itself. The people with real authority let a closely-held and deeply-inspiring American icon devolve into an entertainment sideshow. There was deep, ferocious, understandable angst, and now it's just turned to apathy. First as tragedy and then as farce and all that.
I don't even agree with the general sentiment around here about how to run an offense because I believe there are a variety of ways to win with a bunch of different offenses as long as a few core fundamentals hold true, but that doesn't mean one can't spot a mediocre coach early and hold him accountable.
to protect the cash cows and business model. Billions of dollars at stake.
Limp wristed shows of force.
The entrenched mediocrity is more than shitty coaches and ADs. The dynamic changed when Fr. Hesburgh retired and Monk Malloy took over. The string of coaches and ADs since then are not random, unlucky or coincidental.
Fr. Jenkins gave us a glimmer of hope when he fired Willingham, but he is not a dynamic and fearless leader. Such a person no longer exists in ND's leadership hierarchy.
It's my understanding that the CSCs were dead set against Ara. (1) Not an alum
with ties to ND and (2) (gasp) a prot! (3) Armenian (not of the shantyish persuasion).
Moose really pitched for his guy, and used his formidable powers of persuasion
on the PTB. The rest, they say, is history.
Jack's heart is really in revenue streams, though.
However.... crazychester has a valid point.
jt's post, while I entirely agree with its (ironic) point, is not really the way you are going to convince fellow less-invested alumni that your cause is just. That it is indeed possible to both expect and achieve excellence in character, academics, and athletics all at the same time at Notre Dame.
That tone's been dialed down a few notches over the years, but it is endemic to this board. It is decidedly not a neutral board, despite BoardOps protestations to the contrary. They ring hollow against a long, long track record of fairly aggressive riposte. And every snark, every head on spike furthers Jack's aims.
I get that BoardOps has laid off other viewpoints, and completely agree. I've said so elsewhere on this board today. But that alone is not neutrality. Decent engagement with those who disagree is part of the deal.
Sure, it feels good to demand accountability from somebody, and arguing on the internet leads to some easy wins on your points. But over time it has allowed:
- Other sites to position as "the nice ND" and attract a lot of less-engaged alumni who now self-reinforce mediocrity.
- Jack to dismiss this entire place and its opinions as a bunch of anonymous Internet crazies
- Fence-sitters to declare this place biased based on past behaviors, no matter the present, and take the easy way out and not engage
The governance model here has led to a Balkanized Notre Dame community, and unfortunately there isn't enough critical mass here to win the battle for Notre Dame's return to excellence. It has been great fun, but lousy PR. Apropos of these times I guess.
I want to be quite clear: I do not dispute your collective right as 4+a few to run this place however you want. I hang out here and enjoy it. But I do question mightily its effectiveness as a change agent at Notre Dame. Maybe that's too much to ask of it. But if not here, where?
Strong personalities give it life and make it what it is. While the Ops do not discourage these folks, we do not encourage others with a different view to leave. That has happened naturally. You might recall that people who defended Davie, Willingham, Weis and Kelly were ultimately left with weak or failed arguments. I guess I would leave the board too if I were foolish enough to hitch myself to any of their wagons. I'm sure certain posters grew tired of a losing debate, because the other side was indeed angry and merciless.
The journey has not been entirely negative, though. There have been successes to celebrate and fine student athletes to know and love. As we stand here now, however, things look pretty bleak for those of us who came through ND or solidified our love for ND football in the Ara and Lou years. We weren't born cynical.
I very much agree with your point regarding the larger alumni population. Most old timers here are feeling more and more disenfranchised every year.
I take the general point though.
that it was solely the AD's and coaches' faults, just a more direct correlation of failure with those people.
I will say that , unlike Monk, my impression of Jenkins is that he initially didn't give all that much of a rip one way or the other about the football program (whereas, I think Monk actively disdained it, especially towards the end) and let his underlings and the BoT/BoF control what's going on there - hence Swarbrick's politicking and coalition-building from go. I think he's been convinced, incorrectly, over the last three to five years that ND can no longer legitimately compete for titles (and the basketball programs have had a completely lucky - for Swarbrick - bump in performance), so he agreed to Swarbrick's officer machinations, keeping Kelly on after a horrid year and a mediocre couple of years in 2013 - 2014, and all that. I still don't think he cares all that much about athletics and places other university priorities well above any athletics program. Kelly and Swarbrick and perhaps even Jenkins should have been held accountable for the Frozen Five; that much, I am certain.
It's obviously not the correct decision on his part, but that's what I envision when I try to see things from his perspective. Not apologizing for the guy, but I am placing myself in his shoes. In this instance, I would almost place as much, if not more, blame on the BoT than I would on the president. Hesburgh was an anomaly, even for Notre Dame, in his leadership for athletic excellence. I don't give Bernie Machen credit for UF's outstanding athletic performance during his tenure; that was 100% the Bull Gators and Jeremy Foley's credit (and would have been their discredit had they failed).
He was not an anomaly with regard to athletic excellence at Notre Dame. In fact, he was regarded as an anomaly in his pursuit of academic excellence.
He ultimately struck an appropriate balance, while his successors have neither the intellect nor courage to follow that path.
pre-Hesburgh? I ask because I don't know, but that's not my impression. It's been my impression that they were always relatively hands off - for instance, Rockne and Leahy were the singular driving forces behind their athletic success - and that we were under a self-imposed bowl ban largely because the previous presidents didn't care about athletic success one iota.
And my impression is that it is still extremely unusual, even for the Duke or UNC or Notre Dame or Alabama or USC or whoever president, to actively participate in the athletic programs' success over a century of college athletics.
ETA: I think the entrenched mediocrity is far more pervasive at the BoT level, but that's just my opinion from conversations with people that are better-connected than I. University presidents probably really shouldn't give much of a damn about athletics, no matter the school.
Athletic excellence mattered - a lot. The years between Rockne and Leahy were particularly dicey. There are very good historical books that tell this story far better than I can.
George Mason rode one tourney run a far higher academic profile. Go zaga was I. Danger of closing before the basketball program rose to
Prominence and made it a popular choice for west coast students.
I don't think either of those are particularly germane for the current president at notre dame
The selectivity of ND would still be higher and lead to at least a marginal climb in the rankings with more football success--if that's what the president cares about.
The spike in applications following the 2002 season and the 2005 season were substantial. I didn't follow the numbers after 2012 but that pattern likely would've been repeated.
has risen year over year....inexorably.
Last year was the highest ever on the heels of a 4-8 season.
I'm not making argument here just pointing out that the school seems a bit more insulated from football now more than ever.
I make no arguments whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.
But there was a demonstrable spike after 2002 for the Class of 2007. The class had a 24 percent increase in applications and set a record. The Class of 2008 had the second most applications. Continuing the general trend, but less than the big football year before it. I've only seen median SAT data on the Class of 2008, which is naturally higher than the mean data I've seen on Class of 2007. Given that I saw mean data for years prior to that, the switch makes me suspect the mean was lower, but that's speculation. It's possible the numbers for those who accepted was not more selective in 2002.
And then I believe was another larger than normal bump after 2005, which may have been sustained longer. The Class that followed the 2007 season ended up being the second most applications, behind either 2005 or 2006. Obviously following a general trend upward, but not as high as the good football years. (Obviously higher than one of them, though also potentially riding those coat tails to some degree.)
Certainly there is significant insulation. But football has always been a big draw for the general student body. And good football is likely to increase enthusiasm. There are also increased university recruitment efforts, population expansion, and ease of online information that are driving those numbers generally.
Anecdotally, football has been critical in cementing life-long relationships among Notre Dame alumni and I'd argue without empirical data, affinity for the University itself.
Prolonged shitty football won't do that.
Like many other Notre Dame alumni, I have a group of Notre Dame friends with whom I've remained in close contact since graduation, which is approaching 40 years. Those bonds have endured despite the fact that we're spread from coast-to-coast and they have endured through the particularly "busy" seasons of life when we were all building families and careers.
Every season, the question was, "Which game are we coming back for?"
It's certainly possible to gather without football, and we're actually moving toward that approach now, tired of having weekends adversely impacted by shitty football and a shitty game day experience.
But the history is that it didn't work out that way. And for us, in those years when the demands of life made it most difficult to find a weekend when all of us (or nearly all of us) could commit to gathering on the same weekend, coming back to see great football was certainly an added impetus.
And before we even graduated, those bonds were strengthened by football -- experiencing the electricity of national championship seasons (I didn't even try to explain to my kids how that made campus life different, but when my older two experienced 2012 as students, they realized exactly what I meant), and football road trips.
Can those bonds be formed and maintained without great football? Of course.
Will they? That's the gamble Notre Dame is taking by not giving a fuck about football excellence.
I run the risk of pissing off my kids (two recent graduates and a current sophomore), but I'm not convinced that they will be traveling the country one or more times a year to meet up with a group of their Notre Dame friends. For their sakes, I hope they will -- and perhaps they will.
But it's not just about how many kids want to attend Notre Dame and who attend Notre Dame -- it's about how many "kids" wind up devoted to their Notre Dame friends (and almost inextricably, to Notre Dame) as many of us have.
I think this is a bet Notre Dame will lose over the long haul, even while they don't even realize they're placing the bet.
The current president at Notre Dame is sitting on an obscene pile of money that is growing by leaps and bounds. Alumni can't open their checkbooks and empty their wallets fast enough.
...level of the President or the level of the AD/head coach, it's still a leadership failure. It being at the level of President makes things harder, but it's still different than the "the landscape of college football has changed...we can't keep up" nonsense. Get the right people in place and we will win again. Bigly.
Fr. Jenkins and the BoT majority are D's. The idea that they could identify, let alone hire, a quality AD and football coach is ludicrous.
...President and BoT that are Ds. It's within our control in a way that a supposedly changing college landscape would not be.
No one here is going to make a dent in the current BoT, which is firmly entrenched with folks who are not exactly worried about a mediocre football team. The president serves at their pleasure and his job is not currently in any jeopardy.
...a change in leadership could occur. I'll leave the probability of such a change to people more familiar with the dynamics. Whereas there is a 0.00% chance that Notre Dame can meaningfully alter the current landscape of college football.
If Notre Dame can't compete because of a changed college football landscape the answer is to close up shop and move on. If it can't compete because of terrible leadership it's to figure out what, if anything, can be done to alter that terrible leadership. You note above that alums continue to happily empty their wallets despite what's going on. Maybe attempting to alter that situation is a good place to start.
It's an issue of relative possibilities. We're not even going to stumble, blind-pig like, into a changed college-football landscape that would somehow enable us to win championships under poor leadership.
But we might wake up one morning and find, somehow, that the next university president (or even just the next AD) is fit for his job.
And a lucky hire that kicks ass would make all the shitty leaders look stupid and reinvigorate an attitude on the Board that ND can win as long as it makes good hires.
But usually the Not 1988 Anymore crowd is lamenting that no matter who is in charge there are mysterious dark forces that prevent ND from winning.
I think that with excellent leadership Nd still could compete for a title in football. I would add in addition to the factors you mentioned that the role of television has changed dramatically as have the demographics of football talent. Who was the last great NFL player out of the Chicago catholic league. This is to say nothing about the change that has occurred within the school itself. I know the board wants every blue and gold blooded legacy to get in but it's not going to happen ( I know this next point point will be vitiated by recent losses to NW Stanford and duke) . It is just a very different place. Is it worse ? I don't know. But what are you going to do? I watched what my kids did and sacrificed to get in. They all love football and live and die with every play but they've got other shot going on as well
I was not a legacy - and think it's absurd that some here bitch and moan when their kids don't get in when the school has a higher percentage of legacies than any other top 20 school and that legacies have a stronger leg up at ND than any other top 20 school. I will vociferously argue against that and have almost from the moment I've graduated.
Television has changed a lot, but we are still the only major program with our own national network, and it was already much more democratic in 1993 than it was in 1980, to make one comparison. If ND was smart and well-led, they would have jumped out in front of this current content revolution and would have done something else besides relegate games to NBCSN. I will be fair and grant that I think they've done a damn good job in getting out front of social media (even with Swarbrick's stupid, bland interviews with ND's social media mouth pieces) relative to a lot of other schools. I just don't think it's that big of a factor all things considered.
The Chicago Catholic League really hasn't been worth a shit in producing consistently elite talent since the 1960's (after which we won three titles and should've won a fourth), so I'm not sure what you're point is there. ND thrived for more than a generation off national talent and did extremely well off national talent even before then (our seven Heisman winners are from, respectively, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, California, and Texas). The more pertinent question is why we aren't getting all the great players out of the GCL in southern Ohio or the great players out of the Trinity League in southern California or the Serra League in northern California or the great players from St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida or the Big North in New Jersey or from Trinity and St. X and Male in Kentucky or the WCAC near DC or whatever else. Take a look at the link provided, and you'll see that, four years ago, seven of the ten best high school football leagues in America are majority-Catholic leagues that produce a ton of good college players.
If I dug into it, I'd gander that our list of All-Americans is equally spread out over the whole country as well. The three best pro players since I graduated are from, in order, Tennessee, Indiana, and Tennessee. There are about five schools that can rely on only homegrown talent and actually compete for a national title - UF, FSU, LSU, UT, and USC - and while those schools have done well recently, they're not exactly dominating the current landscape.
It all comes back to coaching and leadership.
But it was really a larger point writ small
Take the hometowns of all the current NFL players and overlay it wit the hometowns of the NFL in 1960/70/80/90/00. You'll notice a trend and certainly one that does not help Nd. Does that mean ND can't compete ? Not by any stretch. But it does mean that yes , it is not 88 anymore
and it hasn't moved all that much.
1960 to 1985, you might have had an argument. But 1982 to 2017? No, not one bit.
The Southern states and Texas have composed the great majority of high level college and NFL players since the early 1970's. The only thing that has changed is Notre Dame's quality of coaches.
again I'm largely agreeing with you......strong
Leadership would make an enormous difference. If the university had caved to
Meyers demands in 2005
We might be looking at a very different Scenario. But they didn't.
Was that the right move ? I
Don't know. There were a lot of VERY vocal posters here who didn't want Meyer. From a non football standpoint they may have been right
But he probably would have made my top five. I sure as hell would have taken him in a heartbeat over an NFL coordinator. As one of the Blue Gray Sky blog guys said at the time: Weis wouldn't have made anybody's top 50 list if he didn't have a degree from ND.
I suspect that a lot of other posters who "didn't want Meyer" felt generally the same way.
Edit: Also, the slowest that NDNation has ever loaded was the day ND spoke with Meyer and everybody thought he was probably coming. I had to try about 20 times to get a post to submit because so many people were checking the site. There was a hell of a lot of excitement that day.
There were a lot of VERY vocal posters here who didn't want Meyer
Care to name a few? I don't recall that at all.
his minions fell in line
I thought he tended to operate in the gray areas too much, and I hated his offense. Plus, at the time, he was lower hanging fruit than I thought Notre Dame should be targeting.
His offense is better than Kelly's, and he's not anywhere as miserable a human being. And he's undeniably good at what he does.
With the benefit of hindsight, he would have been a better choice than Willingham, Weis and Kelly, by a long shot. So, technically, I was wrong. But he sure is a little weird and a little marginal of a personality and might not have been the best fit.
I'd like to know who's on it.
We can search the wayback machine.
I think a lot of people thought that if Meyer was really listening to Davie and really didn't think he could win at ND, then F him.
I still say F him for listening to Davie. But that doesn't mean I don't recognize he's one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game.
I have no problem admitting that; I didn't like the system (still don't) and thought that he was unproven, especially on the big stage.
When the ND job opened up, he had seasons of 4-8 5-7 and 8-5at the farm. I didn't think
those numbers screamed "big time."
He may be one of the very best coaches at all levels. (With all due respect
to Pete Carroll).
I followed that up with being wrong about Shaw. I thought he was riding Andrew Luck's
coat tails. He's had an even better run at Stanford than Harbaugh.
at Konrad's funeral were something to behold. Shaw refers to Harbaugh as, "That crazy tornado of a man."
At this point I'd settle for a strong thunderstorm.
A micro-burst is probably wishful thinking.
which is that Notre Dame has at one time thrived even after the shift to the south of talented players. Whether Notre Dame was right or wrong to pass on Meyer (if he indeed really wanted to come to ND) doesn't change that.
when we are wrong, sometimes dead ass wrong.
I was a pretty young buck back in the fall of 2004 when that was happening - a 17 year-old freshman who had already gotten a ResLife for underage drinking and in a few other spots of trouble - so I wasn't on here yet and wasn't paying attention. I vaguely remember being in a biology lab when the announcement was made that Willingham was fired, and a lot of people were happy, but I couldn't necessarily relate at that point.
I think I've seen some pretty damn prominent posters on here admit that Meyer is probably the greatest coach of the post-Bryant era, though I admit to ignorance on their pre-November 2004 opinions. Cash, in particular, comes to mind. I've been right and wrong on some coaches, too - I thought Malzahn was revolutionary back in 2013 or so (and, frankly, I still think he would be really good with a good DC), and I was convinced Strong was going to do well at Texas. I thought James Franklin was a complete dud, but, as much as I hate it, he seems to be turning out to be a talented coach, especially in a difficult circumstance.
I also think the year 3 criteria is pretty damn valid in college football. Almost all of the elite modern coaches had very good teams by year 2, much less by year 3 (a few, like Harbaugh at Stanford, excepted), and they - critically - kept pace with that.
assume the pay sites for ND football have seen a drop off in subscriptions regardless of how positive they spin anything.
The 1988 joke continues because people continue to write posts that ND has to change with the times in order to compete. The offense, the stadium changes, etc. They are all considered necessary to compete with Alabama. Since the University obviously agrees with those people and have made the changes, it's a joke that has merit.
the idea that in spite of winning fairly consistently for 7-8 decades, the world has changed so much we can't expect to be that good no matter what we do.
Ara had blowouts too.
That 1981 cut off is convenient. Notre Dame was either the best or second-best program in the sport from 1988 to 1993. Your data is selective: six of the eight top tens and four of the five top fives came before 1993, a date before which many on this board remember well.
The issue isn't Notre Dame itself or college football. It might be marginally more difficult to win at ND now than in the early 1990's, simply because of the scholarship limits, but everything else in college football is better-oriented towards ND. ND's social life has, most likely, improved immensely given that there are no longer six dudes standing around a party for every girl. Programs were, arguably, far more rogue back then (the entire SWAC, Miami, most of the SEC, and most of the Big 8 were all worse), and cheating was much harder to catch. A lot of programs, even the Alabamas and Clemsons of the world, seem to be taking player academics more seriously these days. As the injury issue becomes more prominent, more elite players are realizing that they need to use football and not the other way around.
Weis and even Kelly for a class or two have proven that Notre Dame can still draw elite talent. We're still churning out a fair chunk of NFL players; we're 11th overall in NFL draft picks since 2010 even as mediocre as we've been (and having only two kids drafted last year), ahead of Stanford, UCLA, and Michigan and right behind Georgia.
It's just that the coaching, leadership, and program design has sucked balls. They care too much about stuff that shouldn't matter and don't care enough about things that should.
First off, I used 1981 as a cutoff because it was a coaching change from Devine to Faust. It's not arbitrary. Second...while the '88-'93 stretch was great, there's no way on earth you can make a fair argument ans say we were the best program in the sport. Miami was. The won 2 titles in that stretch (and right off of one in '87) and finished in the top 3 in 5 of the 6 years (with their low point of #15 being similar to our #13 low point in that stretch). FSU could also make a case for #2, with their 1 title and 6 top 4 finishes (finishing ahead of ND in each of the last 4 of those 6 seasons).
I just think it's a lot harder in general for ND to compete these days, compared to Lou's tenure. There's the scholarship limits that you mentioned. But then there's also the loss of so many other old advantages. We can no longer use the "go to ND and everyone can see all your games" argument, as basically every BCS conference game is televised now. We used to be able to reference our facilities as a huge selling point. While they are still top notch, the influx of money into the sport has allowed a ton of other programs to have similar facilities. Sure, programs aren't as rouge as the old SMU and Miami days, but there's still plenty of cheating that ND doesn't partake in (see Reggie Bush or Auburn's title with Newton as examples).
And ND has other disadvantages - the academic standards (both to get in and for them to stay in), the lack of recent good history that 18 year old kids can remember, the weather, the lack of greyshirting, the fact that we're not even close to a party school, parietals, the silent stadium, the fact that we wouldn't do something like pay for a Cam Newton, and more hurt the program (even if they actually help the individual young men who play there).
Granted, we do have some advantages - the biggest being that if you win at ND, it's bigger than winning anywhere else. But I think most of our old advantages are nowhere near as big of a differentiator as they used to be.
That all said ... yes, we should be better than we are now. I'd really like it if we stop our annual loss(es) to teams that we are clearly better than. But I think it will be really difficult for ND to compete year in, year out with the top programs in the country. Maybe we need to start accepting 9-3 as a good regular season.
That's why I said "best or second-best": Miami probably has a good argument as being the second-best of the time. FSU does not, as we deserve the 1993 title over them and had already won the 1988 title.
Regarding your second point, I already mentioned a half-dozen reasons why ND can compete better now than it could then. Furthermore, for every Cam Newton you point out, I can litter ten Eric Dickerson stories. For every USC under Carroll, I will tell you ten Floridas under Pell. That's not even getting into the Miamis and Oklahomas and Florida States of the day.
ND's academic standards are absolutely different relative to the rest of college football now than they were then. In fact, the gap was never that big - the average ND SAT for my class in 2008 was less than 1000 - but it has probably closed a bit as even top level state school programs have cracked down a bit on academics.
The rest of your post is not applicable. 9 - 3 is not good enough with the advantages we still have and with how good we would be with a halfway decent coach.
The actions/inaction of Jenkins and the Board of Trustees have made that abundantly clear.
I'm not sure whose school it is anymore, but it is certainly not ours.
And a new start under Kelly, as if the first 7 years never happened, I realize that I just don't care about ND football anymore.
I am being dead serious when I say this. I recently read some articles on ND sites about how the incoming frosh class. I didn't recognize half the names nor did I know what positions a bunch even played. That never happened before as I was always in tune with what was going on in recruiting.
I think there may be a power struggle as between him and Jenkins. Saucy has the lace curtain contingent sewn up.
The tone comes straight from the top.
Football is six or seven weekends of reaching into the pockets of alumni and friends of the university, celebrations of the university with incidental games that need to be won often enough to maintain interest and entice NBC to extend the TV contract. While a base level of performance is necessary for it to keep producing dollars, too much success makes those who lust for acceptance in academia uncomfortable.
The Campus Crossroads project is an ode to ND's self-consciousness about football. Dropping hundreds of millions into the football program is unbecoming of an academic institution... unless it includes some student and faculty oriented space. It may be ugly as sin; but darn it, this is the new center of campus life. See, we aren't all about football after all.
The strategy comes from Jenkins. Swarbrick is responsible for implementing, and he does it willingly.
I've met a lot of people like Swarbrick over the years. He's a chamelion. If a new president started tomorrow and declared winning football the top priority regardless of cost or image, Swarbrick would morph into Jerry Jones and act like he always thought that way.
I don't have time to rewrite all the lyrics. But someone should.
I can say that
"He's a chamelion. If a new president started tomorrow and declared winning football the top priority regardless of cost or image, Swarbrick would morph into Jerry Jones and act like he always thought that way."
is the truest thing ever written on this board.
...I owe you an apology, Tax. You were dead-on correct about Swarbrick from the get-go, and I should have given your opinion more weight considering how much experience you had with the guy. Mea culpa.
The Internet is a strange place. Everyone can express an opinion and everyone can act like an expert. It's tough to tell who really knows what they are talking about and who doesn't. That's especially true when anonymity factors in.
I'm no basketball expert. I just act like one in the Pit. I never played or coached organized basketball a day in my life. If I express a cogent thought in the Pit, it is the result of either common sense or dumb luck.
On some matters, however, some of us have first hand experience. At the risk of depressing everyone further, if ND ever returns to prominence in college football, it will be through dumb ass luck, not intentional design. And even if he is a douche nozzle (and looks really stupid in that beard), Jack Swarbrick is not entirely to blame for that.
I know what you're saying, Kayo, but I just don't understand why excellence on the football field is so shameful--especially if done in a way that's consistent with university values (i.e., high admissions standards + high graduation rate).
What am I missing?
...whereas Notre Dame's prominence was, of course, heavily tied to football prowess. The self-consciousness that Notre Dame's administration seems to have about the role of college football within this institution is not even an issue at Stanford. That is why I have never really regarded Stanford as a viable "compare" for ND, as its dynamics as a school are nothing like ND's.
I regard the US News & World Report's college rankings as a piece of crap, but the one telling stat I always notice is the "reputation" score average from academics. Stanford always gets about a 4.8 or 4.9 on a 5.0 scale, and Notre Dame gets about a 4.0. That's a reflection of ND not having the big graduate level prestige so its academic profile is more muted amongst the ivory tower tweeds, but it probably also reflects demerits for ND's football reputation and religious affiliation.
One interest or the other prevails in cycles. This is an extraordinarily long cycle that is threatening permanence.
I just don't understand it, and I don't know how the university's leaders rationalize it.
There's nothing inherently wrong with being great at football, especially if you can set the standards relative to (sorry, just wanted to feel like BK) (1) admissions expectations, (2) student support, and (3) graduation rates.
Why is there such tension?
If he's in any kind of battle, it would have to be with a large faction of the board. I realize your concern is that Swarbrick has won over a number of trustees and/or fellows, but that would be a leadership (board) problem.
But Jenkins is the executive. He has a bully pulpit. If he believes excellence in athletics is important to ND, then he should say it loud and clear. If he doesn't believe our football program is meeting expectations, he should say it. The idea that Swarbrick and the president of the University could wield similar power is ridiculous and terrible.
We know the leadership of the school is a failure. We know the place is bereft of accountability. But donations are up and the smart rich white kids keep applying, so all's good. And chasing football excellence is just so... unseemly.
But CJC is probably right about 2037.
likely built. Even if ND wins the NC this year, it wouldn't be evidence of a genuine resurgence to our once-proud past, but an anomaly highly unlikely to be repeated anytime soon without significant changes.
The Nicene Creed doesn't declare that Jesus was crucified under the centurions who nailed him to the cross; it declares that he was crucified at the hands of Pontius Pilate.
Kelly and Swarbrick are merely the guys who drove the nails. Malloy, Jenkins and the Board of Trustees are the ones with blood on their hands.
care whether ND has a successful football team or not. He thinks he has a world class university and he is closer to Monk's views that big time football and the academic concessions that have to be made are embarrassing.
There is no other explanation why the guy who(correctly)fired Ty after 3 years allows Kelly to have a 4-5 year rebuilding plan starting in year 7 of a mediocre tenure.
I am convinced that Crossroads was built the way it was so the buildings could remain after the stadium is demolished when ND starts playing Ivy League football.
In a way, I'm glad that we suck, because I'm not sure what answer I'd find palatable to the following question:
"Fr. Jenkins, while there is much that we still do not understand about the relationship between football and severe brain trauma and injury, given what we do know, how can a Catholic institution like Notre Dame justify the potential risk to its student-athletes participating in college football?"
and I think the leadership cares at least as much about revenue streams as it does about CTE / welfare of the student-athlete.
If Notre Dame is not playing college football in 20 years, I suspect no one else will be either.
that Notre Dame has the integrity and moral compass to go it alone in this regard.
As you note, they have a certain affinity for the money that football generates.