SOUTH BEND, IND. – Considering the fact that Georgia Tech (1990) has won a national championship since Notre Dame (1988) has. . .
Considering that three Florida State players have won the Heisman since a Notre Dame player last has (1987) . . .
Considering that staid Notre Dame has had five different coaches (if you count George O’Leary, until the resume blew up) over the same time Georgia has had the same one. . .
. . .Then can we still consider Notre Dame the college football equivalent of Camelot?
Trying to get a handle on the mystique of the Fighting Irish in modern times is a challenge, weighing all that history and tradition against the realities of today. Especially if you happen to live in SEC country, where all the current haughtiness has taken up residence.
Emotions are going to cloud subject. Preconceptions and jealousies, too.
Clearly, Notre Dame is not the power and the glory that it once was, a fact Georgia Tech certainly hopes to exploit Saturday afternoon.
Notre Dame does not wag the dog like it formerly, long ago, did. It is not every young recruit’s dream.
Still, a visitor who hasn’t been here in a very long time (me) took a stroll around the campus the other day and found himself getting lost in a bit of Fighting Irish reverie. You pass the Knute Rockne statue and get a close-up on Touchdown Jesus and it starts to shade your view. Notre Dame, a small school of 8,000 undergrads, can’t help but charm. It draws in even the borderline skeptic.
I’ve compared this place to Augusta National, as one of the most special sporting venues. Prolonged exposure to Augusta National has left me forever smitten. I need to get out of here soon, before Notre Dame has the same effect on me.