To those who read my preview of the BCS title game, I will admit I was wrong! Not in picking Alabama to win the game, (which they did) but I was wrong in thinking Notre Dame would make this a competitive game. It was anything but competitive.
As most college football fans witnessed, Alabama thrashed Notre Dame 42-14 in which the scoreline flatters the Irish. Alabama should have won by 60. That is how much they dominated and destroyed Notre Dame. This was like the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers facing the 2008 Detroit Lions! No contest. The Tide were up 28-0 at halftime! They made it look easy! If anything, they turned off the switch in the second half and took it easy on Notre Dame! This was a complete, utter destruction!
What does this all mean? Well, for Alabama they are the National Champions for the third time in four years, and the SEC remains the best conference in college football. But what about Notre Dame?
The Irish did have an undefeated regular season. But their schedule was filled with pasties and underachievers. Creampuffs like Purdue, Navy, Boston College and Wake Forest were all easy pickings for the Irish. Underachievers like Michigan, Oklahoma, USC and Miami all decided to be major disappointments in 2012, thus falling victim to Notre Dame. In fact, the only quality win for Notre Dame was over Stanford, and that was thanks to a very generous call from the referees. To top that, Notre Dame barely beat BYU and Pittsburgh, 2 mediocre teams at best. So when it came time for the Irish to play a real football team, they got steamrolled by a runaway bulldozer called Alabama!
If Notre Dame ever wants to be a relevant force in college football, it is time for them to join a conference. More specifically, they must join the SEC! I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense geographically. And yes it screws up their precious TV deal with NBC. But the Irish can’t pretend to be a national force when Navy and BYU keep popping up on their schedule. In fact looking at Notre Dame’s 2013 schedule, luminaries such as Temple and Air Force on the docket. Really? Temple and Air Force? Are you kidding me? How in the name of Tony Rice is anyone going to take Notre Dame seriously when “mighty” Temple invades South Bend?
I’d much rather see Notre Dame face programs that contend for National Championships. Can you imagine the atmosphere in South Bend if Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Florida and Georgia were to come to town? Better yet, can you imagine the atmospheres in Tuscaloosa, College Station, Death Valley, The Swamp and Between the Hedges if Notre Dame brought their act to those insane asylums?
Face it Notre Dame, you became just another college football team on September 2, 1995 when Northwestern rolled into South Bend, and shocked the 9th ranked Irish 17-15 thanks to the quarterbacking exploits of Steve Schnur. Since then, Notre Dame have been an average to mediocre team, beating teams they are supposed too, but getting obliterated by superior teams.
Yes, Notre Dame has a great history. From The Four Horsemen, to Ara Parseghian to Joe Montana’s epic comeback over Houston in the Cotton Bowl, to their epic victory over Miami in the infamous Catholics vs. Convicts game, there is no denying Notre Dame has a storied legacy in college football. (Even for this admitted Notre Dame hater.)
But the time is now for a change. The Irish are no longer the bluebloods of college football. The days of Notre Dame being bigger than the game are over now. The Irish haven’t won a National Championship since 1988. In fact, there won’t be a single player on next year’s Irish team that was born when Notre Dame last won the National title. The SEC has taken over college football. The last 7 National Champions have come from the Southeastern Conference. (Florida in 2006 and 2008, LSU in 2007, Alabama in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and Auburn in 2010.)
I know tradition means a lot at Notre Dame. They don’t have to give up every single tradition in South Bend. But if they ever want to be a consistent force in college football, it is time to make the drastic, bold move to the SEC.
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