Posted on: November 11, 2009 5:08 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2009 5:28 pm
Notre Dame fans are up in arms. Their coach hasn't produced, the players are outperformed by quality teams. The Irish's only success has been against mediocre programs.
The Michigan loss was a shot in the heart, USC was just a heartbreaker, but this last week's loss to Navy has been labeled a disaster.
I just heard Jim Rome say: "Notre Dame should have never lost to Navy."
Here goes our first culprit in Notre Dame's rash of national negative feelings.
"Notre Dame should have never lost to Navy." Really? Why is that? Is the college football media so stuck in the past that they find it possible for the Midshipmen to have success against a just-decent Notre Dame team?
The last time Navy played the Irish in South Bend, the Midshipmen won. Of course, because of the history of the two teams, this was labeled a fluke. But, let's look at what the Navy has done in the past few years: Led college football in rushing yards, dominated games without completing one pass, advanced its triple-option offense to become on of the most original schemes in college football. This is a Navy team, who at the beginning of the year as 22-point underdogs to Ohio State, was just a few yards and one pass away from beating the Buckeyes. They've made bowl game appearances consecutively over the last few years. This is a team that has been on the up-and-up and has been the most dangerous under-the-radar team in FBS football.
Less was said about Notre Dame's loss to a rebuilding, struggling Michigan football team. Why? History dictates that Michigan should win this game ... it's not and has never been out of the question for Notre Dame to lose in Ann Arbor. Michigan, being the winningest football team in college history and having the same amount of national championships as Notre Dame, is having a worse season than the Irish ... yet, we hear a lot less about this. Although Michigan fans abound by the millions, the Irish's following even trumps the Wolverines.
So, it's not just the national media picking on a Notre Dame's performance - it's the national media's historical perception of the program. Instead of realistically evaluating the makeup of this team, they have used historical standards to hold them to unreasonable expectations. The fans are the same way, which is exactly the energy fed on by the national media.
Notre Dame is a decent team, but they are not championship caliber, and labeling them as a BCS bowl team with unrealistic expectations is what is putting so much heat on the players and the coach. It doesn't help gifting them into the national standings either. ND has lost to every decent team they have played, before losing to Navy, yet the wins over mediocre programs were enough for the pollsters to justify a Top 25 standing.
College football and its programs are everchanging. Florida, who has been considered one of the most dominant teams and a team we're told is one of the best historically, isn't even in the Top 10 in wins for college football. The Gators going undefeated used to be a joke. Until the national media releases its 'this is supposed to happen' mentality, due to its attachment with history or obsession with team popularity, teams like Notre Dame will be held to unreasonable standards, while teams like Navy will go unnecessarily unnoticed. Truth for the sake of truth means seeing teams for what they are, and not what we want them to be.
Who's to blame for Notre Dame's negative attention. Simply, it is our attachment to history.
Posted on: October 1, 2009 4:53 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2009 5:50 pm
1. Michigan @ Michigan State
Let the predictions roll in.