Enough is enough. Monday night’s 42-14 humiliation of Notre Dame should be enough for an indictment, conviction and execution of the Notre Dame Rules. Specifically, the special treatment for “Non-Southern White America’s Team” should, and must, come to an abrupt end.
Football fans have wondered for years what would happen if an undefeated, independent Notre Dame squad made the title game against a strong team from a BCS conference. SEC supporters already knew that answer.
Now the rest of you know.
Irish fans, please don’t come back with this “ACC” nonsense, either. The current arrangement states that you will play a maximum of five conference teams a season- which you will pick. So, despite Notre Dame’s annual ACC grind of Boston College, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Duke and North Carolina, Monday night’s debacle could theoretically happen again. Even when college football goes to a four-team playoff, the Irish’s current arrangement with the football gods and the NCAA could still muck up the works.
Broadcasters, pundits and fans alike have argued for years that “college football is better when Notre Dame is good.” Why? Because apathetic Catholics suddenly head out to Walmart to buy a new Irish hoodie whenever a bowl berth becomes likely? Seriously, I’ve been around plenty of delusional fan bases (hello, North Carolina State) but sitting amongst a throng of Notre Dame “fans” during a game last season was maddening for me. I’m 99 percent sure that half of the cheering throng couldn’t name the Irish head coach if held at gunpoint, and the running commentary from my section made clear that football-watching wasn’t a normal occurrence for many of its denizens.
The truth of the matter is this: college football, under the Notre Dame Rules, is actually WORSE when Notre Dame is good. The Irish’s current agreement is the football equivalent of one of those “no-wait” passes given at Disney World. Alabama had to win its conference title game after completing its SEC schedule. The Irish had to beat Pitt, Navy and Boston College. Congratulations, BCS. By selling your soul to Father Football, you cheated your customers out of Alabama/Oregon.
Apologists will surely be quick to point to Northern Illinois and its Orange Bowl berth as similar to Notre Dame’s situation. “Hey, we’re just like them. We just beat who was on the schedule and it all worked out.” Oh, I was unaware that the Huskies had the same BCS safety net worked in to their MAC deal. They don’t? Well, just stop it, then.
It’s time for the overlords of college football to take action. Most of America would have been more open to (shudder) an Ohio State appearance in the BCS Championship than have to watch the Irish get demolished. That’s saying something.
There is hope, however. The movement to restore sanity to the Notre Dame situation already started a couple of weeks ago, by closing the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend. The new location? Atlanta, Georgia. Hopefully, while moving all that is good about the history and legacy of college football to its rightful home in the South, they’ll leave the Notre Dame Rules in its rightful home.