We Love Our Notre Dame Football
Beginning in 1991 NBC has aired every Notre Dame football game played at home. This means there are fans of Notre Dame, even those without cable television, who have not missed any Notre Dame football played at home in the last 21 years. Are there fans of other teams who can say the same thing? Undoubtedly yes. The difference, however, is that those other schools have regional coverage of their team. Only fans who live in close promixity to that school have access to every home game. Notre Dame is the only school that can say EVERY college football fan in the United States has access to every home game.
In 1990 Lou Holtz was the coach at Notre Dame. Just two years previous he led them to the National Championship and a year earlier Notre Dame finished second to Miami. In 1990 there wasn't a significant dropoff. Notre Dame won 9 games beating the likes of Michigan, Miami, Tennessee, and USC. With the school having a legendary football history and a coach who had returned them to their glory, everyone jumped on the Notre Dame bandwagon. NBC was one such entity that jumped on that bandwagon. They decided to make Notre Dame "America's Team" with the idea that Notre Dame would be a dynasty for many years to come. How incredibly foolish has this move turned out to be. In 1994 Notre Dame went 6-5-1 and although they improved on that performance the next two years Lou Holtz resigned and Notre Dame football has been awful ever since. They kept their very good defensive coordinator Bob Davie on board but the problem was they promoted him to head coach, a position for which he lacked the intangibles that Lou Holtz possessed. Notre Dame never finished better than 9-3 under Davie and never better than 15th in the polls.
Truth be told Notre Dame was very good at home under Bob Davie. In his 5 years there the Irish finished 19-6 at Notre Dame stadium. Which means Notre Dame was 16-19 in all other games under Davie. If only Notre Dame had the foresight when they signed the television contract to black out all games NOT played at Notre Dame stadium then perhaps they could have salvaged something from the deal. Despite the terrible play away from home Notre Dame still maintained its traditonally strong recruiting classes. In fact if we look a few years after Davie left we see that the irish had top 15 recruiting classes in four of the five years from 2006-2010. The record on the field during these years was 34-29, not worthy of a ranking of any kind. But yet here we are 21 years later and NBC is still covering Notre Dame football as if they are even a mere shadow of their former selves. Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest will be played November 17, 2012. I'll be glued to the set.