Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 4 of 55 JUNE/JULY 2019 5 FAN FORUM MEMORABLE DECADE It was an inspired comeback at- tempt in yet another championship game. The only questions that re- main about head coach Muffet Mc- Graw's statue are where, when and how big? Congratulations to the Fighting Irish women's basketball program. Sustained excellence and excitement! Jim Brady '72 Via the Internet BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: It is a question that has been asked for more than three decades now: Will Notre Dame ever win another national title in football? In a column written earlier this month on Blue- by Blue & Gold Illustrated editor Lou Somogyi, there were mixed feelings. On one hand, the Fighting Irish are more commit- ted than ever in terms of resources, and they join Alabama and Clemson as the lone schools since 2012 to produce multiple 12-0 regular seasons. On the other, the landscape of college football has changed to the point where the task for an independent such as Notre Dame might make it more difficult than it ever was. Here were some of the more than 100 responses. KcndMis97: Brian Kelly has done a remarkable job in turning around this program since 2016. The only pieces remaining are a couple more game breakers on offense and a top-shelf QB. The QB is the hardest part as there are just not that many elite QBs each year. Even the NFL is searching and reaching for them in the draft, over-drafting guys, just hoping to strike gold. We have to hope we get one of those elite QBs, but everything else is there. Dawnpa: I was in the category of Notre Dame never winning a national championship again until the last couple of years of defensive line recruiting, which has been phenomenal. I was in the camp that they would never do well recruit- ing great players on the DL because of academic constraints and location. With good QB play and strong defense, Notre Dame has a shot. 4simm: The biggest remaining element this pro- gram is missing from being a national champion is still top-flight recruiting. Until we can sprinkle in a top 5 class every 4 years, it's going to be up- hill sledding when matched up in playoff games against programs that are signing multiple 5*s every cycle like Clemson, Georgia and Alabama. BostonIrishFan: I'm in the minority I guess, but my belief is that we will never win a national championship until we get a head coach who can recruit and coach at an elite level. PappaBear: It takes a lot of things to come to- gether to win a title. Even teams with great talent and great coaches struggle to win titles. Nobody questions that Nick Saban is the best, and he has had like 5 No. 1 classes in a row — yet he doesn't win it every year. It is damn hard to do. BGI User 2232: Nearly everything in life is a question of probabilities other than death and taxes, so it's not impossible for ND to win a title. It's just become much more of a long-shot play. As the world of college football is currently con- figured, it would take a lightning-in-the-bottle season with the kinds of defenses ND has had in its two recent undefeated regular seasons — though maybe even a little better — and a Trevor Lawrence clone at QB in his junior year. I think in that scenario they have a puncher's chance. Fedman: It will be a season where everything has to fall into place. A roster made up of a couple of very strong recruiting classes that likely in- cluded an impact quarterback. A season where a number of NFL quality guys decide not to leave for the NFL after their junior years. A schedule that was not impossible to navigate. Good luck regarding injuries. The ball bouncing the right way for ND at key moments during the season. A lot has to go right — such as a Kansas State not knocking itself out of a National Champion- ship game against Notre Dame with a late regular season loss to Baylor. If not for that, I am positive that Notre Dame wins the Championship in 2012. But I am 100 percent positive that Notre Dame will win another national championship in the future. I might not be around to see it, but it will happen. NDCorby: I've resigned myself that Notre Dame will never be the consistent contender it once was. Being competitive each year and aiming for New Year's 6 games is still fun, so long as the low-water mark is around 8-4 (2016 disasters are unacceptable). If the recruiting, schedule, coach- ing, and luck align, then Notre Dame can make the playoff. And if all those really click perfectly, Notre Dame has a puncher's chance at a title. Notre Dame simply won't ever be at the Clem- son/Bama level because they won't operate like the football factories. FROM THE WEBSITE Notre Dame made the four-team College Football Playoff versus Clemson last season while recording its second 12-0 regular season in seven years, but can it take the final step or two? PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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