2019 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2019 Notre Dame Football Preview

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Page 35 of 163

BY LOU SOMOGYI A lthough it is not recognized by the University of Notre Dame as one of its 11 consensus national titles achieved in football, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the 9-0 Fighting Irish of 1919 receiving accreditation from the NCAA with the program's first official national championship. Prior to the advent of the Associated Press poll in 1936, various systems de- termined their own national titles. Harvard University was declared the "unani- mous" champion in 1919 with its 9-0-1 record, but the NCAA also honored Notre Dame, Illinois and Texas A&M (see College Football Data Warehouse and ncaa.com/history/football/fbs.) with a bona fide national title. The formation of the AP poll 17 years later eventually became the most recognizable and agreed upon determinant, but it was joined by the coaches poll in 1950 (first the United Press and now Amway), the Football Writers Association of America (Grantland Rice Award) in 1954, and the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in 1959 (MacArthur Bowl) as the four legitimate, NCAA-recognized titles. Once the College Football Playoff began in 2014, those outlets became rela- tively moot, although the AP poll still casts a rubber stamp final ballot based on the CFP outcome. In 1964, Ara Parseghian's first season as Notre Dame's head coach, the 9-1 Fighting Irish were awarded the MacArthur Bowl, emblematic of one of the NCAA's four national title outlets. Alabama was recognized as the "consensus" TITLE SEARCH Notre Dame's record-long national championship drought prompts debate on whether it can be achieved again Although Notre Dame is currently in the midst of a 30-year national title drought, it has shown signs of resurgence in the past decade. The Irish played for the championship against Alabama (above) following an undefeated 2012 campaign and also earned a spot in last year's College Football Playoff before falling to eventual champ Clemson. PHOTOS BY BILL PANZICA 34 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2019 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

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