2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

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Page 36 of 163

Amateurism has long been an outdated no- tion in intercollegiate athletics, but this would be an even greater step into the pro ranks. Also on the docket for the NCAA is the one-time transfer waiver for college football and basketball to student-athletes who have not yet received their undergraduate degrees. Whereas in the past they usually had to sit out a full season before becoming eligible again after a transfer, they now could have immediate eligibility upon their first transfer. To many coaches such as Notre Dame's Brey, who also is the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, this too is inevitable. That makes recruiting right "fits" to pro- grams even more imperative while trying to ward off a "wild west" mentality of changing schools at the first signs of discontent. "This is really a time for college athletics, if anything, to come together more and figure out common solutions," Swarbrick said this April. "It's been interesting that we're in this pandemic and all of the direct consequences of it. At the same time, we're moving forward on a bunch of pretty fundamental issues in college athletics like the one-time transfer rule, name, image and likeness. "It's hard to imagine a time that's been more complicated in the history of college athletics. In that regard, I think it's a time for pulling together more than anything else." And so begin the challenges of another decade. ✦ How quickly fortunes can change during a 10-year period in college football. As we start a new decade in 2020, it's difficult to fathom that Clemson began the 2010s with a 6-7 ledger — and then the next season (2011) lost 70-33 in its bowl game to finish with four defeats. Entering 2020, Clemson is now a superpower with a coach named Dabo, who had previously not even been a coordinator. • Auburn began the decade in 2010 with a national title, and played for another in 2013 — yet in between also had a 3-9 clunker. Overall from 2010-19, the Tigers had four other seasons with five defeats. • From 2012-14 Florida State won 29 consecutive games — yet from 2017-19 was merely 18-20. • Oregon played for national titles in 2010 and 2014 — yet two years later was 4-8. On the flip side, the 4-8 Notre Dame team in 2016 two years later finished the regular season 12-0 and advanced to the College Football Playoff. The ebbs and flows that go on through a decade are numerous and will likely fol - low in 2020-29. Will the Fighting Irish vie for a title or two again as they did in 2012 and 2018, and will they have another sub-.500 finish, which occurred in 2016? Chances are the answer to both is yes — because that's been a pattern since the start of the 1950s. Other than the stretch from 1970-79, in every decade since 1950 Notre Dame has had at least one losing season. Likewise, in every decade since then it had at least one opportunity to win a na - tional title, which we define as in contention for one going into the last game of the regular season. Sustaining excellence for a full decade that begins with the number 0 and ends with a 9 is a challenge unto itself. — Lou Somogyi Sustaining Consistent Excellence Notre Dame's matchup with Clemson in 2018 was one of two opportunities the Fighting Irish had to play for the national championship this past decade. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ✦ 35

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