Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 7, 2013 Issue

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

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the fifth quarter lou somogyi I Attrition An X-Factor In Recruiting Rankings n every Notre Dame defeat, or even was criticized even more for "wasting" close call to an inferior opponent, No. 1-ranked quarterback talents such there is a familiar refrain: "How does a as Rick Mirer (1989) and Ron Powlus school that signs a top-10 (1993). or top-five recruiting class After recruiting topevery February lose to, or three classes in 1998 and not play up to its hype 1999, Bob Davie (1997against, lesser teams?" 2001) asked for patience It's an understanduntil that group became able backlash of what is juniors and seniors by a double-edged sword 2001. When a 5-6 finish for coaches. February resulted in 2001, Davie is when every football was axed. staff in the country Similar to Faust, beams about how "the Charlie Weis (2005‑09) future looks bright" also received the benefit with the new class. of the doubt when he The flip side is when and his staff inked three you start losing two, straight top-10 classes three, four … or more Linebacker Danny Spond is one of from 2006‑08, including games per year, the more than a dozen players from recent No. 2 in 2008 after a 3-9 "Mr. February" ac- recruiting classes who, for a variety season. A 16-21 record colades come back to of reasons, is unavailable to play for from 2007‑09, however, haunt you. Just ask Notre Dame this season. by bill panzica led to his release. photo Mack Brown at Texas. If you're going to take Former Notre Dame head coach the bows in February, you also have to Gerry Faust (1981-85) often received be prepared for the criticism once the the benefit of the doubt during his 5‑6, curtain is raised in September. How6‑4‑1 and 7‑5 seasons because his first ever, often overlooked is the attrition three recruiting classes were all ranked that occurs in each class that suddenly in the top three, including a record 13 doesn't make it a top 10 — or maybe Parade All-Americans in 1981. At some even top 20 — haul. Sometimes it's just point, patience dissipates. a figment of our fantasy: Lou Holtz (1986-96) was regularly • The current senior class was ranked castigated for "winning only one" na- between No. 14-21, well below average tional title despite four straight No. 1 at Notre Dame. One of the three top recruiting classes from 1987-90, and he recruits in that class, offensive tackle

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