Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2017

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 55

12 FEBRUARY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME NOTRE DAME WELL REPRESENTED IN 2016 TV RATINGS Four Notre Dame football and men's basketball games ranked among the top 50 most- watched sporting events in 2016 — outside of the National Football League and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, according to Sports Media Watch. Sixteen were college football games and seven were men's college basketball contests. Alabama led all institutions with five appearances (all football), while Ohio State tied Notre Dame for second with four (all football). The only programs with more than Notre Dame's two men's basketball appearances were Villanova and North Carolina (three each), which played for the NCAA Tournament title. The Fighting Irish were the lone school to have both football and men's basketball rep- resented twice. • 29th: Notre Dame vs. Texas, 2016 opener. 6.4 rating, 10.95 million viewers, ABC • 35th: Notre Dame vs. North Carolina, Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament. 5.8 rating, 10.11 million viewers, TBS • 38th: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, Fiesta Bowl. 5.6 rating, 9.76 million viewers, ESPN • 50th: Notre Dame vs. Stephen F. Austin, NCAA Tournament second-round game. 5.4 rating, 8.39 million viewers, CBS Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians (21.8 rating) was the highest-rated event. — Lou Somogyi On Jan. 9, 1978-81 Notre Dame linebacker Bob Crable was one of 10 players and three coaches inducted into the National Football Founda- tion's College Football Hall of Fame class of 2017. He now becomes the 46th for- mer Notre Dame player to join the College Football Hall of Fame, and the most recent since wide receiver Thom Gatewood in 2015. The Fight- ing Irish have the most players (46) and coaches (six) in the Hall of Fame. One of 16 consensus two-time All-Americans in school history and Notre Dame's all-time leader in tackles (521) — with bowl games not included back then — Crable will be honored with the entire 2017 class Dec. 5, 2017, at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. Among the players joining him are quarterbacks Peyton Manning (1994-97, Tennessee) and Matt Lein- art (2003-05, USC), running back Marshall Faulk (1991-93, San Diego State), wide receiver Kirk Gibson (1975-78, Michigan State) and defen- sive back Brian Urlacher (1996-99, New Mexico). Still the lone first-round pick at linebacker in Notre Dame history, Crable arrived at Notre Dame in 1978 after leading Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller to three consecutive un- beaten seasons and state titles under head coach Gerry Faust, who would become the Fighting Irish head coach in Crable's senior season. Nicknamed the "Moeller Mauler" for his unbridled ferocity and bone-rat- tling hits, Crable spearheaded one of the most dominant defensive units in school history during head coach Dan Devine's final season in 1980. Against a vaunted schedule, the Irish set a school record that still stands by not allowing a touchdown in 23 consecutive quar- ters, highlighted by a 7-0 win versus two-time defending national cham- pion Alabama for the right to play No. 1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Notre Dame then limited the Bull- dogs to 127 yards of total offense, but costly Irish turnovers at its 1- and 22-yard lines led to two short Geor- gia touchdown marches in its 17-10 victory. Particularly amazing about Cra- ble's career tackles record is he was credited with only 13 stops as a fresh- man while apprenticing behind se- nior Bob Golic, whose 479 tackles standard from 1975-78 he broke. Crable then amassed 187 stops as a sophomore, when he debuted with 19 in a 12-10 victory at No. 6 Michigan in that opener. In that same game, Crable made an epic leap off the back of Wolverines' long snap- per Mike Trgovac (a play no longer legal) to block a Michigan field goal attempt that would have won the game if successful. After earning third-team All- America notice as a sophomore, Cra- ble followed with 154 tackles his ju- nior year in 1980 and 167 as a senior. Those single-season totals rank Nos. 1, 2 and 4 in Fighting Irish annals. Manti Te'o, the 2012 Heisman Trophy runner-up, basically started about 15 more games than Crable at Notre Dame, yet his 437 tackles (in- cluding bowl games) are still 84 short of Crable's record. That standard is likely to be never broken. "The game has changed because they pass the ball so much now," Crable said. "The way the game is today, the only one who might be able to break it is a strong safety — and that's an awful lot of tackles for a strong safety to make." — Lou Somogyi Crable is one of only 16 players in Notre Dame history to be a two-time consensus All-America selection (1980 and 1981). PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS The season-opening Notre Dame-Texas football game Sept. 4 drew nearly 11 million viewers and ranked 29th on the list of the most-watched sporting events in 2016. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA Bob Crable Inducted Into College Football Hall Of Fame

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - February 2017