Notre Dame football isn’t going down the dark path everyone keeps talking about. It’s just stuck on the road to glory.
It seems that with the disastrous 2016 season, people seems to think Notre Dame football is falling into an unbreakable cycle of failure. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The Fighting Irish aren’t broken, they’re just stuck.
Since the beginning of Brian Kelly’s tender in South Bend, Notre Dame has had some very high expectations. Out of his six years with the Irish, he’s lived up to those expectations once. The rest of his seasons are known nothing more than a false sense of hope to Notre Dame fans everywhere.
So, why has Brian Kelly failed? He failed because he wasn’t ready for Notre Dame football. Because he doesn’t have what it takes to lead one of the best programs in the country. It’s something we’ve all accepted at one point or another, but it’s something we have to live with as well. Brian Kelly isn’t leaving unless he goes to the NFL, and every one of us needs to accept that.
But Notre Dame isn’t broken. A program with as much history, and nothing causing their destruction, the Irish aren’t a team on the path of never ending failure. They’re merely in a rut and need new life to bring new success.
You cannot say that a program that has finished in the top 25 three of the last five seasons and was in the BCS National Championship four years ago is a program that’s broken. The Irish have one bad season and all of a sudden they’re doomed? No. Notre Dame is trying to fix itself, yes, but that’s all they need to do.
The Fighting Irish don’t need to reconstruct the program. They aren’t going to be a losing team for the next decade. All they need to do is fix the issues they had in 2016.
Does no one remember the last time Notre Dame football was “broken?” Charlie Weis was “ruining Notre Dame,” and everything was in “desperate need of change.” How long did it take the Irish to bounce back from a 6-6 season with Weis? Well, they played in the Sun Bowl the next year, went 8-4 the year after that, and then in 2012 were in the National Championship.
A broken team is a team like Miami or Penn State three seasons ago. These are schools that were destroyed and needed to do everything possible to rebuild. For Miami, they still haven’t been able to find the success they once had. Luckily, Penn State was able to rebuild and is once again near the top of the NCAA.
To say Notre Dame is in this group is ridiculous. They’ve had no indication of a losing future besides a 4-8 season. One 4-8 season.
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What this team has coming next season is a new quarterback who has more potential than DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire. A running back who just finished 2016 averaging 5.9 yards per carry and nearly ran for 1,000 yards while splitting carries. And, something they’ve needed for years, a new defensive coordinator.
There are few people left who truly believe Brian Kelly will return Notre Dame to glory. Yes, he’s their biggest road block for the Irish. He may even prevent them from reaching their full potential while he’s still there. There’s way too much positive around him, though, for him to affect them that much.
Notre Dame hit a pothole. They had a terrible season that everyone wants to forget happened. But to say they’re broken is foolish. Notre Dame has never been broken. If they were, it would’ve taken much more than two seasons with a new head coach to reach the National Championship.
The Fighting Irish are nowhere near broken. All they are is stuck. With the changes they’ve already made this offseason, believing next season will be a turn around isn’t a misguided assumption. Because every time this happens, they find a way to fix it.