Notre Dame football is still the enduring villain of college sports

Notre Dame football remains a divisive force in college sports, often seen as villains due to their historical success and unique privileges.
Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weiss before a game
Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weiss before a game / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It should come as no surprise that the Notre Dame football program isn't beloved by everyone. In fact there are some corners of the college football world where they are downright disliked. In fact, it turns out there are some who still see the Fighting Irish as villainous.

Even more than that, at least some people still view Notre Dame as worthy of being on the Mount Rushmore of sports villains. Count The Athletic's Sam Khan among those who still believes that Notre Dame is a villain in the sports world.

Notre Dame football is still seen as a villain by some people in college sports

Kyle Kelly of Blue and Gold News wrote about how Khan, Mitch Light and Ari Wasserman talked about the big bads of college football. Khan continued to believe the Irish are among the worst of the worst.

"The current Fighting Irish aren’t as polarizing as they used to be, but think of the program a little bit like the New York Yankees: a ton of historical success that earned the Irish a lot of haters," Khan said. "The Irish have the fourth-most wins in college football history, the second-most national titles among current FBS schools (and fourth-most overall). Notre Dame is the only major program with its own network TV rights contract and the only major program not in a football conference, and it has received special consideration in college football’s postseason structure."

Khan went on to say that Notre Dame was the "anti-underdogs" for quite a long time. Because they were so popular, they were also deeply unpopular in some circles.

It wasn't just the Fighting Irish program as a whole that gets seen as evil. Light put former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weiss on his Mount Rushmore.

"Weis was despised by college football fans around the country from the time he uttered the phrase ‘decided schematic advantage’ as the coach at Notre Dame,” Light said. “He used that decided advantage to go 35-27 in five seasons at Notre Dame and 6-22 in two-plus seasons at Kansas.”

Notre Dame football fans should buckle up. If Marcus Freeman and company are as good as some expect them to be, they'll be playing villains again by midseason.