Glory Times Return

Wake up the echoes has been a theme this football season. The echoes of the pastare alive and well at Butte High school, a with 31 state football titles coming into this new season. The Bulldogs with a high-powered offense won their first state title in21 years earlier this month.

The same type of echo is taking place in college football this season. Notre Dame, with more national football titles than any other school, has risen above recent misery to once again be a national power. It has been a couple of decades since Notre Dame and national championship have been mentioned in the same sentence. Few thought this would be the year the echoes would be awoken with “Touchdown Jesus” smiling down from the golden dome on Notre Dame.

The Irish had the toughest pre-season schedule of any team in the land. The Irish managed to make it through the season undefeated. Notre Dame has been the exact opposite of the explosive Butte High Bulldogs’ offense. The strength of ND has been its D as in defense. The Irish has given up only nine touchdowns all season.

Notre Dame made it into the national spotlight 100 years ago in 1912 when the Irish battled against a powerful Army team. Notre Dame confused Army with a seldom used play at that time, the forward pass, to stay with the Cadets. A star player for Notre Dame in that contest was end Knute Rockne.

It would be that same Rockne who turned coach at the South Bend, Ind., college in the 1920s. He developed a national power at Notre Dame.

The Irish traveled out to California in 1926 to battle the University of Southern California for the first time. That game against the Trojans signaled to America that Notre Dame would travel anywhere to play anyone in the country. Thus it became the only true national team in college football.

Rockne led the Irish to a series of national titles prior to his death in an airplane crash. Notre Dame struggled for a number of years after Rockne’s death.

All that changed in 1943 under Frank Leahy. The former Boston College skipper led the Irish to the national title. He would guide the Irish to three more national titles in the decade of the 1940s.

When Leahy won his first national title In 1943, it was his third year as the head coach in South Bend. Oddly enough,  Three other Notre Dame coaches, Ara

Parseghian in 1966, Dan Devine in 1977  and Lou Holtz in 1988 all won their first national championship at Notre Dame in their third year as head coach.

Brian Kelly, the current coach of the Irish, is you guessed it in his third year

as head coach of the Blue-and-Gold. It would be such an ironic fact if Kelly adds his name to Leahy, Parseghian, Devine and Holtz as a national champion In his third season at South Bend.

Notre Dame still has to negotiate past either a solid Alabama or Georgia club in the BCS National Championship game to reclaim the glory spot on top of the college football world.

If this past football season is any indication the echoes of the past will be alive and well when the Irish take the field in Miami on January 7th to play in the national championship game.

 



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