If you love college football, a trip to Notre Dame Stadium should be on your list. It is a special place with a unique experience. Notre Dame Stadium is the “House That Rockne Built,” home to many national championship banners. For the ultimate Game Day experience, you must experience Irish Breakdown, the stadium’s official merchandise shop.
Notre Dame’s National Championship
In the 1979 season, Notre Dame rolled up big scores and beat Army 34-12 to become the first team to win the National Championship in school history. At the time, Notre Dame was 8-2 and ranked 23rd, but a week later, they jumped to #1. They went on to beat #10 Oklahoma 38-0 in mid-October. And the following week, they blew out 5-5 Duke 64-0.
Notre Dame has won four National Championships. In 1986, the Fighting Irish became the first school to win four consecutive championships. In 1988, Notre Dame beat unbeaten West Virginia 34-21 in the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, extending their national title tradition. The Fighting Irish have won eight championships since Knute Rockne was the coach. The only team to win more national championships in the past eight seasons is Alabama, which has won nine.
In the decade after Notre Dame’s victory, the competition has gotten more difficult. The best teams have better winning percentages than the average team. Notre Dame won the title with a 36.2-point margin against a harder schedule. This season, Notre Dame beat a tougher schedule than Alabama, who only lost to Tennessee by one point.
Notre Dame’s offensive explosion
The offensive explosion for Notre Dame football has plenty of reasons to be excited. The young talent on the offensive line is one such reason. Right tackle Blake Fisher, a sophomore, had only played two games before his college season. Left tackle Joe Alt, a former tight end, stepped into the starting lineup midway through last year’s season against inferior competition. Both are capable of big plays and creating certain looks to attack.
Wideouts are also important because they give Notre Dame’s offense several advantages, including leverage. These players help the offensive line dominate the opponent and allow quarterback Jack Coan to maximize his skill set. Coan’s accuracy and decision-making make him a good option for Notre Dame’s offense. Without wideouts, Notre Dame wouldn’t be able to make big plays.
On the defensive side, Notre Dame has found some talented players in the transfer market. The Irish were able to secure two transfer players from Marshall Herd. This makes their receiving depth look even more impressive. The Irish have a solid defense and have played well against ACC teams over the last several seasons. But the offense has never produced enough to reward the talent.
Notre Dame’s need for a conference
Adding Notre Dame football to an existing conference is an attractive proposition for both parties. Notre Dame’s athletic excellence, national reputation, and national following make it an attractive offer for any meeting, and it would be an enormous windfall for the university. However, the school’s athletic director, Lou Holtz, has doubts about moving to a conference.
Notre Dame is unlikely to decide soon, but the school will likely wait to see if other schools make a move before making any decisions. Notre Dame hasn’t ruled out a move shortly, but it isn’t deciding without keeping money in mind.
If Notre Dame joined an existing conference, it would have a much better chance of making the College Football Playoff. The SEC typically gets at-large bids to the playoff, and adding Notre Dame would greatly increase the SEC’s chances of getting an offer. A playoff appearance would make Notre Dame’s season even more meaningful.
The “Victory March”
The “Victory March” in an ND football game is a tradition that dates back to 1908. The song was composed by two brothers who attended the University of Notre Dame. The music and lyrics were copyrighted in 1908 and published. Both brothers became priests, eventually settling in Ossining, N.Y. John F. Shea played the piece on an organ in Holyoke, Mass.
The lyrics were first performed on campus during Easter in 1909. The music was later rearranged in 1928 by band director Joseph Casasanta and has been played at athletic events ever since. The song is played at ND football and basketball games, many other collegiates, and professional sporting events.
While the original “Victory March” referred only to men, the lyrics have been updated to acknowledge the school’s daughters. The songs were added to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary of women’s admission. The anniversary also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Title IX.