It goes without saying that Notre Dame is far from correcting its decade-long plunge into obscurity, thrusting most of its fans off without a lifeboat. Some supporters have even accepted their fate and have jumped at will before the vessel cracks in two and plunges beneath the violent waters of college football.
Eight games into the season and there are still fundamental lapses consistently viewable every Saturday. Having Dayne regress beyond the point of new-system jitters and having the defense play exactly into the oppositions’ hands, seems to be the most consistent attribute displayed by our sinking program.
We’ve become the laughing stock of college football, the punch-line in jokes, and the whipping post of most teams. That’s not something Notre Dame lucked into, it was all earned. Parade All-Americans losing the fight to other less-heralded players, week-in and week-out–despite the “five-minute” suggested plan; suggest to me a problem with ND’s culture.
A culture of losing was not only accepted but almost incubated and really does start with coaching. I can’t sit here and suggest to you otherwise. Looking back and seeing the pattern, game after game of not being able to lead a consistent drive against an “inferior” opponent or not being able to stop a drive against the same opponent; should’ve lessened the blow—but it hasn’t. A sinking ship we are and will continue to be as we drown in less than mediocre water. We tell ourselves it can’t get any worse but it always seems to. Much worse.
One word could probably help lessen the sting a bit: emotion, but where has this been? Why is it so hard to play with fire and intensity? It’s a shame when the collective fan-base has more passion than the team. It’s not a miraculous cure for defeat but it’d sure make me feel better. Zero passion, zero emotion, and zero on-field leadership. This Irish squad, seemingly like always, is without the on-field leadership that rips you a new one when you make a mistake or miss an assignment; and having a different group of captains every single game seems to leave our team with broken necks wondering who is going to hold them accountable on the field. Eyes don’t lie and Kelly states that “he likes what he sees behind closed doors.” Well it’s about time those doors are opened because we’ve lost faith in everything we’ve seen. Eight games gone and we’re looking at another 6-6 campaign–hopefully. Player under-development and an inconsistent run-game, plus bad overall line play and a deer in-the-headlights QB making the same mistakes from game one, do not equal the progressions needed to stabilize a sinking program.
The problem is this sinking ship has crashed and burned, burned again, and then crashed while sinking and miraculously caught on fire during its submersed death plunge. I’m not even sure an SOS is valid anymore. But good things are happening behind closed doors so rest assured.