I am looking for an explanation, and am hoping someone might be able to help me out. Why in the world does everyone hate Notre Dame football so much? It really makes zero sense to me whatsoever.
It cannot be because they’re dirty. After all, the Irish became the first college football team ever to reach the top of the Bowl Championship Series rankings while also holding the country’s highest graduation rate. And not only does it graduate its players, but Notre Dame gets them degrees with high marks. According to “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” the school’s Academic Progress Rate—a more accurate NCAA measure of players’ real-time academic performance—is 970, putting it in the top 80 percent of FBS programs nationally.
That is not to say the Irish are perfect. Like any other sports program, Notre Dame has its fair share of warts. It was well chronicled that a manager for the football team died two years ago while taping practice for his coaches during a day that was too windy to have anyone standing on an aerial lift to record football. Notre Dame starting quarterback Tommy Rees was suspended for the season-opener because he was arrested for underage drinking.
But on a relative scale to what you read about other programs, Notre Dame’s slate is comparatively clean.
What’s that leave? And you better not say the movie Rudy. It would be stupid to hate a school over a movie, particularly one that’s actually enjoyable to watch. Rudy is one of the greatest sports movies of all time, it is not a viable reason for hostility.
So if the masses do not hate Notre Dame for cheating or for Rudy, does the disdain come from envy? If that’s the case, it’s an awfully silly excuse.
Notre Dame has not had a serious chance at the national championship during the season’s final month in 19 years. They haven’t played for a title since 1988. Coming into this season, the Irish had gone a combined 1-11 against ranked opponents in the previous five campaigns and they have won only one bowl game since 1993. In other words, this is not a dominant program; in fact, of late, it’s barely been a competent one.
If there’s a program in tonight’s national championship game people should be jealous of, it is Alabama. It’s the Crimson Tide that are gunning for their second consecutive national championship and their third title in the last four years. They play in the SEC, which is only the most arrogant sports league in the history of sports. And then there is ‘Bama coach Nick Saban.
Is there anyone in college football more unlikable than Saban? He is the guy that lied to everyone about his intention to leave the Dolphins for Alabama. The man that is so smug you get the feeling he has a hard time breaking away from the mirror in the morning because he so loves what he sees. I mean, this guy makes Chip Kelly look humble by comparison.
Notre Dame is a 10-point underdog. Almost no one believes it has any chance to win whatsoever, but still the line wraps around the block twice for admission on the ND-Haters Bandwagon. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Yet it’s the way it is, and every Notre Dame fan just needs to accept it. They can also revel in the hatred when they celebrate their team’s upset later this evening.
The Irish will get two big plays from Everett Golson, a long run from Theo Riddick and will hold Alabama to field goals all night long. I think the Tide will out-gain Notre Dame, but I also think the Irish defense will continue its tendency of bending, but not breaking. The magic number is 20. If Notre Dame’s offense can get there, the title-drought will be over and the storybook season will have the fairytale ending it deserves.
Then the haters will have something to gripe about.
The Pick: Notre Dame 20 Alabama 15