Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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6 DECEMBER 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FAN FORUM national champ, along with Arkansas and Alabama, is that no team won a majority of the four awards that year. Despite all this, a self-destructive double standard is imposed on the university from within. The NCAA record book's standard reflects wisdom because any other approach would allow excessive sub- jectivity to infect the assessment and archiving of football history. And if hung up on the meaning of the word "consensus," let us report 13 "ma- jor," "generally accepted," or "recog- nized" national championships. The institutional modesty defense in particular is inadequate because of its severe side effects, to wit: Notre Dame, I am sorry to say, has actually been defaming former coach Ara Parseghian for over half a cen- tury by publicly and falsely listing him of winning only two national championships (1966 and 1973), when the NCAA's published tally for him is three, including 1964. Every time the school reports the "11" num- ber instead of the proper and recog- nized 13 consensus national football championships, the unwholesome by-product is a smear of Coach Par- seghian — and whoever coached the team in 1919 as well. Maybe you've heard of that man. We can readily discern how this quandary came about originally. When the football team lost to South- ern Cal (on the scoreboard only) in the final game of the '64 season, having been homered by the refs, it seemed like the national champion- ship also was lost. But then Notre Dame was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Bowl national champi- onship anyway. What to do in terms of record keeping and historical ac- counting? • The NFF MacArthur Bowl is in- herently the most prestigious of the big four pre-BCS championship se- lections. The AP and FWAA awards are the work of media hacks, and the coaches' poll utilizes biased selectors with ulterior motives, with voters who do not even observe many of the teams being rated each year and sometimes even delegate their votes to secretaries and interns. In contrast, the MacArthur Bowl is sponsored by the iconic National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, representing a different quan- tum level of legitimacy. • Moreover, the MacArthur Bowl award, according to a measurement validation study I published in a ref- ereed sport history journal ("Count- ing College Football National Cham- pionships," Sporting Traditions, November 2011), actually is found to be the most empirically valid of the four major pre-BCS awarding systems per conventional scientific standards. Case closed. The objective reality is that Notre Dame has 13 NCAA-recognized and generally accepted national champi- onships in football, including three for Ara, not the mere 11 it officially but arbitrarily claims. It is past time for Notre Dame to correct a decades-old travesty. It is overdue for the university to stop indulging the de facto public slan- der of Ara and even Knute Rockne. The most basic mathematical opera- tion of all is counting. Notre Dame just needs to do it correctly, in ac- cord with prevailing standards, for its own integrity and posterity. John F. Gaski, Ph.D. (ND '71, '73) South Bend, Ind. FROM THE WEBSITE With Notre Dame in serious contention for a na- tional title again under Brian Kelly, one of the topics on's message board was when a contract extension would occur after the current one lapses at the end of the 2021 season. Here are a few of the dozens of responses: BrianMC119: I assume he's on the radar of NFL teams again and perhaps an SEC team comes out of nowhere with a Jimbo Fisher-type offer. I can't see him leaving for another college program — but the NFL? Maybe. Kelly will be offered a new contract, right? NDorBust: I just love football. Two years ago 75% of ND fans would have helped BK pack up his house and move on. Now he's one of the most coveted coaches … again. Ninermark: And there is nothing wrong with that. I was one of the 75% for sure. We had a terrible year, and the direction of the program was unclear. I honestly didn't think BK would be able to right the ship in the way he did. Incredible turnaround and he deserves all the credit. If he wants to keep going, then by all means keep him here with a contract extension. FightingVac: I have been secretly hoping if and when Kelly ever leaves or retires that ND would make Mike Elston the next HC. Someone's going to hire this man. I think he has the potential to be a great HC, but now I think ND should follow Oklahoma's model and secretly make Chip Long HC in waiting along with a nice raise to keep him off the market. FriedmanIP: We shouldn't hire anyone without college football head coaching experience ever again. And I love these guys as coordinators. I wouldn't mind hiring them as our head coach … after they've gone and had success as HC's elsewhere. Sjb75: Lincoln Riley, Dabo Swinney, Kirby Smart and David Shaw may disagree. Chamgel: Normally I agree we shouldn't hire anyone without head coaching experience, and 3 years ago I'd have been completely against it … But seeing how long it took Kelly to understand how to win at ND, and seeing the success some first-time coaches are having, it has changed my mind to a point — but only if it's Chip Long or Clark Lea 3 years or so from now. Both would have been here for the entire rebuild and seen what it took to win at Notre Dame. Obviously a coach with experience is preferable, but if it came down to someone like say Dave Clawson, who I like, or Chip Long, I'd prefer they rolled with Long. Who knows who the candidates will be when Kelly leaves? As far as Kelly being here 5-plus more years, I just don't see it. I've always thought even if he won that he wouldn't be here past his current contract, but who knows … right now I'm just enjoying it. NDtarheel17: Kelly got a pretty decent look over the precipice and survived. Now he's got things fixed and humming at ND. I can't imagine he'd want to throw all that away to start anew somewhere else. He will coach at ND until he chooses to retire from coaching. Brian Kelly was on the hot seat two years ago with a 4-8 finish, but is now celebrated again as one of the top coaches in the game. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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