Could this be the year for ND?
Apoplectic wouldn’t be the best way to describe how I was that night.
I mean I knew Notre Dame was going to struggle against Oklahoma.
But still as Oklahoma took their first drive right down the field, the anger built.
“Same old Notre Dame,” I muttered to myself like a crazy old man.
Then a botched snap changed everything.
Then Cierre Wood breaks a long touchdown run.
“Well at least we aren’t going to get blown out,” I said.
Then a half goes by.
Then three quarters.
“Notre Dame can actually win this thing,” I said.
Then there was the magical fourth quarter. Manti Te’o gets a pick and the onslaught begins.
I’ve been a Notre Dame fan since I was 7 years old.
I could say all my life but my first memories of Notre Dame football are watching that 1988 National Championship team at relatives’ homes.
At every family gathering, the uncles and cousins would sit around and watch the games.
I was instantly hooked. There was an aura about that team. Of course I didn’t know that as a kid. And maybe that is just revisionist history on my part.
But the same emotions bubble up for this team.
They play down to their competition sometimes. They escape against Purdue and BYU.
Then they throttle Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s only loss came to third-ranked Kansas State by five points.
Everett Golson continues to improve each week.
The defense is as good as any in the country.
Brian Kelly can actually recruit and coach.
I still worry that over the next three weeks, the Irish will lay an egg.
Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest are all games Notre Dame should win and win easily.
But if the past is any indicator of the future, they’ll falter against one of those teams.
This year may be different though.
Maybe things finally go ND’s way. Maybe Alabama loses to LSU and Oregon falls to USC.
Maybe the Irish win out and end up in the BCS National Championship game.
Whether that happens or not, it feels like all is right with the universe again.
Notre Dame is relevant.
Thunder has been shaken. Echoes have been awakened.