When an Irish athletic team is No. 1 in the nation, the eight-foot-tall sign gets lit up. That tradition started in 1973, when Notre Dame's football team won a national championship.
The sign has been used a few times since 1993, the last time the Irish football team was atop the Associated Press poll, but not for football. The last time it was lit up was 2010, for the women's soccer team.
Sunday night, the sign was finally back in use for the football team.
Notre Dame officially took the top spot in the BCS standings on Sunday, one day after Nos. 1 and 2 lost for the first time on the same day since Dec. 1, 2007. Notre Dame announced the sign would be lit at 8:30 p.m. but turned it on three hours early. Apparently 19 years of waiting can make anyone antsy.
The picture of the sign was posted on Twitter by Angelo Di Carlo of WNDU-TV, which did a story on the lighting of the sign and put it on its website. It's a continuous reminder on campus that Notre Dame has at least temporarily regained a spot atop the college football world that it held for many years.
The sign will remain lit as long as the Irish are No. 1. The Notre Dame players will try to keep it lit throughout December by finishing the regular season with a win at USC this week.
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