Notre Dame Football: New Found Confidence in Fighting Irish

Recently, with all of the massive changes going on within college football, there’s been plenty of talk from me and others about Notre Dame’s place and standing in whatever college football may end up looking like. How will the Irish adapt? How will they fare in the new College Football Playoff model? How will Notre Dame navigate a landscape that now feels more professional than collegiate?

These are legitimate questions and concerns. One that especially in the last 30 years would have been existential threats due to a lack of proper administrative action to protect and support football along with inadequate coaching leadership. I feel that this has changed recently on multiple fronts and I now have more faith than I have previously in Notre Dame’s ability to navigate this new landscape and still try to compete.

Let’s examine why I feel this way.

Marcus Freeman

Watch: Notre Dame football players give back to the local El Paso community
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame is not like other college football powerhouses for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons this is the case is because the Irish’s head coach does not have the unilateral authority others do. At many schools the football coach is King. He gets what he wants. This isn’t the case at Notre Dame where academics come before athletics.

It takes a very unique personality to navigate the complicated web of interpersonal dynamics at Notre Dame to get things done. The head coach must be able to effectively relate and communicate to the “powers that be” in a way that makes them want to help the program. Freeman has demonstrated an ability to do this at a much more effective rate than any Irish coach has in 30 years. This is no small feat and is unrewarding behind-the-scenes work.

Admin Buy In


Notre Dame’s administration has made more progress in keeping Notre Dame truly competitive in the last two years than they have in the last 25 combined. They have paid SEC-level salaries for top-end assistants, expanded NIL rapidly, will begin renovations for football facilities soon, and have altered their transfer process significantly.

All of these actions are evidence of a group that does care about football success and wants to try to adapt to the times as much as possible within Notre Dame’s guardrails. Certainly, Jack Swarbrick has been heavily involved in many of these changes but so has Pete Bevacqua, his replacement. Hopefully, under his leadership, we will continue to see more progress made in these areas.

Safety Nets In Place


Notre Dame as an institution realizes how quickly so many drastic changes have taken place in the sport of football lately, with more to come shortly. Their job is to protect the Notre Dame football brand. Not just in terms of history and legacy, but true competitiveness as well.

The Irish’s backup plan for the future, should it need one if independence is no longer a practical or financially viable option, would be to join the B10. While I value independence dearly, this is a fantastic backup plan if needed. While this in painful to admit as a lifelong fan of Notre Dame’s independent status, it is a fact and Irish fans should have comfort in knowing if a move must be made down the road, it’ll be one with financial security and a great support system by a power player in the industry.

For more Irish news & notes follow John on Twitter @alwaysirishINCAlways Irish on Youtube and or your preferred audio podcast provider.

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire