When the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were in a free fall during the 2016 season, the Belk Bowl seemed like a pretty decent landing spot. The Irish were sitting at 3-5, and yeah... three more wins would have probably landed the Irish in Charlotte for that wonderful bowl game sponsored by a Southern retail chain. At that moment, also known as November 4th (the day before the Navy game) we were all reaching for something good.
Fast forward to June, 2017.
The Sporting News published their predictions for the 2017 college football bowl season, and the playoffs. Not only do they have the USC Trojans playing the Alabama Crimson Tide in the championship game, they have the Irish playing the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Belk Bowl.
Now, before you get all bent out of shape, let’s take a quick look at our recent history. The last time the Irish had a season as bad as 2016 was in 2007 when they went 3-9. The following season, the Irish played in the Hawaii Bowl. The last time the Irish didn’t play in a bowl game was in 2009, and the next season they played in the Sun Bowl.
Notre Dame isn’t giving anyone much evidence to the contrary here.
This may be hard for some Irish fans to swallow. There are very few people outside of the Notre Dame media that are penciling in a 9 win or more season for the Irish. You may find yourself ready to throw up in your mouth right now, but this is something that you are going to have to sit and take before the season starts.
Notre Dame went 4-8 last year, and the expectation level around the country is nowhere near your expectation level. It’s not a sign of disrespect, and it’s not some combined effort by everyone else to trash Notre Dame in their normal way.
Should Notre Dame fans really expect anything more than a Belk Bowl bid in 2017?
This poll is closed
Obviously, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of us have higher expectations. That’s great and all, because that means we still have hope in the immediate future. But... should we? Given what we know about Notre Dame after seasons like 2016, should we really expect anything more than the boys getting some sweet Belk swag in December?