When the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are undefeated towards the end of October, and are looking at making a run to the playoffs, certain conversations tend to have a little bit more of the spotlight than the actual games.
With the Irish, many in the national media can not (and perhaps will not) ever accept that Notre Dame can rise to the top of the sport again as an Independent. Never mind the fact that they are ranked #3 in both polls this year, played in the national championship game, and were ranked in the top 5 of the playoff rankings in 2014, 2015, and 2017... people think Notre Dame is shooting itself in the foot by not joining in a conference.
And that’s where I’ll stop — really. Sports Illustrated’s Laken Litman published a piece online that will be in the new issue of the Magazine entitled: Can the Notre Dame Way take the Irish all the way?
Can Notre Dame win a national championship by still doing things the Notre Dame way? https://t.co/Cd2C66UwmM— Laken Litman (@LakenLitman) October 23, 2018
It’s more or less a drive-by piece, that at its core, is about as generic as something I write on a long night of gin and no ice. It’s a recycled, repackaged, and regurgitated attack on Notre Dame, Brian Kelly, and Jack Swarbrick for no other reason than to do the “popular” thing. The “popular” thing here is to write an article to simply rake Notre Dame over the coals for the sake of clicks.
Laken has basically become Tim Brando in the article. She offers no solutions, or really nothing new at all to the table. In response to Notre Dame being ranked high and undefeated, she brings up tragic events of the past decade which provides zero context to the issue at hand — and that’s playing to win a championship. (Also Brett Musburger talking about point spreads).
96.1 Sports Director, Darin Pritchett takes this article on with Sean Stires and Blue & Gold’s Bryan Driskell. Go to the 47:10 mark of the podcast to listen to Pritchett, Stires, and Driskell provide counterpoints to what is, basically, a frivolous article.
The podcast is a pretty good counterpoint (because it has points) to the article. Our own Jude Seymour was also on the defensive today on Twitter:
I may be in the minority, because I know many people that like her and respect her work:— Jude (@andrewwinn) October 23, 2018
"Can the 'Notre Dame Way' Take the Irish All the Way?" isn't worth reading -- and not just because Laken Litman doesn't answer the question.
Lizzy Seeberg, Declan, Frozen Five redux. #NDFB
I also don't agree with the premise that Notre Dame's unwillingness to join a conference is hurting their ability to win a championship.— Jude (@andrewwinn) October 23, 2018
That was perhaps the most frustrating part. Ohio State and Alabama have both proven that you don't need to win a conference championship to be invited to the playoffs.— Jude (@andrewwinn) October 23, 2018