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Bagpipe Monday: What’s Holding Notre Dame Football Back From Becoming Elite Again?

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The weekly poll and pipes goes round and round.

USC v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welcome back to another Bagpipe Monday on One Foot Down. Friends, every year there are themes that develop over the offseason that we spend a great deal of time talking about. I love themes. I love theme parties, I love theme dinners — hell I love a good theme in a book. The problem, however, is that the themes can distract from some of the more interesting and satisfying parts.

Bagpipe Monday Notre Dame @phillykelly

For example... the theme of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish struggling to win a national championship for almost 30 years now, takes away from the many wonderful wins they’ve had over that time. It diminishes their greatness. If we were able to step away and look at some of those moments and games by themselves, we (the fanbase) might be able to feel a little better about the program. It’s almost like we can’t enjoy any small victory, because we have been unable to win the big battle for so long.

Why is that? No, I’m not asking about our narrow focus, but the thing we are focusing on each year. Why are the Irish unable to win the national championship? At its core, a football program and its success can be attributed to three things:

  • Recruiting
  • Schedule
  • Coaching

It seems like a program has to be near perfect in all three phases for a real shot at a title. It’s also easy to say that each one of those phases is directly related to the other, and the success or failure of one can be traced to the success or failure of the other two.

Is there one in particular, however, that is holding the Irish back the most from achieving greatness once again?

Notre Dame generally recruits well, and finishes around the top 10 in the country. Regardless of the overall rankings, they seem to struggle at signing elite difference makers. Would Brian Kelly and staff do a better job coaching, if they had better players, or would they have an easier time getting those recruits if they coached better (meaning more wins)? How much does the way Notre Dame schedules affect both of the other variables?

Poll

What variable is holding Notre Dame football back the most from being elite?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Coaching
    (1287 votes)
  • 23%
    Schedule
    (746 votes)
  • 30%
    Recruiting
    (980 votes)
  • 5%
    Other (please state in the comments below)
    (183 votes)
3196 votes total Vote Now

My head hurts.

I don’t know if I have a real good answer as to what one thing is the golden key to all of this. I think a strong argument can be made in just about any direction.

And so the wheel turns my friends.

Your weekly pipes goes round and round: