So those at SECcountry.com say Notre Dame is the second-most overrated college football program of all-time?
I mean, really?
OK, before I continue, here's a confession: You'll get a lot of Notre Dame football on this website. Since I was born and raised in South Bend, Ind., home of the Fighting Irish, I bleed blue and gold.
That said, they're picking on ND again.
Who are "they?"
Talking about a slew of haters for the most popular (and despised) sports team in history, and, no, it isn't Duke basketball. Nobody cared about the Blue Devils before Coach K came along 38 years ago. Such also was the case for the New England Patriots prior to the pairing of Tom Brady with Bill Belichick 18 years ago. The Dallas Cowboys? Nah. They didn't exist before 1960, and the Irish were decades into stardom by then.
The New York Yankees are close to Notre Dame here, since they've been famous and infamous from the days of Babe Ruth through those of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter and now Aaron Judge.
Neither the Yanks nor others are the Irish, though. Knute Rockne started to turn his legend and that of Notre Dame into an obsession throughout the universe when he became their head coach exactly 100 years ago. That love/hate thing for Notre Dame exploded afterward, and you can blame a bunch of things.
It begins and ends with jealousy. The 11 consensus national championships, the seven Heisman Trophy winners, the consistently high graduating classes, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz, the Gipper, the Four Horsemen, the Rocket, the Golden Dome, the NBC contract, Touchdown Jesus.
"They" can't stand it all. So those at SECcountry.com (hint, hint, as in the Southeastern Conference, home of Alabama's dynasty that shows no sign of ending) determined recently that Notre Dame is the second-most overrated program ever. They did so by adding and subtracting points from teams through a formula comparing preseason and postseason polls by the Associated Press.
Oh, and these same SECcountry.com folks don't have any true SEC teams (Texas A&M doesn't count as more Southwest/Big 12 than something from this conference) in their top 10, but the Irish are prominently there.
The SECcountry.com folks put Southern California No. 1, and I'm not totally upset with that.
Even though the Trojans are among Notre Dame's top rivals, and even though they finished unranked 17 of the 57 times they were ranked during the preseason, the No. 1 team in this category should be . . . .
The University of Georgia.
Yep, it's the SEC's Bulldogs, who always rank among the nation's top programs in producing NFL players. They had 38 last season on opening week rosters, and just seven college teams (LSU, Southern Cal, Florida, Miami, Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State) had more. In fact, nearly every year, Georgia features a Herschel Walker, a Todd Gurley or a Nick Chubb, but the Bulldogs haven't won a national championship since after the 1980 season.
During that stretch, each of those seven teams mentioned above have won a national championship.
So has Notre Dame.