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The Boston Globe

Sports

Notre Dame football has regained college football relevance with 9-0 start

Notre Dame football is one of the most recognizable and storied brands in North American sports. But it has been a while since the brand of football played by the Fighting Irish lived up to the brand name of Rockne, Leahy, and Parseghian, Touchdown Jesus, Rudy, and Rocket Ismail.

Always influential off the field, Notre Dame has been part of the college football hoi polloi on the field for too long, spinning its well-heeled wheels and spouting its history — 11 national championship (but none since the 1988 season), seven Heisman Trophy winners (but none since 1987), and one melodious fight song — while leaving the national title chase to the Alabamas, LSUs, Oregons, Floridas, and Southern Cals. Over the previous five seasons, Notre Dame was a pedestrian 32-31.

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