Maybe it's because I just graduated law school a year and a half ago, or maybe I'm reaching here, but the Irish football program seems to me to be in the same state of flux as the Notre Dame Law School.
For those of you that haven't been to campus in a while (or never), the Notre Dame Law School has been undergoing a major renovation that will more than double it's size. And the progression of the law school's transformation has closely mirrored the transformation that the football program has been enduring.
When Weis took his position as head coach at Notre Dame, I was a 2L at the law school - he came in to speak with the students, and I was one of the lucky ones that got to ask him a question. Around that same time that Charlie was hired, it was announced that the Law School had gotten a major gift from Frank Eck, and that the construction of the law school addition had been greenlighted.
At that time, the law school had recently suffered a major drop in the rankings due to several factors, one of which included a lot of transition in the administration of the school.
The next two years, things looked good, but not great - ground hadn't been broken, but the plans were in place, and things looked good.
Then we broke ground on the law school, and the entire area looke like crap. At that same time, we fielded the 2007 Irish. In fact, last year's slide to start the season coincided with the digging of the foundation of the law school. Halfway through the fall semester, all we had to show for both programs was a giant gaping hole, and a big mess all around.
Then, we started building.
As the scaffolding went up around the law school addition, so too did the Irish show some signs of building at the end of the season. All offseason we worked on both projects, and at the beginning of this year, the law school looked like an almost finished product. A bricked exterior, lighting, the works.
Likewise, the Irish this year looked like a very good football team from the outside. Returning starters all over the field, a great incoming freshman class, and lots of promise for the future.
Halfway through this season, though, the law school addition is still bare bones inside. Likewise, the Irish football team still lacks a solid foundation - those junior and senior classes that build programs long-term.
And moving forward, I feel much the same about the Irish football team as I do about the law school expansion.
For too long, Notre Dame was content to live in the past, remembering their glory years. Old facilities, old ways of doing things. With the arrival of Weis/addition, Notre Dame has made a commitment to the future of the program by endeavouring to build a 21st century institution.
This is a long-term project, not just a quick fix of the existing institution.
We're not just cleaning the brick and putting in some extra outlets here, folks. We are building institutions that will compete at the elite levels of their respective fields.
Much like athletics has hired Swarbrick to lead the Irish into a new renaissance of ND athletics, the law school is also hiring a new dean to lead us into this exciting new era.
And I have full confidence that both institutions, once we've suffered through all of the building pains, will be back where they deserve to be - the pinnacle of their fields.
So be patient, fellow Irish fans, the reaissance is coming. You can all see how awesome this thing is going to look when it's done, but until then, ride out the storm.
Next year, we'll have something truly amazing starting.