Yes, Notre Dame has dominated college football: It has the best winning percentage (.759) of all time, and the school has won the most national championships (seven) since the Associated Press began polling in 1936. But Irish teams of the recent past seem to be better in our memories than they were on the field. In fact, Notre Dame has had only two national championship teams—1973 and 1977—in the last 20 years.
Father Joyce believes that there could be another championship sometime, "with an awful lot of luck and if universities will do away with the cheating that seems to be endemic." But, assuming that cheating and Notre Dame continue to flourish, dreams of another football national championship in South Bend are only that.
Says Hesburgh, "Football is bad only when it is perverted and misused. But football can be done honestly, and this place has proved it. And we don't want to be third-rate in anything."