With both No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon falling on Saturday night, Notre Dame football found itself in a position it hasn’t enjoyed in nearly two decades: Atop the polls.
And for the first time since 1993, an eight-foot tall “#1” sign atop the school’s Grace Hall dormitory was lit up in honor of the football team. The sign was originally placed outside Notre Dame’s Moreau Seminary after the football team’s 1973 championship season but remains lit so long as any Irish sports team is ranked No. 1.
Thus, even though the football team hasn’t been atop the polls since ’93, it has been lit at times since then as Fighting Irish athletics has won eight national championships across three sports — fencing (1994, 2003, 2005, 2011); women’s soccer (1995, 2004, 2010); and women’s basketball (2001) — in that span.
With all due respect to those sports, however, having the sign lit up in honor of the football team takes on a whole new level of significance. If Irish fans have it their way, it’ll remain lit after next week’s game at USC all the way through the BCS title game.