Notre Dame is one of college football’s most storied dynasties. The Fighting Irish have had great players such as Tim Brown, Joe Montana, Paul Hornung, George Gipp, Johnny Lujack who will go down in college football history as some of the greatest players to ever play the sport. Due to all of Notre Dame’s success, the list only considers teams after 1970. Let us know what you guys think in the comments below!
5. 1993 11-1 (Cotton Bowl – W)
Starting our countdown we have the 1993 team. The team was led by Kevin McDougal, Lee Becton, Ray Zellars, and Bobby Taylor. Notre Dame won their first ten games before losing a 41-39 heartbreaker to Boston College in the Holy War. Following the loss, the Fighting Irish rebounded with a Cotton Bowl win against Texas A&M and finished the season ranked #2 in the final AP Poll.
4. 1989 12-1 (Orange Bowl – W)
The 1989 Notre Dame team faced an extremely challenging schedule, but still nearly finished the year undefeated. The Fighting Irish faced seven ranked opponents and their only loss came at #7 Miami. Notre Dame ended the season beating #1 Colorado in the Orange Bowl, and went on to finish the year ranked #2 in the final AP Poll.
3. 1973 11-0 (Sugar Bowl – W)
Coached by Ara Parseghian, the 1973 Notre Dame team was dominant. The Fighting Irish averaged 34.7 points per game (8th in the nation) and only gave up 8.1 points per game (4th in the nation). Notre Dame beat #1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl which and finished the season ranked #1 in the final AP Poll. Tight end, Dave Casper, and cornerback, Mike Townsend, were All-Americans.
2. 1988 12-0 (Fiesta Bowl – W)
Coming in at our number 2 spot we have the 1988 team. The Fighting Irish were coached by Lou Holtz and finished the season undefeated. Mark Green and Tony Rice led the offensive unit. The defense finished the year 3rd in the nation, allowing only 13.0 points per game. During the year Notre Dame beat four teams ranked in the top 10, #9 Michigan, #1 Miami, #2 USC, and #3 West Virginia. The season ended on a high note after the Fighting Irish beat West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl. The bowl victory helped to secure a #1 final ranking.
1. 1977 11-1 (Cotton Bowl – W)
The best Notre Dame team since 1970 is the 1977 team. This team averaged 35.0 points per game while only giving up 11.6 points per game. The team was led by Joe Montana and Jerome Heavens. Joe Restic finished the year with 6 interceptions and Luther Bradley added 5 interceptions. The Fighting Irish beat #7 Pittsburgh, #5 USC, #15 Clemson, and ended the year beating #1 Texas in the Sugar Bowl. Notre Dame finished the year ranked #1 in the final AP Poll.