Irish, with the right coachChris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times
This one is, to mix my metaphors, a slam dunk. Notre Dame will return to glory as soon as it hires the right coach. People wondered if Southern California could ever win big again after going through the Ted Tollner, Larry Smith, John Robinson II and Paul Hackett years. USC had lost its mojo. Really?
The Trojans shot back to the top after hiring Pete Carroll. Programs with tradition have the advantage in having that tradition. Once things appear headed in the right direction, the alums come back in droves and usually need sideline passes.
It's a different question at Florida State, because it had little tradition before Bobby Bowden. One man built, from scratch, what had once been a women's college.
We don't know what Florida State football will be after Bowden any more than we know what Arizona basketball will become after Lute Olson.
Seminoles an easy pickBrian Hamilton, Chicago Tribune
Whoever lands the Notre Dame gig also receives a welcome basket filled with lit firecrackers. He likely will debut in 2010 without Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, while breaking in a revamped offensive line and still dealing with defensive talent deficiencies.
So, yes, the program with the fertile recruiting backyard and quarterback that isn't coming off an ACL tear is better positioned to return to glories past. Jimbo Fisher and Florida State benefit from relative continuity after Bobby Bowden's retirement. Notre Dame, meanwhile, once again isn't just turning a page, it's starting another book.
Both programs have the resources to succeed at the level they expect. Thanks to location, a so-so conference and a more seamless transition, the Seminoles can climb back quicker.
Fisher mans better teamAndrea Adelson, Orlando Sentinel
Though both programs are in disrepair, Florida State is in better shape to turn things around for several reasons. The Seminoles already have their coach in place. Jimbo Fisher has served as coach in waiting under Bobby Bowden. He is familiar with the players and can now take charge of recruiting and remake his coaching staff.
They have young players on offense who will be even better next season, while Notre Dame could lose Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate to the NFL. As for intangibles, there won't be a national glare beating down on Fisher the way it does on Notre Dame. He has fertile recruiting ground in the state, while Notre Dame must recruit nationally.
And the ACC is weak and wide open for the taking. If the Seminoles show any ounce of improvement on defense next season, they could be much better than they are today.
Irish glitz keeps fadingDave Fairbank, Newport News Daily Press
Florida State is better positioned to return to elite status than the University of NBC for three reasons: proximity to talent, geography and conference affiliation.
The state of Florida grows oranges and football players in abundance. The college game has skewed south and west in the last 20 years.
The ACC doesn't approach the annual meat grinder status of the SEC, never mind the cyclical rise of the Big 12 or Pac-10 in a given year.
Notre Dame is a good job, a top 25 job, but the only people who think it's still an elite program have AARP membership cards.
Sure, there's the Subway Alumni, 68 million Catholics and Beano Cook, but South Bend, Ind., is no longer the preferred destination of top-shelf talent.