(Photo by Chad Ryan)

One standard of a successful College Football season is to hit double digits in the win column. 

In Its 135-year history, the Irish have reached double digits in their win totals 22 times.

When seasons were shorter and the Irish didn’t go to bowl games, not surprisingly, it was really rare. In fact until 1948 the Irish had many season with only 9 scheduled games.

None the less, Rockne did it twice, Leahy once. Starting in 1948, 10 game schedules became the norm, and the Irish started going to bowl games regularly in 1969. During Ara’s 11 year run which started in 1964, he hit double digits three times. Dan Devine won double digits (and a national title) once in 1977.  

In the “modern era” since about the time when Lou Holtz came to town in 1986 and 11 and then 12 game regular season schedules and bowl games became common, it has happened 13 times.

Lou hit 10 or more wins five times. Bob Davie never did it, Ty Willingham did it in 2002, and Charlie Weis won 10 in 2006.

And then Brian Kelly came to town.  

Through 2020 Brian Kelly’s teams have accomplished the feat 6 times in 11 seasons.

And this week, on Senior Day against Georgia Tech, Kelly goes for his 7th overall and 5th consecutive, double-digit win season.

This prolific run of winning started in 2017 on the heels of the disaster that was 2016. A point in time when the program needed a overhaul, Brian Kelly was on the hottest of seats, and deserved to be.

There has been a remarkable turnaround. In fact if the Irish mange to win out in the 2021 regular season, they will have averaged 11 wins per year for the last five years.

Oh, and that would be the most successful five years era, in terms of winning, ever, in Notre Dame Football history.

Holy double digit wins, George Gipp!

You play to win the game, indeed.  And since 2017, the Irish have been playing it,  quite well.

By Phil Houk

For 25 years, bringing you the glory of Notre Dame football.

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