1930: 10-0 Knute Rockne

What better way for Coach Knute Rockne to follow a national championship year (1929) and christen the newly opened Notre Dame Stadium in 1930 than to provide the Fighting Irish and their fans with another national title.  The 1930 team boasted veterans in the back field – Frank Carideo, Marchy Schwartz, Marty Brill, and Joe Savoldi – referred to as a new version of the Four Horsemen.  The line – Tommy Yarr, Nordy Hoffman, Brent Metzger, Joe Kurth, Al Clulber and Tom Conley – brought back memories of the Seven Mules.  And then there was the incredible new stadium, ready to welcome the 1929 national champions.  Rockne’s was given a clean bill of health to start the year, and all seemed right in South Bend as the Irish topped Southern Methodist 20-14 to open the season.  The stadium was dedicated the following week as the Irish pounded Navy, 26-2.

The Irish continued their march through the 1930 schedule with impressive wins, piling up a 17-game winning streak as they headed to Soldier Field for the annual battle with Army on November 29.  Rain and sleet turned the turf into a quagmire before Schwartz finally broke loose for a 54-yard scoring run.  The extra point put Notre Dame up, 7-0.  A blocked punt by Army near the end of the game, returned for a touchdown, appeared to have the teams headed for a tie before the Irish broke through to block the extra point and keep their win streak alive.  The Irish ended the season with a convincing 27-0 win over USC (8-1 at the time) in California.  With Rockne healthy, a newly constructed stadium, and another national title, there was nothing but great anticipation for the start of the 1931 season.  No one could have imagined that the win over USC would be the last game ever coached by Rockne, who died in a plane crash on March 31, 1931.