You can thank Sergio Brown for getting Randy Edsall.
The defensive back made a stupid late hit with a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. No late hit would have forced a fourth down, Jimmy Clausen would have sliced UConn apart and the 21-0 lead may have been insurmountable.
But instead, Brown's penalty gave UConn a second life, the Huskies scored a few minutes later to make it 14-7 and suddenly it was a game.
And suddenly Notre Dame got to look across the field and saw their new coach.
It was a modern-day drama of a man bigger than life. It was also deja vu 36 years later.
Moose Kraus and Ned Joyce and Ted Hesburgh kept watching Ara Parseghian beat Notre Dame with his Northwestern team. Finally, after not being able to take Joe Kuharich and Huey Devore any more, they made the decision that turned the program around forever. One more bad move and you would be watchng Notre Dame playing I-AA football right now.
Instead, the program once built on Rockne's genius and Frank Leahy's devotion came alive again.
No more hiring graduates like Terry Brennan.
Find the right man. If you get the right coach, then even better. Ara was both.
So is Randy Edsall.
While Charlie Weis whined and sarcastically barked at Alex Flanagan or any other reporter nearby, making excuses with his get-out-of-my-way-so-I-can-sing-the-alma-mater fraudulent discourse, Edsall was losing week after week, facing the media, facing the music. He had a devastating loss to West Virginia after making a miraculous late-game surge. Then came Rutgers and a last-second slant pass to Tim Brown, who took it 81 yards for a TD and a most-improbable victory, a 1,000-1 shot.
That was followed by a another close call, this time to top 5 and undefeated Cincinnati.
Edsall had every right to be bitter three weeks in a row. But he showed class in losing.
But this time, on senior day at Notre Dame, he got rewarded and Edsall knew he had help from above.
Jasper Howard was stabbed to death earlier in the year after a campus party turned into a horrible nightmare, It was a tragedy that was felt across the nation.
UConn never made excuses, win or lose. They played hard and earned victories that suddenty turned into last-second losses. But Randy Edsall kept the team together. He showed courage and so did they.
They didn't whine before and now they could rejoice.
When the players were arm in arm and swayed to the alma mater, Our Lady was at work.
She rewarded the right man,
She tossed the other one.
Hire Randy Edsall.
Hire him now.
Let him start building the program back up to where it belongs.
Ara Parsgehian didn'l go to a bowl game one year because of moral high ground.
Charlie Weis didn't go because a team of all-Americans went 6-6 and they were embarrased.
Open the door for Randy Edsall for they will follow.
And the university will be proud once again, win or lose.