Irish have golden opportunity in recruiting

Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program in the country, and every conference has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to landing top prospects. In the start of a weeklong series, we'll examine the BCS conferences plus Notre Dame to find each's strength, the biggest obstacle each faces and the overall view of the conference. Notre Dame is up today.

Biggest obstacle: Relevance in today's era. This term is thrown around a lot when it comes to Notre Dame and the perception of the Irish in today's college football world. It's important, however, because the Midwest alone does not provide a deep enough pool for Notre Dame to build a top-10 program. The Irish must be a national recruiter, which has its challenges despite being perceived as a strength. Academics, an unreasonable fan base expectation level and weather can also play a role.