Notre Dame's 13-6 win over Michigan last week has earned it plenty of recognition, from a top-10 AP ranking to plenty of laudatory comments about how the Irish are "back."
Add Notre Dame's most famous walk-on to the list of those who have taken notice of the Irish's 4-0 start.
"Im excited for them," Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger told CSN Chicago at Monday's White Sox game, where he threw out the first pitch. "Im excited for the fact they found that rhythm, the confidence. Its the first time in a long time we feel passion, which is very important."
Notre Dame is 4-0 for the first time since 2002, when the Irish wound up going 10-3 under first-year coach Tyrone Willingham. They're in the top 10 for the first time since 2006, which was also the last year the team earned a BCS berth.
And Ruettiger sees that success as the product of the team's coach.
"Im happy for Brian Kelly that he brings the passion to the table, which is good," Ruettiger explained. "I'm just excited. He gets it. When you get it, you can get it done."
Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.
The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.
The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.
The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.
The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.
Here's a look at the full schedule:
Chicago Bears training camp is right around the corner with the first practice (non-padded) scheduled for July 21.
Bears veterans and rookies will report a few days ahead of that first session to acclimate themselves to their new (for some) surroundings. Rookies report on July 16, with veterans coming three days later on July 19.
All eyes will be on QB Mitch Trubisky and the potentially high-flying offense under coach Matt Nagy. Training camp will take on extra importance because of the plethora of new faces on the roster and coaching staff as well as the installation of a completely new offensive scheme. It's critical that Trubisky builds chemistry with wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Kevin White, all of whom he's never thrown a regular-season pass to. Add Trey Burton to that mix and a lot of miscues should be expected in the preseason.
The rookie class is led by linebacker Roquan Smith, who remains unsigned. With less than 30 days until rookies are required to report, a greater sense of urgency -- even if it's not quite a panic -- is certainly creeping in. Assuming he's signed in time, Smith should earn a starting role early in training camp and ascend to one of the defense's top all-around players.
The Bears have higher-than-usual expectations heading into the 2018 season making fans eager for summer practices to get underway.