Willingham was an emergency replacement after O'Leary was cut loose over the resume' fiasco. Notre Dame can be a top 10 team - hell if they win 8 games they'll be top 10 - but they will never be dominant again because they have to recruit against a lot of heavyweights now. Also, they insist on maintaining their high academic standards (not that there's anything wrong with that) which adds a degree of difficulty to the process. Urban Meyer wanted 6 "gimmes", i.e. recruits who fall below the standards, and they wouldn't go for it, so Meyer skedaddled off to Florida. Notre Dame is no longer a factor and I, for one, couldn't be happier.