The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are preparing for a Pac-12 team this week, when the California Golden Bears come to South Bend

but the Irish need to look at another Pac-12 team to learn more about their present situation.

The Washington Huskies have a new coach who seems to understand how to run a program. 

 , Kalen DeBoer is demonstrating noticeable competence on the job in Seattle.

The relevant comparison between Notre Dame and Washington refers to the coach DeBoer replaced: Jimmy Lake.

 He got enmeshed in some non-football controversies which represented a tipping point.

 the root cause of Lake’s implosion as Washington head coach — the reason why his tenure lasted only two years,

 one of them the truncated 2020 pandemic season — is that he made a terrible hire on the opposite side of the ball.

Notre Dame fans need to know this. Lake was elevated from his defensive coordinator position to succeed Chris Petersen.

Athletic director Jen Cohen clearly did not vet Lake’s offensive philosophy (at least not enough).