The Fighting Irish have captured 11 consensus national championships over the course of six decades. Their most recent win came in 1988 under head coach Lou Holtz.
Notre Dame ended the 1988 season with 12 wins and no losses en route to a national title. The Fighting Irish won the championship by defeating the previously unbeaten and No. 3 West Virginia, 34–21 in the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.
The Irish title tradition dates back to Knute Rockne era when Notre Dame won its first consensus crown in 1924. They have won eight championships since the poll era began in 1936, which is just second only to Alabama (nine). Four of those titles came under coach Frank Leahy.
No. 3 Notre Dame will play for its first national championship since 1988 this year when they take on No. 2 Clemson in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 29.