The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a football team from the 1970s, will "be taken serious when they beat an SEC team," says coach Brian Kelly, a coach of whom our kind highly approves for his sense of humor. So when might that be? Let's take a look at some future schedules.
No SEC teams in sight, but we do have a handful of southeastern squads, at least.
Their 2011 schedule contains a North Carolinian ACC team (Wake Forest Demon Deacons) and a Floridian Big East team (South Florida Bulls). They're supposed to play the Miami Hurricanes in 2012, and I think the Oklahoma Sooners are the southeasternmost (word?) team they play in 2013, though they also play the Arizona St. Sun Devils in Texas. 2014 ... the Temple Owls, I guess. Wake Forest returns for 2015, while 2016 features Miami again.
Potential bowl schedules aside, it sounds like you may continue to think of Notre Dame however you think of them for several more years.