Wednesday, September 12, 2012
What becomes of ND's rivalries?
By Matt Fortuna
Jack Swarbrick said his goal is to implement the football portion of Notre Dame's ACC scheduling agreement in the 2014 season. What, if anything, will be lost when the Irish begin playing five ACC opponents a year?
The athletic director said the school will follow scheduling contract termination provisions if it needs to cancel a future series. But remember, Notre Dame already played three ACC schools during last year's regular season, in addition to a fourth, Florida State, in the Champs Sports Bowl. And the Irish face three more this season, not including current Big East member Pitt, which is joining the ACC next season.
Here's what Notre Dame has lined up, and how these rivalries could be affected by Wednesday's news.
Navy: Swarbrick's direct words during Wednesday's conference call: "As everyone close to Notre Dame knows, the tradition of playing Navy has very deep and important roots for the university." The longest intersectional rivalry in college football is booked through the 2016 season. Don't expect it to go away after that.
Purdue: This series was extended in 2007 through the 2014 season. But with Swarbrick's insistence on going out West and playing Navy every year, this could be the first domino to fall. One Big Ten school figures to, at least, and the Boilermakers, frankly, don't provide the oomph or the history to the schedule that Michigan State and Michigan do. There is the chance Notre Dame simply alternates its Big Ten rivalries, keeping three off the schedule in a given year.
Michigan State: This series is scheduled through 2031, with two-year breaks in 2014-15, 2020-21 and 2026-27. MSU athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press: "This series has great history, and we expect the rivalry will continue.”
Michigan: The schools agreed to a 20-year extension of their rivalry in 2007, taking the series through the 2031 season. But it was on a three-year rolling basis, giving either side the chance to opt out with three years' notice. They announced this summer that a two-year break is coming in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, but that they intend to resume the series in the years following. Whether that changes after Wednesday's announcement remains to be seen.
Stanford: Swarbrick said it is important for Notre Dame to play annually on the West Coast. Translated: This series probably isn't going anywhere. Last year the two announced an extension of their home-and-home series through the 2019 season, and they have even talked about moving next year's regular-season finale to China, though talks have stalled since Cardinal AD Bob Bowlsby took the Big 12 commissioner job.
BYU: The programs are slated to meet in South Bend this year and next, with four games split between the two schools' locations sometime in 2014-20. That will probably be all for these two schools, assuming they can even keep those games alive.
Boston College: The schools are scheduled to take a break in 2013 and 2014 before resuming the Holy War in 2016, 2018 and 2019. But with the new ACC scheduling agreement forcing Notre Dame to play every ACC school at least once during a three-year cycle, this one could lose its annual billing.
USC: See Stanford above. This one isn't going anywhere, either.