Schedule Submission No. 4
Auburn @ Georgia Dome (Shamrock Series)
vs. Boise State
vs. Florida State
@ Wake Forest
vs. Oklahoma State
USC and Stanford. The Trojans for obvious reasons, the Trees because keeping a consistent California team is a good idea and we go head to head on the more academically-minded recruits. A rotation with UCLA and visiting the Rose Bowl is tempting, but I don't want to give Jim Mora the pleasure.
Two B1G games and that's it. Two games each against the Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, and one against the Big 12.
Let's make this a big deal - start playing a marquee opponent in the Shamrock Series for the first game each year. For this one I chose Auburn in Atlanta, but would look for a rotation against traditional SEC powers (Bama, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU,Georgia, Florida) rotating between the Georgia Dome (and new Atlanta stadium), Jerry World, and the Superdome.
Schedule Structure and Selection
Auburn (@ Georgia Dome): As mentioned above, let's start every season with a marquee game. Time to prepare for an SEC opponent and Gus Malzahn's offense would be beneficial, and the southeast isn't getting any less competitive in recruiting. This would be a game every year that with a win would vault Notre Dame into the playoff conversation.
@ Vanderbilt: Two SEC games in row? Previous seasons have started with multiple Big Ten games, so why not? Nashville is great road trip destination and some fans love the idea of playing "academic peers".
Boise State: How fun would a series with the Broncos be? Old tradition versus new, Chris Petersen's departure makes them very slightly less scary, and Mike Sanford faces his old team. Storylines everywhere.
@ SMU: There's gotta be an easy game or two, so why not hit fertile recruiting territory in Texas when you do it? A little bit of a goodwill gesture for a program that's come back a long way.
Florida State: I want revenge for last year, and I want it now. Everett Golson returning to South Bend would be a circus, but in a pretty fun way. I would bet heavy money on Malik Zaire turning it up to 11 in this game. Ideally this would be part of a home and home rotation with the Seminoles, Clemson, and Miami.
BYU: I'm ditching the ACC agreement, so the Independents gotta stick together. Another quality opponent that's consistently in bowl games.
@ Stanford: I'm not the most passionate about the Stanford rivalry, but let's keep it going. Between USC and Stanford the Pac-12 North and South are represented and years where both programs are down should be few and far between.
Indiana: Hoosier Pride! Hosting IU provides a break in the schedule but still a major conference opponent, and would bring a lot of in-state attention. We've played Purdue plenty, so time to spread the love to some struggling neighboring programs...just don't pull a Northwestern.
@ Wisconsin: Time to jump around at Camp Randall. I debated a home and home with Nebraska, but Madison is more fun. The only downside is Wisconsin will run the dang ball more, and I've heard whoever does that wins, so this is probably the toughest game on the schedule.
@ Wake Forest: With a neutral site game against Auburn, home games against FSU and USC, and tricky away games with Wisconsin and Stanford, time for another break in the schedule. Thanks Demon Deacons!
Oklahoma State: I had to squeeze in a Big 12 team - Texas this year would work, but went with a new opponent in the Cowboys. This could be a rotation with Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech - staggering to avoid playing FSU and Oklahoma (and for that matter Alabama) in the same year.
USC: Let's make in a unanimous selection - it's time for the Trojans to start feeling the South Bend weather in November.