Catholics vs. Convicts? Ever heard of it? I have news for everyone- the passion, the hatred, the gimmicks, and the heated rivalry.....HAS PASSED. These programs do not hate each other, they aren’t the same teams from the late 80s. However, the game this weekend has the power to create the start of a new rivalry. A major theme in college football this year has been that both THE U and THE IRISH are “back”. With that comes the constant replays of the 30 for 30 (which is awesome don’t get me wrong), but that was then and this is now. We have an opportunity to bring back years of hatred, especially as both of these programs have seemed to have turned the corner and (hopefully) have established themselves as true players in the years to come for the College football playoff. I hope this game lives up to the hype and can produce a type of environment that will spark a series of great future match-ups between the 2 programs.*****
Regardless, the talk about the teams being “back” and the constant references of the Catholics vs. Convicts series got me thinking about the various tiers of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Rivals. The range is from Respect, to dislike, to hatred. There have been highs and lows of each series, but so many of the key games are burned into my brain from watching them live, watching old games on tape, or even just hearing stories about the environments. I attempted to break down the tiers of the rivalries, and want to let the fans comments on some of the key games they’ve been a part of, and speak to some of the most electric environments you’ve experienced.
*****On a serious note I really hope we blow them out-it’s way more fun that way.
Low Tier Rivalry : Respect
These games have been going on for long periods of time. Often time Notre Dame fans get excited for the games, but have no sense of malice towards the opponent. You hope to win, but often find yourself rooting for the opponent when the two aren’t facing off. There is something special about seeing Stanford beat up on USC or BC take down Florida State. The games are often times tight, but the Respect of the programs is mutual.
- Stanford Cardinal - ND leads 19-12
- Boston College Eagles- ND leads 15-9
- Navy MidShipmen - ND leads 76-13-1
Mid Tier Rivarly: Dislike, but will Root for them in a pinch
These mid level rivalries are ones that you get amped up for on Gameday, and have had some very iconic games, but the hate just isn’t quite there. I can also justify rooting for these teams to help out Notre Dame, such as the Spartans beating the Penn State Nittany Lions a week ago (thanks).
- Michigan State Spartan - ND leads 49-21-1
- Florida State Seminoles - FSU leads 6-2
Top Tier Rival: Their loss brings me almost as much joy as an ND win.
I’ll take these a level deeper. I always relate to my brothers pure level of hatred, which I think is felt by a broad Notre Dame fan base...A loss by these teams can ease the pain of a Notre Dame Loss. This is getting joy out of others misery. The hate is also mutual-These fan bases reciprocate the hatred, which almost reaches a level of respect, but not quite. I have heard stories since coming out of the womb about the iconic 1988 battle at Notre Dame. This week, however, I heard a new side of the story, that would take place a year later. My dad’s best friend traveled to Miami the following year (1989 for you history buffs)...Notre Dame was at the peak of their glory with a 23 game winning streak. I asked what the environment was like. He had 1 word “terrifying”. Despite Notre Dame’s dominance up to this game, the Hurricanes, fueled by hate and driven by revenge, and led by a mob of vengeful fans, totally dominated the Irish. This is the type of rivalry I can get behind, and one that hopefully begins to take shape in the years to come.
- Michigan Wolverines - MI leads 24-17-1
- USC Trojans - ND leads 47-37-5
- MIAMI Hurricanes- ND leads 18-7-1
My hope is that this week can spark up another rivalry, as I believe these two programs have been heading in the right direction from a recruiting, image, and performance standpoint. I would love to see this game grow into a longer future series, and becomes a staple on the Irish schedule. The fan base gets so amped up for Michigan and USC, and I would like to add Miami right into that hatred fire.
I will have a simple poll this week-Which of these 3 Hated Rivals do you hate the most? Also, please share some reasons why and even a story to get others on board with your hate.
Who Do you Hate the Most?
This poll is closed