The Notre Dame Fighting Irish released their football schedules for 2018 and 2019 and there was something missing from them. There are no Shamrock Series games scheduled. Notre Dame added the Vanderbilt Commodores to the home slate in 2018, but no announcement for one of those Shamrock games.
This year, Notre Dame decided to take a break from the Shamrock Series as it is pretty excited about the Crossroads project for Notre Dame Stadium. The renovations will be completed before the beginning of the 2017 season, and the chance to host 7 games at home, was too enticing for the Irish.
There was one line that was included in the release that will still keep some people on the hook...
One home game in either 2018 or 2019 may be relocated to an off-campus site as part of Notre Dame's Shamrock Series scheduling initiative.
I can’t think of a more “lawyery” move than that. Basically, there are no signs at all that the Irish will play a Shamrock Series game in either 2018 or 2019, but dropping that line keeps the natives that (for some ungodly reason) are clamoring for one, at ease.
I’ve written about the death of the Shamrock Series before, so I won’t rehash too much of it again. I will say, that this feels like a no-brainer. Why cough up a game at home? The series never did offer a lot of benefits to the program- despite any statement otherwise, and with all of the cross-country travel that the Irish already do, why create more problems?
Jack Swarbrick stated that if the series was to move forward, it would be opponent driven as opposed to location driven. Do we really want the Florida State Seminoles in a neutral-site game? The only real option looks like the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2019, and then that would mean an empty Notre Dame Stadium with its new Jumbotron and all of its other awesome awesomeness.
That ain’t happening. The Shamrock Series is all but dead, and that’s fine with me. I imagine that once 2020 arrives, we won’t even be discussing this much. College games played in college stadiums. Let’s do it.