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The Notre Dame Football Fake Mailbag: The schedule is the schedule and that’s real

Answering some questions that were never sent (but should have been)

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Louisville Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time, finally, to open our fake mailbag about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Yeah, you read that right — fake mailbag. Not one of these questions, at least to my knowledge, were submitted by a reader on any platform. So why?

Because why not? It’s the offseason and we are still a week away from spring practice, so we can indulge the dark recesses of my mind a little bit. (Yes, we really can).

What’s the best game in 2020 to take my kids to, and will I need to take out a 401K loan to do it?

First... leave your 401K alone. Second, you need to decide if taking your kids (assuming that they are 12 or under) is something that’s important to you. I’ll assume that it is because you asked the question.

The Blue-Gold game is in 2020. The glorified spring practice is a great way to introduce your kids to a major sporting event while taking it easy on your checking account. The shortened game time and “win/win” outcome, saves a depressing car ride conversation about the harsh realities of life.

C’Bo Flemister notre dame Mike Miller

If you want to throw caution to the wind and demand a real game, here are my thoughts about Notre Dame’s home schedule:

  • Arkansas Razorbacks — Early September weather in South Bend could be hot or rainy or hot and rainy. Home openers are generally pretty busy and tickets won’t be as easy or as cheap as the next week.
  • Western Michigan Broncos — This is my #1 game for you to take your kids to if you don’t like the spring option. Same weather as Arkansas, but tickets should be easier and cheaper — and a blowout is more likely (which is more fun with kids).
  • Wisconsin Badgers — Oh sorry... Notre Dame sold that home game away for cheesy dip and cheesy articles.
  • Stanford Cardinal — Night game. Your funeral.
  • Duke Blue Devils — This is on Halloween you heartless bastard. Don’t do it.
  • Clemson Tigers — That’s going to be a hot ticket. Can you be my daddy?
  • Louisville Cardinals — Good luck taking them to the bathroom in their 8 layers that they’re wearing so they don’t die.

Good luck!

You seem kind of obsessed with rivalry trophies. With the Irish only having three rivalry trophy games in 2020, you must be disappointed. Assign a new “trophy” to Notre Dame’s opponents.

Wrong. The trophy with the Navy Midshipmen is just some decoration for the console table in your home’s entry way, but I like your thought process here.

  • Navy gets the copper “Dear John Letter.”
  • Play Arkansas for “BBQ Squeeze Bottle.”
  • The ancient struggle with Western Michigan for “Another Oar.” (Word is that they have a few leftover).
  • “The Clark Lea Stapler” with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
  • A “Bottle of Weak Sauce from Another State” is appropriate for Wisconsin.
  • “The Flaming Tyler Palko Microphone” for the Pittsburgh Panthers.
  • A “basketball” for Duke because it’s all they understand.
  • The “Portrait of Pope Alexander VI” with Clemson. We’re catholic but they’re living that Borgia life.
  • “Bottle of clover honey from Dollar General” with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
  • “The BVG Carpet Runner” with the Louisville Cardinals.

What’s your linebacker lineup pre-spring with all of these injuries?

NCAA Football: Boston College at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Assuming that I can’t take a peek at Clark Lea’s desk, I’ll do my best here. I have flip-flopped on my thoughts regarding Buck/Rover changes, so basically this is just a Buck response.

  • Mike - Drew White
  • Rover - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Buck - Jordan Genmark Heath

If I did allow for the thought that Owusu-Koramoah could move to Buck, I would strongly believe Paul Moala would have the edge at Rover. What I really wish is that Mike and Rover stay the same and Bo Bauer was able to play the Buck — but that’s not happening.

If Home Run Inn Pizza is good enough for the Chicago Cubs to make them the official pizza of Wrigley Field — shouldn’t Notre Dame do the same?

This is exactly what I’m talking about. This question is BRILLIANT! Home Run Inn’s CEO is Dan Costello who is a 1994 graduate of Notre Dame, and if he hasn’t thought about this yet, I am no longer the Emperor, Supreme Commander, and Defender of the Faith here at OFD.


For a lot of people, the 2020 schedule boils down to Wisconsin and Clemson. Are there two other games that people aren’t talking about enough?

Absolutely. Clemson is the presumptive #1 team in the land, and a lot of people consider Wisconsin to be a top 10 team as well. So... they’re not wrong — not entirely. I do think there are two games that people are continually overlooking because of the Clemson and Wisconsin dates.

Pitt. Say whatever you want about Pitt because Pitt is everything. This program operates more like a voodoo curse than a football team, so play at your peril. The Pitt super weapon is real, and I refuse to take them lightly.

USC Trojans. Notre Dame hasn’t beat Southern Cal four years in a row since its amazing 11 year stretch from 1983 to 1993. The Clay Helton situation has, perhaps, given the Irish faithful a strong sense of security, but this is still Notre Dame’s biggest rival. It’s also the last game of the season and it’s in Los Angeles.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California
Ricky Watters was in LA for the 2018 game. Think about it.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The last 5 games in LA have gone like this:

  • 2018 24-17 W
  • 2016 45-27 L
  • 2014 49-14 L
  • 2012 22-13 W
  • 2010 20-16 W

Even with a 3-2 record (Notre Dame was 1-4 in the decade before) they were tough wins and brutal losses. If you’re easily penciling this in as a “W” for the Irish in 2020, you might want to slow down a little. It’s going to be a lot tougher than people are talking about right now.