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The 2022 season reset Notre Dame’s football rivalries for 2023

Some might call it a “tour” but I do not

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This wasn’t the 2022 Notre Dame football season that we hoped for back in August. Pretty much, as always, most of us were completely wrong about the team in various ways — and that’s perfectly okay. There’s no way to account for any number of variables that occur during the season when the record is 0-0 and we’re all still baking under the August sun.

Notre Dame went 1-2 in the red-circle games against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Clemson Tigers, and USC Trojans. They also lost a trophy game to the Stanford Cardinal — so it wasn’t a whole lot of fun.

The good news is that there will be a next year, and next year there are all kinds of opportunities to get revenge (without calling it a revenge tour because that stuff is just silly). While we are suffering now, it does set up a really interesting 2024 with all kinds of awesome things on the menu.

Navy Midshipmen

It’s a pointless game. The only good thing about this is that it is the first game of the season — but it will still be a drag on the Irish schedule as much as it always is. It’s a 3,614 mile trip to Dublin, Ireland, and the return home will hit the boys pretty hard. There isn’t a bye week afterward, and Tennessee State is up next. There’s nothing awesome about this for the football team (I don’t give two shits about your fun travel plans to the mother country) and I merely point all of this out to prove that the Navy game almost always makes things more difficult than they need to be — and no one outside of the Navy series loving masses inside the Notre Dame bubble care at all.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Enough is enough. Notre Dame has lost five straight to the Bucks, and something has to give — right? A win over OSU would be unbelievably huge for the program moving forward next year, and getting them inside Notre Dame Stadium helps provide a picturesque fall Saturday.

USC Trojans

Too many of you have dismissed this rivalry game over the years. I hope what you saw to close out the regular season helped change your mind. Southern Cal can burn in hell — BURN IN HELL as far as I’m concerned. Lincoln Riley said after the game that he was annoyed that people kept bringing up that he brought in a few players to USC. A few? He brought 20 mercenaries. Screw all of them.

Clemson Tigers

Yeah — Notre Dame won the 2022 game, but if they want to be sure that the tide has turned, a trip to Death Valley and another ass-whooping like we saw in South Bend will help bury the 2015, 2018, and 2020 (ACC Championship Game) demons for good.

Stanford Cardinal

While no one wants to call this a rivalry game, David Shaw gave the Irish its worst loss of the 2022 season, took the Legends Trophy back to the farm, and then he retired. I don’t like it — and I want vengeance.

Pittsburgh Panthers

There’s no revenge factor here, but there is 100% a Pat Narduzzi factor. Narduzzi can’t keep the Irish out of his mouth and the fact that Notre Dame flipped QB Kenny Minchey just makes this even more fun.

Mostly this post was to remind people of three things:

  • Playing Navy is dumb — always.
  • There will be a next year and it could be a really fun and interesting season.
  • Dust off the hate in your heart for Southern Cal and juice it up like a Brian Cushing Saturday morning.

The 2022 season wasn’t good enough, but that could make 2023 something truly incredible. If you want to discuss anything else about the 2023 schedule, please feel free to toss it around in the comments below.