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Notre Dame Football: A decade of out of conference games for the Irish

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So to speak

Tom Lopienski #36

Despite being an independent, Notre Dame’s football schedule can feel a bit stale because of the annual games that it plays. While you can blame the ACC deal all you want, the truth is that the decade (and then some) before the 5 game agreement wasn’t all that diverse. By no means am I trying to trash the schedule, and I’m perfectly aware of the handful of big games each year — I’m just saying that from start to finish it can feel a little dull.

Notre Dame’s schedule mostly works out much the same as an SEC schedule. The eight “conference” games for the Irish are the 5 ACC games, USC, Stanford, and Navy. Unlike the SEC, however, Notre Dame doesn’t dip into the FCS is fill out its remaining four games. Those four games add — in essence — the special flavoring to each season.

So let’s have a quick taste of the seasoning over the next 10 years.

2023

This is one of those years that has 6 ACC games on the schedule, so there’s less to work with. With 11 scheduled games, the Irish have just two out of pocket on the docket:

VS Ohio State Buckeyes
VS Central Michigan Chippewas

2024

In a couple of years double dip of MAC and the return of Purdue on a consistent basis. We also get to see a grown up A&M team that blew recruiting out of the water in the 2022 cycle. This is a 4 ACC game year, and only 11 games are scheduled at the moment.

@ Texas A&M Aggies
@ Purdue Boilermakers
VS Northern Illinois Huskies
VS Miami-Ohio Redhawks

2025

11 games are on the schedule and there are a couple of 2024 rematches — but we also finally get that trip down south to play Arkansas.

VS Texas A&M Aggies
VS Purdue Boilermakers
@ Arkansas Razorbacks

2026

There are just 10 games on the schedule, and the Stanford Cardinal aren’t on it just yet. The rescheduled 2020 Shamrock Series is on here for a return to Big 10 mania.

VS Wisconsin Badgers *Shamrock Series
@ Purdue Boilermakers
VS Michigan State Spartans

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Shamrock Series - Notre Dame v Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2027

Now we’re really getting down the road with no USC or Stanford listed. The Irish have 8 games scheduled with just the “traditional little r’s” with a date.

VS Purdue Boilermakers
@ Michigan State Spartans

2028

The rescheduled 2020 Arkansas game is getting checked off of the list and Notre Dame still Purdoes it.

VS Arkansas Razorbacks
@ Purdue Boilermakers

2029

Is Nick Saban going to be in South Bend? Honestly — who really know at this point. A trip to Tampa for the first time is somehow a thing (oh yeah... 2020 again).

VS Alabama Crimson Tide
@ USF Bulls

University of Notre Dame Tim Brown Getty

2030

The Tuscaloosa invasion is ready to roll Irish. Notre Dame shakes free of its Boiler chains for a date with another Old Oaken Bucket owner.

VS Indiana Hoosiers
@ Alabama Crimson Tide

2031

Notre Dame gets a blessed day in Bloomington, and three Florida schools will travel to South Bend for games this year (Miami is also on the home schedule).

VS USF Bulls
@ Indiana Hoosiers
VS Florida Gators

2032

The Irish travel to The Swamp to take on the Gators, but also will have a trip to Miami. The Florida State Seminoles travel to South Bend, so there’s an awesome chance that the Irish can win the Sunshine State Trophy for a second year in a row.

@ Florida Gators

Notre Dame Jerome Bettis, 1991 Sugar Bowl Getty