Now that basketball season is drawing to a close, and we look ahead to spring football, I’ve been contemplating what to write about during the offseason. What I’ve decided is that I am going to start looking back at first game of each of Notre Dame’s biggest (favorite?) football rivalries.
Who are Notre Dame’s biggest (favorite) rivals you ask? Well of course USC comes to my mind first. After that ... I guess that’s up for debate.
First we have to define what a rivalry is. Merriam-Webster says: The word rival most commonly refers to a person or group that tries to defeat or be more successful than another person or group, which means that rivals tend to come in pairs. Teams, schools, or companies might be longtime rivals if they try over many years to outdo each other.
Many college football rivalries are geographically based, or are conference based, but with Notre Dame being an independent, it’s not as easy as that to define.
If you look at currently played rivals, (based on number of years played) I’d say: USC, Navy, and Stanford.
If you look at historical rivals, I’d add in: Purdue, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Army, Northwestern, Michigan, Boston College, Miami (FL).
And then if you want to look at significant series, I’d finish with: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Penn State, and maybe Clemson.
And then as I think about it more ... where does Air Force fit in? Or Ohio State?
What do you think? Who do you consider Notre Dame’s top rivals? Who would you add to the “significant series” list?
This week I’m going to look back to the first game in the Notre Dame vs. USC rivalry ... and I’ll wait to see what you guys say about who ND’s actual rivals are ... CHEERS!
The below excerpt detailing the Notre Dame vs USC game from 1926 is from the 1926 Football Review.
Parisien’s Port Sided Passes Defeat Trojans, 13-12
It was little Art Parisien, the minute man of ‘26, who was the star of stars again after pulling the dark clouds of defeat over that much exploited Southern California sunshine on December fourth. It was the first time in history that the trick had been pulled by an Eastern or Mid-Western team and then it came as the climax of the most thrilling game of football that we can find recorded in the books this year.
Like a page from Frank Meriwell, it came as the shadows from the high stadium walls of Troy were slipping down, phantom like, over the white-sliced playing field. There was a substitution and whether or not you believe that Rockne is a magician the fact is he spoke just three words and lo, the Scarlet became mighty blue!
The words? Why “Parisien for Riley” and in trotted Parry, the left handed, who specializes in winning games in the fading minutes of play.
He was in just three plays but when he trotted back to the bench the thunder that was sent heavenwards for him was the acclimation accorded a hero. Just three plays, —but enough to made the score-board tenders exercise their accounting; enough to make us all wild with joy; enough to end a great season for a great team fighting for a great coach and a greater school.
The teams were as evenly matched as any teams could be. Notre Dame outscored the Trojan in the matter of yards piled up from scrimmage but in that matter of first downs they were each resting with ten when the time was called. Notre Dame had the brainy football; the spirit, and the Captain Jim Cravath, “Devil May” Kaer, Laranella and Williams outdid themselves that combination was too strong to beat.
Read more here from the Chicago Herald and the Examiner.
Until next week ...
Cheers & GO IRISH!