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5 old Notre Dame Football photos for a Friday: Something about Tennessee

A lovely state

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 30 Music City Bowl - Notre Dame v LSU
December 30, 2014: Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Greg Bryant (1) carries for the Irish during the 2014 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN.
Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to another 5 old Notre Dame Football photos for a Friday — and we almost missed it. Friends, there is no history of the Irish and Tennessee State, but the history the football program does have with the state of Tennessee over the last 20 years is pretty fun.

Schematic Advantage

Notre Dame is 4-4 all-time against the Tennessee Volunteers thanks to the last two games played between the two programs — which resulted in back-to-back wins in 2004 and 2005 under Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis. What a world.

Tennessee Volunteers v Notre Dame Fighting Irish
SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 5: Quarterback Brady Quinn #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks for a receiver as teammate Darius Walker #3 blocks and flips Kevin Simon #2 of the Univeristy of Tennessee Volunteers on November 5, 2005 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Golden Tate is an all-time Irish legend thanks to his play-making ability on the field, but he’s also an all-time legend for the absolute swagger he put out into the world. Tate played his high school ball at Pop John Paul II High School in Tennessee (and I want more).

Washington v Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 03: Golden Tate #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish breaks away from Quinton Richardson #28 and Cort Dennison #31 of the Washington Huskies on his way to a 67 yard touchdown on October 3, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Harrison Smith was an incredible athlete throughout his career from high school in Knoxville through Notre Dame, and now with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL.He was in the same recruiting class as Golden Tate (and Jimmy Clausen) which (at the time) made me think Tennessee kind of had the best talent in the country.

Hyundai Sun Bowl - Notre Dame v Miami
EL PASO, TX - DECEMBER 30: Safety Harrison Smith #22 celebrates a pass interception with Robert Blanton #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during play against the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Bowl on December 30, 2010 in El Paso, Texas.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Smart School

Notre Dame has played the Vanderbilt Commodores three times in program history and is 3-0 in those meetings. So here’s a pic of Kevin Austin playing football.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 15 Vanderbilt at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker Brayden DeVault-Smith looks to tackle Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Kevin Austin (4) during the college football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Vanderbilt Commodores on September 15, 2018, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Marcus Snowden/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Well... they can’t all be football pics all of the time. That true — especially when we have a huge collection of images from Notre Dame’s victory over #1 Seed Overall Tennessee in the NCAA Baseball Tournament which sent the Irish to Omaha and the Vols back home to their mamas crying about “but WE’RE supposed to be the best team even momma...”

KNOXVILLE, TN - JUNE 12: Notre Dame team celebrates after back-to-back home runs during game three of the NCAA Super Regionals between the Tennessee Volunteers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish on June 12, 2022, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, TN.
Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images