The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Adios Skunkbears

It was reported today that Notre Dame has opted-out of its series with Michigan. Anyone with half a brain knew this series was toast as soon as the ACC move was announced. It really couldn't last. Playing 3 B1G teams is a bit overkill, and Purdue (Shillelagh) and MSU (Megaphone) are our true rivals. I have no doubt that Michigan is not wiping away tears at this either. They will happily move on. While I'm not surprised, two thoughts after reading the article did raise my eyebrow:

1) Swarbrick notified Michigan AD Brandon by sealed letter on the field prior to the game Saturday.
Seems rather classless of Swarbrick.This surely would merit a discussion face to face prior to the game or at least a phone call. Sounds rather out of character for Swarbrick, and I question the veracity of Brandon's account.

2) Our new ACC inspired schedule is going to be awesome!
We can start to project a future ND schedule:

ACC Tier 2 (Maryland)
(Michigan State)
ACC Tier 3 (Duke)
Shamrock Series neutral site (Big East or lesser BCS opponent)
ACC Tier 1 (FSU)
ACC Tier 2 (North Carolina)
ACC Tier 2 (Virginia)
(Texas, BYU, SEC school)

8 opponents are locked.
5 ACC: I suspect a tiered ACC schedule will be used. That means the top 3 teams will not all be on our schedule in the same year. We won't get all doormats in Tier 3 either.
USC and Navy: traditional rivals.
Stanford: ensures a west coast game when USC is a home game.

Now it gets fun. We have a Shamrock Series neutral site game. That will likely continue to be a lesser opponent from a BCS school near the game site. We could use it to play an SEC school, as they typically refuse home/home series not wanting to travel out of the south.

That leaves us 3 more games. I would like to see our traditional B1G rivals MSU and Purdue remain. That would leave us 1 more to play with. We currently have deals for series with Texas and BYU on the books. That would be a nice couple of options. I would imagine we would look to have a Big 12 or Texas school on the schedule every year. I also imagine we will continue to schedule an occasional Big East school. I also hope we start playing some SEC schools again.  In the past, Tennessee and LSU have been good SEC partners.

Any way you slice it, it is now clear that the ACC move has significantly upgraded our football schedule, and created stability in scheduling. We will have some nice future opponents, while playing ALL OVER the nation. As RoboCop would say, "I LIKE IT!"


Colin and Liz said...

by the way, was last weekend the best sports weekend of my lifetime? reds clinch the nl central, nd beats michigan to go 4-0, and the bengals win an entertaining game against washington that i get to watch because i live in washington. should i just quit while i am ahead?

Teddy said...

Don't forget your fantasy victory!

el Perfecto!!!!!!!

ian said...

My understanding is that either team, ND or Michigan, needed to give a 3 game notice to cancel the series. It probably happened quickly and Swarbrick wanted to get it over with to free the schedule beyond 2014, which is why he slipped him the note before the game started.

And, yes, it was one of the greatest sporting weekends in a loooong time for me