(Notre Dame Football News) – In a giant step away from Notre Dame’s recent legacy of sycophantic athletic “aspirationitis,” the Irish put some fight back into the schedule and tradition back on the priority list by scheduling the University of Texas to a four-game series in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020.
Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said, “history already suggests that this has been an inter-sectional rivalry loaded with memorable moments, and I expect fans of both institutions will eagerly look forward to these match-ups on the respective campuses. We’ve been looking at the prospect of putting together these match-ups for some time, and we hope these games may lead to further conversations about the prospect of additional contests, potentially in other sports as well as football.”
Interesting comments as many of us “landscape watchers” have been hoping for Notre Dame to use its influence to line up match-ups with heavyweights across different sports and leverage independence instead of waiting for scenarios, landscapes and the “grim hypotheticals” Provost Tom Burish warned of last week in Seattle to force poor ole Notre Dame’s weak hand.
Instead, Notre Dame has, for the moment, embraced its independence and infused its schedule with a match-up against a school with a legacy as great as its own. Texas ranks second on the NCAA all-time victory list (845) and Notre Dame is third (837).
“We have a wonderful relationship with Notre Dame, and (AD) Jack (Swarbrick) and I have become great friends,” said DeLoss Dodds, Texas men’s athletics director. “I really admire and respect him and am excited we were able to pull this off. When you match up two schools with so much pride, tradition and history, it’s an event that everyone enjoys being a part of and we’ll all really looking forward to.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to renew the football relationship between Notre Dame and Texas,”
The series will kickoff with Texas traveling to South Bend on Sept. 5, 2015. Notre Dame is slated to head to Austin on Sept. 3, 2016, and again on Aug. 31, 2019. The Longhorns return to South Bend on Sept. 12, 2020.
Texas Coach Mack Brown said, “I love college football history and nobody has more historical programs than Texas and Notre Dame. The renewal of this rivalry should be a lot of fun to be a part of and something that college football fans across the country can really enjoy.”
Kudos to Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly who used the opportunity to embrace NotreDame’s independence and stiff-arm the nattering naybovs who keep trying to scare the Irish into a conference, “the addition of Texas to our future schedules is just another example of the type of high-profile programs we plan on playing as an independent. We look forward to embracing our unique status within college football and continuing to schedule games against similar programs down the road.”
UT and Notre Dame have met 10 times in football dating back to 1913 with the Irish winning eight of those contests. Notre Dame has won the last four meetings, but the Horns’ last victory over the Irish came in UT’s National Championship season in 1969. That year, No. 1 Texas knocked off No. 9 Notre Dame, 21-17, in one of the most memorable Cotton Bowl games ever. The No. 6 Irish came back the next season to knock off the No. 1 Horns, who had just been named 1970 National Champions by UPI, 24-11, in the Cotton Bowl. No. 5 Notre Dame defeated the No. 1 Longhorns again, 38-10, in the 1977 Cotton Bowl to prevent UT from claiming its fourth national title.