and Duke as the kind of teams he wanted to see more on the schedule because they are schools that "look and feel like we do." I remember that article since it prompted me to write a letter to the Observer criticizing that loser mentality.
Now I have no reason to think that the sequencing won't even out over time with the current ACC relationship. But if it doesn't, that was a preference stated before the relationship began.
Over the entirety of the deal, ND plays the 14 schools 8 or 9 times each.
ND plays Duke, Georgia Tech, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech only 8 times (4 home and 4 away).
ND plays Boston College, Florida State, Miami, and Wake Forest 9 times with ND getting the extra home game.
ND plays Clemson, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse 9 times with those schools getting the extra home game.
If I were to notice a pattern, it looks like the original tobacco road ACC teams play us slightly less, while we play the old Big East teams slightly more often.
So, the fact that we played them twice in the three years preceding the ACC deal may have something to do with UM specifically. (The Sun Bowl was played on 12/31/10 and the game in Chicago was on 10/6/12.)
The 2012 Shamrock game and the home-and-home were all announced at once, if I'm remembering right. The ACC just folded those games into the deal when we put our other sports in.
Linked is a schedule that goes out through 2037. They wind up playing Miami in back to back years in 2024-2025, just as we did near the beginning of the arrangement in 2016-2017.
I haven't added it all up so I could be wrong, but I presume that the # of games pretty much evens out over time and that no preferences were built into the sequence. My hunch is that you're giving the schedule makers more credit than they deserve by suggesting they put that much thought into it.
I don't think it was 'by chance' that we played the conference flagship programs Clemson and FSU 1)once each and 2)on the road during the early (foreseeable future) of the contract. Not that either team likely feared playing ND, but it appears the conference schedule makers were attempting to lighten the load for their at-the-time best two programs.
As you say, there's no way it was coincidence we played the two biggest programs on the road in the first two years of the deal, and it probably wasn't coincidence that they're two of the last teams we saw or will see at home (by my count, FSU was ACC team #11 in the deal that we hosted and Clemson is, by over a year, the last one). The rest of it is likely luck of the draw.
in 2015 as a result of previously scheduled "home" games against Wake Forest and BC? I know the BC game that ended up at Fenway was already scheduled as a home game, and I'm not sure about the Wake Forest game. But if both of those were already scheduled, that would mean that 3 of the other 4 ACC games that year would need to be on the road. That would mean that the Clemson game had a 75% chance of being on the road based on luck of the draw. If the Wake game wasn't already scheduled, then it still gives the Clemson game a 60% chance of being on the road. I would bet that there was nothing fishy going on with the scheduling of the 2015 Clemson game.
As for 2014, I'm pretty sure the Syracuse game at Giants stadium was already scheduled but was considered a Syracuse home game, which meant that 2 of the remaining 3 ACC games would be at home. So that gives the FSU game only a 33% chance of being on the road, which kind of supports your theory. Looking at FSU's schedule, they were already going to play nonconference games vs Oklahoma St (in Dallas to open the season), and their annual game vs Florida to end the season. I think that if FSU wanted to influence the scheduling, wouldn't they have lobbied to avoid ND entirely that season? I would bet that FSU had no voice in whether their number got called to play ND in 2014, but I suppose it's plausible that once their number got called they may have lobbied the schedule makers with a plea such as "Look, we already scheduled the Oklahoma St game in order to strengthen our nonconference schedule, if we must play a 3rd quality nonconference opponent can we at least play them at home?"
At the end of the day, I don't think it's that big a deal. I dig the fact that both teams were scheduled to play their initial games at ND Stadium in November.
The ACC worked to advantage their best teams as much as they could with the ND deal in its first years, and there's nothing particularly wrong with that. I'm sure ND anticipated it. It's not like they were underhanded about it, as far as we know.
You are correct about the Syracuse game in 14 being previously scheduled. I think the 16 game there was as well.
According to that schedule we play everyone 7-8 times over the entire course, although there is some strange bunching of games that don't appear to have any obvious rationale.