Irish Draw Cyclones in Orlando

Notre Dame and Iowa State will square off for the first time on Saturday, December 28 as the Fighting Irish have accepted an invitation to play in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, FL. The Cyclones (7-5) finished third in the Big-12 Conference under Coach Matt Campbell, who is completing his fourth year at the helm. Their best win this season was against Texas, while playoff-bound Oklahoma beat them 42-41 in a classic shootout. Notre Dame (10-2) failed to qualify for a major bowl despite its ten regular season victories, none of which came against Top 20 teams.

The game will begin at 12:00 Noon Eastern time, and will be televised by ABC. It will serve as a prelude to the playoff semifinal games to be played later that day. LSU vs. Oklahoma will follow before Clemson and Ohio State Square off in the other matchup. This year marks the first time in the playoff era that Alabama has failed to qualify for the four team national championship derby. The Crimson Tide will play Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on January 1.

Brock Purdy fires a pass against Oklahoma State

Iowa State is led by sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy, a 66% passer who took over the starting job in 2018 midway through his freshman season. His top receiver is Deshaunte Jones, with 72 receptions, while the leading ball carrier for the Cyclones is Breece Hall with 842 yards. Linebackers Marcel Spears and Vance O’Rien anchor the defense.

43 thoughts on “Irish Draw Cyclones in Orlando

  1. You’d think ND would get a slot in a New Year’s Bowl game at 10-2 over Minnesota, but I guess their PSU victory was bigger than any ND victory. Considering how poorly ND has fared in big games and bowls, they deserve this mediocre bowl game

    • Iowa State is no Alabama, Clemson or Ohio State. Notre Dame should be able to compete against Iowa State.

      • Clyde Hightower says:

        Notre Dame competed against Georgia and 8 other teams very well. They also will draw as well as if not better any of the other teams in the bowl series. There is no reason for them to be underdogs to 7-5 Iowa State. Not sure why ESPN McElroy in his Capitol One picked Iowa State to beat the Irish in our Bowl game. He also thought Georgia would easily take down the Irish. I guess being an ESPN rep with pride and prejudice for the SEC and Alabama we can take his thoughts about the Irish with a grain of salt.

  2. Actually more interesting than bigger name opponents for a bowl this year because Iowa State is becoming a seriously strong program, and fun to watch. They have spirit not inconsistent with Notre Dame’s great rivals’. It’s a choice that wouldn’t have been predicted, and with traveling fans like us. Cheers to a great game!

  3. I know I often look at Notre Dame through rose colored glasses, but this invitation should not have been accepted. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing to gain in this matchup.
    I would like to see the bowls dump the conference affiliations, and get back to the best matchups. UVA is defeated by 40 something points and gets an Orange Bowl invitation? Really? Do any of the other New Years Six games look appealing?
    At 10-2 I believe we deserve better,

    • I agree with a 10-2 record you would think it would be a new yrs day bowl and that they should do away with conf. affiliations to these bowls, but do not look pass Ia. St. Even though their record is not the best this team will play very hard and after all it gives ND fans a chance to look at Campbell as a possible replacement for Kelly in a couple of years.

    • If you go by Swarbrick’s reasoning Clemson is so good that they can blow you out and your team is still an elite team, at least Notre Dame is.

    • The UVA invitation is indeed ridiculous. Not being prepared, with a week off, for the Michigan game cost ND. And no real confidence affiliation, which I get. The conferences will loosen there grip only at the insistence of TV $

    • AlGoldenDomer says:

      Agree re UVA, but ND is being punished for the absolute disaster in the rain in Ann Arbor, as well we should be.

      • The main reason why Chip Long is gone. Yes, he was successful, brilliant at times even. However, in the six games ND has lost over the last three seasons, the offense was dismal. The last three of those losses have been for a combined total of 64 pts. Just looking at that, alone, was Long really that successful?

  4. I agree with Pap. Actually Virginia was ranked when Notre Dame played them. ND was ranked 10 and Virginia at the time was ranked number 18. We beat them 35-20 and Virginia is still in the top 25 coming in at 24. Navy was also ranked when we played them. Navy was number 23 and they are currently ranked 23. U$C was not ranked when we played them, but are now number 22. I think the bowl committees are trying to pressure Notre Dame into a conference. I am not happy how Jack Swarbrick has made the deal with the ACC and I am perplexed at how a number 24 Virginia team that just got throttled by Clemson got an invitation to the Orange Bowl. It was a slap in the face to ND. Oh well, Camping World Bowl, aka Champs Sports Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Carquest Bowl. I hope ND has a better showing than the 18-14 loss to FSU back in 2011 when it was the Russell (Champs) Sports Bowl. Our last major bowl win was the Cotton Bowl and we won it back to back years in 1993 and 1994. It was depressing to see Memphis going to play Penn State in the Cotton Bowl. I guess BK and JS are happy with ND becoming like Cincy and I am not taking anything away from Iowa State, but they are not even ranked. That scares me too. Watch ND get embarrassed by an unranked ISU team. I am disappointed by the bowl this year and still am upset about how ND played against Michigan. GO IRISH, BEAT CYCLONES! At least Orlando is a nice destination.

    Hey ND, how are you going to celebrate your Camping World Victory? “We are going to Disney World where dreams can come true! ” 🙂 When you wish upon a star, maybe a new president, AD and Coach will be in the distance from a far. When you wish upon a star…. maybe your dreams will come true. 🙂

    Dreams………Major bowl win, National Championship.

    • Well Clemson has been on quite a roll lately with now 28 wins in a row and last year they not only trashed us, they trashed Bama as well. Strength of schedule and SEC but kissing aside, I think Clemson is still the #1 team and is going to repeat this year. According to Dabbo they are better in all phases this year and are ‘mad’ at being 3 seed. Speaking of Bama….how are they any better than anyone else this year? They have looked bad against top teams getting beat down by Clemson last year, then LSU at home, then a 9 win Auburn team? Their schedule outside their two losses this year was weaker than NDs….in other words they beat no one but still going to a major bowl…..which they will probably win because they got the gift that keeps giving in MI.

    • Please don’t down play Iowa State. This will be a very competitive game. I rwould ather play in this game than go play a Top 6 to 8 team and get throttled to end the season. Remember we are down Julian Okwara and two O linemen . Not to mention a running back committee that isn’t really that stellar. I love our guys guys but none of them are Josh Adams . One other final fact. Michigan is getting Alabama. Not the game they wanted, I’m sure.

      Go Irish!

      • MATTHEW POLGE says:

        Thank you for injecting a bit of realism into people’s thoughts!! People often times, will look at a match-up and say we deserve better rather than we are going bowling be grateful for the opportunity to end the season on a positive note! Iowa State is coached by a guy that has steadily built a promising program. Iowa St. has won over Texas and taken Oklahoma to the wire!!! Therefore, what people are failing to realize is that Iowa St is a good enough team to take ND to the wire and potentially even win!!! People are just looking at their won-loss record and judging them based on that alone!!! Iowa St could be tough if ND takes them lightly!! Despite my degree in Engineering, I am at a loss as to how the writers and coaches come up with their poll rankings!! There always seems to be an pro-SEC bias and an anti-ND bias!! I suppose until Notre Dame comes thru with a convincing major bowl victory or even an elite victory during the regular season, that bias will always exist!!! Unfortunate, but true!!!

        God, Country, and Notre Dame!!!

    • You can’t have it both ways. ND and the alumni base want to remain independent so you have to accept the downsides of no conference affiliation. I support independence and the only thing I would have done differently would be 4 ACC games rather than 5. I also would have preferred traditional rivals like Pitt and BC be on the schedule every year.

  5. Timothy Rastello says:

    I have been researching how this (bowl matchup) could have happened with a 10-2 Notre Dame team with wins over Virginia, USC, VA Tech, Louisville, Duke, Navy and Stanford). The new rules of bowl affiliations and selection process put a heavy premium on final ranking (and by connection the strength of schedule–Bowling Green and New Mexico did not help). We should try to increase affiliations with more New Year’s Six Bowls–our national following and TV ratings should make this a manageable task. The margin of loss to Michigan was a killer. Had we just kept that loss to one or even two scores, our ranking and bowl selection would have been better.
    I do not see much upside in playing a 7-5 team, although Iowa State is an up and coming program and will bring its A+++ game. Was the Camping World Bowl the only invite we received? I pray that the guys make it their goal to play their very best game against ISU and show the powers-that-be that we deserved a New Years Six Bowl bid.

    • Hey Tim, If you been researching how this match up happened you wouldn’t have come to this conclusion. It happened because of 2 reasons: ND doesnt have access to the Orange Bowl to replace an ACC team. They can only play against one if they finish ranked ahead of all available Big Ten/SEC teams. (hardly if ever will happen).Even if ND finished a few spots higher they wouldn’t have gotten into a NY6 because this year the 2 host bowls for the playoff are the Peach and Fiesta. When they decided to go to this new 4 team playoff, they unfortunately kept all the other conference affiliations even in the NY6 which is why you have some terribly unnecessary and unappealing games. Penn St/Memphis and UVA/Florida obviously these arent the best matchups and most deserving.

      Perhaps one day the TV folks will wake up and demand the next best 12 teams play in the NY6. (I wouldnt even seed the remaining teams so you can avoid rematches and create unique and intriguing games. Imagine in 3 weeks we were set to watch games we hardly ever see: ND vs Oregon, Georgia vs Wisconsin, Bama vs Utah, Auburn vs Iowa, Michigan vs Baylor and Florida vs Penn St.

      • PC,
        What really needs to happen is an eight team NCAA playoff with ample opportunity for
        highly ranked outsiders to have a crack at fame. Cancel the conference championships
        and the whole thing is over by New Year’s day.
        In the current college football landscape, with players clamoring to get paid, is there
        anything more egregious than these corporate garden parties in Florida with the
        big cash payment to the school (and a cute little trophy for the display case)?
        Monetizing the whole 40 game show, of course, Walt Disney and Company.
        But it is what it is. ND has a crummy bowl record and we face an enthusiastic
        well-coached Iowa State team who will not mind a chance to knock us out of the
        top 20!
        Go Irish.

      • Timothy Rastello says:

        Hey PC, I did my research and came up with an accurate conclusion if you read my post, which includes the statement: “The new rules of bowl affiliations and selection process put a heavy premium on final ranking” which is another way of saying we had to be ranked higher then Big Ten/SEC teams for the Orange Bowl–same as you conclude. I also received ticket app last week from alumni office for Orange and Cotton Bowls confirming that ND was not precluded from those two Bowls as your email suggests. I understand why certain bowls want to keep their traditional affiliations, but I think ND should do a more effective job of negotiating with the six big bowls to prevent this year’s scenario from repeating itself.

  6. Mr. Vannie: Yes, this is all pitiful. I hope that you have something good to write about, after this game.

  7. It seems like everyone is focused on ND’s loss to Michigan. What about Michigan near loss to Army that should have been a loss?? ND is just viewed negatively by the pollsters and by the committee. I wonder what the ten teams that ND beat feel about them??

    • Good observation Joe. As stated numerous times, the Michigan loss was absolutely awful. However, was it worse than Georgia’s home loss to unranked South Carolina or Wisconsin’s loss to unranked Illinois? The bias is obvious, but as I posted earlier, I look at them through rose colored glasses.

  8. There shouldn’t be any whining after ND got beat by Michigan 45-14 and regularly get waxed by top ten teams in “big” games. The Ne Year’s 6 bowl committees have to look for the best matchups and most competitive teams and ND under Kelly continues to get outclassed almost from the opening whistle in major bowls.

    • Exactly, why would a bowl want Notre Dame, a school with no major bowl wins in 26 years and gets blown out against top teams. As fans we want ND to play Alabama or Penn State but people outside of this fan base do not.

      I watched the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State with people who were not fans of Notre Dame and they could care less about Notre Dame playing once Ohio State pulled away, early of course.

  9. I am not as disappointed with the Bowl or matchup as I am with our consistent and final CFP ranking. I understand in the committee room they would assign someone on the committee to plead the case for each team as they went whoever did this for the Irish must have done a horrible job!!!! Baylor had same record as we did and had zero victories against ranked teams. ND had 3 victories in teams in the final poll. Not really sure why the author here pointed to ND having none against top 20 teams when top 20 hasn’t been used as a measuring stick for over a decade. Also the committee looks at victories over top 30 even up to top 50 teams. Again I believe we were unfairly punished for playing one bad game. Using this criteria we should have scheduled Rice and Colorado St. instead of Georgia and Michigan. Then we would be undefeated and probably in the playoffs. I’m certainly not advocating this however!!! GO IRISH 🍀🍀🍀

    • If those teams weren’t at the bottom of the poll, I’d have more sympathy for this view. I have a hard time getting riled up when our best win is over a ranked service academy.

  10. Just to make myself clear, I was not in anyway trying to down play Iowa State or show them any disrespect. I was just disappointed that ND was not going to a major bowl this year. I know very well that ND could have their hands full with ISU and I hope they are prepared to play a great game. I am somewhat worried about this bowl game since I am not sure ND will see Iowa State in the same light as Texas. You know ISU is going to bring their best game, and I hope ND plays well and is fired up to play. GO IRISH, BEAT CYCLONES! Our Lady of Victory…. pray for us!!

  11. If we cant do better than this bowl why are we in this crap ACC agreement? Better to be fully indy or join Big 10. The ACC sucks other than Clemson. I miss the Big 10 games.

  12. Dave W raises excellent points. Unfortunately, money usually trumps the best match ups in all levels of major college football. TV revenue negotiated by power 5 conferences, the bowls, and ND itself are all at root of this. There was no “playoff nightmare” and the committee got it “right” because it lucked into to 4 top revenue producers hitting the top 4, and a clear justification for leaving Utah out. This is why we have a 4 team playoff and not more, because it give the committee ultimate control.

    So far as being a fan goes, we all want to see ND be King of the Jungle, but let’s give this team recognition for almost 3 years of being undefeated at home, no losses to unranked teams in over 3 years, consistently good graduation rates, great game day atmosphere, and a program that is being run well on and off field. There’s always work to be done, but we can be proud of this program.

  13. JerseyIrishSubwayAlum says:

    While I don’t love the ACC arrangement (esp. at the current state of the ACC when perennial powerhouse FSU is a dumpster fire and usually respectable programs like BC, Pitt and Va Tech are severely struggling) and I am not a JS apologist, I think Irish fans tend to overlook that the ACC arrangement is a terrific match up for all the other sports programs. M&W Basketball, Soccer, Lax – programs where ND annually competes at the national championship level found a good home with top tier competition in the ACC. Yes ND is a football school but not at the expense of all the other sports. Not in today’s age anyway. Irish deserve what they got re: Bowl until they win a game of significance. ISU will be playing this game very much like they played OU on that national stage and if anyone saw that game they can air it out and score points. Shootouts are not typically NDs path to victories so this will be a close contest. Go Irish.

    • I am more than a little curious as to why ND would choose to part ways with their OC before a bowl game and when he has not been named as a coach elsewhere. Long always acted like he was above it all (borderline wanker) and just seemed like a poison pill, so I have to imagine that he was the problem. Anyone know the inside baseball on this one?

  14. Really respect Iowa State, and love their team spirit. If any of my grandchildren end up there, that would be just fine with me. This is their chance to show case their brand to the nation.
    Still, this is one of those games where, if we win, then “so what”, and, if we loose, then so much more “ND trash talk” from the usual suspects.

  15. Regarding Chip Long’s departure; Having watched every ND game live (excepting Duke), it was agonizing watching each and every one of them. Kind of like consuming a super sized ex-lax bar, then sitting on the couch trying to get through the entire game before the inevitable. Too bad we couldn’t entice Charlie Weiss back just to run the offense.

    • Chip Long’s departure shows progress with the program. Our offense was not balanced and it seems it took more imagination than Long had in order to succeed with it. Depended too much on Book. Hopefully, this will get fixed with the new OC.

  16. Perhaps not having any ND playerss on the top three All-American teams in both offense and defense would suggest recruiting is a problem – as well as coaching current recruits.

    • Yes, I agree on the issue of coaching. Clemson, Alabama and Ohio St are, once again, in the top three,
      with Buckeyes and Oklahoma also recruiting/luring key players from their competitors. And while the recruiting rankings are somewhat overrated, those schools who finish at the top here usually finish that way
      in the actual rankings. The most gifted coaches are those from schools whose teams excel, but are not in the top 25 of the recruiting rankings. Iowa St, even with a 7-5 record (a total of four points in losses to Iowa, Baylor, and Oklahoma), would be an great example. Now, there’s a coach to take note of. It’s no wonder we are only a
      3 1/2 point favorite, even with that 10-2 record.

  17. Like Eichenberg’s post practice interview, but he didn’t really explain his plan for stopping his drive killing false starts. 🙂

    Merry Christmas all!!