Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 108 of 111

THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI Change Of Schedule Covers Most National Bases BY LOU SOMOGYI N otre Dame's recently released schedules from 2014-16 provide numerous themes and data. Among the more notable: The Midwest/Big Ten base has now become secondary. In 2015, Notre Dame will not face a Big Ten opponent for the first time since 1916. Even then, though, Notre Dame played Nebraska and Michigan State, before either of those schools joined the confernece. Technically, one could go back to 1914. That is partially a byproduct of the five required ACC games for Notre Dame and the Big Ten going to ninegame conference seasons, leaving only three non-conference openings. Michigan State does come back in 2016-17 as the lone Big Ten foe for the Irish. After Notre Dame's 2014 Shamrock Series game with Purdue at Indianapolis, the Boilermakers don't return on the Irish schedule until 2020, but not annually. Since 1946, Purdue, USC and Navy had been the only teams through 2014 on the Notre Dame docket every year. Stanford essentially will replace Purdue as the mainstay with the Trojans and Midshipmen. The "Big Three" recruiting areas of California, Florida and Texas are covered in years to come. Notre Dame plans to be in California Playing opponents such as Miami in the ACC keeps Notre Dame's recruiting presence in the southern corridor more active. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA every season — USC in even-numbered years and Stanford in odd-numbered ones — to maintain a presence there. Florida State and Miami are now regular Irish opponents in the ACC agreement, and the Sunshine State is expected to be a prime location for future Shamrock Series games. The University of Texas is on the docket in both 2015-16 and 2019-20, plus the 2016 Shamrock Series will be back in San Antonio in 2016. Notre Dame was in Dallas this season to play Arizona State. The eyes of Texas will be upon the Fighting Irish as well. Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in the four-year period from 2013-16 the Irish will be in nine of the 12 largest cities in the United States. The exceptions are Chicago, Miami and

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