Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 15, 2014 Issue

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

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Page 104 of 107

THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI BY LOU SOMOGYI S eptember 2014 has represented an end of an era as Notre Dame fol- lowers have known it since the end of World War II. While much of the narrative has been on the closing of the curtain with the Michigan series that has been almost annual since 1978, overshadowed is the fact that this will be the last meeting with in-state rival Purdue until 2020. The Boilermakers had joined USC and Navy as annual contests on the Notre Dame schedule since 1946. When Pur- due snapped Notre Dame's 39-game unbeaten streak in 1950, Fighting Irish head coach Frank Leahy commented that if the streak had to end, he was glad that it at least came against a "time-hon- ored foe" such as Purdue. Games with Purdue were a part of September as much as Labor Day, but the changing landscape in college foot- ball also has altered Notre Dame's geo- graphical emphasis in scheduling and recruiting. With the Big Ten expanding to nine conference games and Notre Dame's new affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference, rooms at the inn for home- and-home series have become less of a priority, although the recent addition of Ohio State in 2022-23 was a coup. (What odds could you get that Brian Kelly and Urban Meyer will still be the head coaches then?) It wasn't a Notre Dame schedule without Purdue, Michigan State and Northwestern through much of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, with Michigan then replacing Northwestern in 1978. Half of Notre Dame's 10-game sched- ule in 1968 had five straight Big Ten teams (Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois and Michigan State), and even in 1994 there were four (Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue). Next year Notre Dame will not face a Big Ten opponent for the first time since 1916 — and even back then it was Mich- igan State and Nebraska, which didn't actually join the league until 1953 and 2011, respectively. With Notre Dame's The Changing Landscape Alters Recruiting And Scheduling Notre Dame and Purdue have met annually since 1946, but that will no longer be the case after this year's matchup. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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