Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 108 of 113

BY LOU SOMOGYI O n the 40th anniversary of the first Notre Dame-Boston College football meeting on Sept. 15, 1975, it is apropos that this year's Shamrock Series meet- ing will be held at "neutral" Fenway Park in Boston. That's because the first meeting also was held in the greater Boston area, but still designated as a neutral site, which happened to be Schaefer Stadium — later Sullivan Stadium and then Foxboro Stadium — that opened in 1971 for the NFL's New England Patriots. The long-awaited 1975 college foot- ball clash between the lone two Catho- lic schools still playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision was basically a one- game deal because the "return match" at Notre Dame didn't occur until 12 years later in 1987. It then became an annual rivalry from 1992-2012, with a two-year hiatus in 2005-06. Today, Notre Dame and Boston College have ties that go beyond the Catholic heritage. The Eagles left the Big East in 2005 to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Notre Dame also joined the ACC in 2013, including as a part-time member in football. The ACC league rotation will have Notre Dame playing at Boston College on Sept. 16, 2017, before the Eagles return to Notre Dame Stadium on Nov. 23, 2019 (a first since 2011 when the Irish won 16-14). Notre Dame also will host Boston College in 2022 before returning to Beantown to play the Eagles in 2025. Boston College's current president's name is William Leahy — which takes one back to the original roots of the football relationship. THE LEAHY CONNECTION Only 31 years old, former Notre Dame lineman Frank Leahy (1928-30) was named the head coach at Boston College in 1939. Included in his contract was the famous "alma mater clause," which would allow him to accept the Notre Dame position if he was offered it when it became vacant. In 1939, Leahy debuted with a 9-2 record that resulted in a No. 11 finish in the Associated Press poll, two spots The Catholic Super Bowl The initial Notre Dame-Boston College meeting in 1975 had its challenges

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