Notre Dame Football: Five Future Opponents The Irish Should Consider

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: (L-R) Grant Haley
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: (L-R) Grant Haley /

We take a look at five opponents we’d like to see on the Notre Dame football schedule soon.

Although the Notre Dame football schedule is booked over the next couple years, it’s never too early to look ahead. After all, the Irish do have ACC opponents named through 2037.

Notre Dame has a history of scheduling marquee games, as proven by Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Ohio State all on future schedules.

There are a few teams the Irish haven’t scheduled in a while that would help the program in a variety of ways.

Here are 5 future opponents that Notre Dame should consider adding.

Note: Due to Notre Dame’s association with the ACC, no teams from that conference will appear.

5. Nebraska

Two historical powers and blue bloods of college football. The two teams have not met since the 2001 season, a 27-10 Cornhuskers win. Nebraska recently hired a new coach, Scott Frost, to lead the program and try to build the team back up.  If Frost’s rebuild goes as many expect, scheduling a future game against Nebraska would boost the stock of both teams.

4. AT Hawaii

Although this may surprise some, this game would make perfect sense. I stress the “at” for two reasons. First, think about the recruiting possibilities. Notre Dame’s own Myron Tagovaila-Amosa and National Championship hero Tua Tagovailoa both come out of Hawaii just last year alone. If Notre Dame scheduled a game in Hawaii, they could gain an edge over teams that pay little attention to the state. Also, a road game means the opportunity to schedule a 13th game. Maybe that opens up a spot for another team on this list?

3. Penn State

The Nittany Lions were a regular on the Notre Dame schedule from 1981-1992 — around the time Penn State joined the Big 10. Since the last meeting in 2007 — a 31-10 PSU win — each team has gone through ups and downs both on and off the field. Both teams appear to be on an upswing as of late, so a meeting between the two could go a long way in determining both team’s fate in the College Football Playoff.

2. TCU

Notre Dame doesn’t travel to Texas or play Big 12 opponents often, with the last two being Texas and Oklahoma. There has also only been one meeting between the schools in history — way back in 1972. A game in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area would be big on recruiting, giving kids a chance to see the team up close before even making a recruiting trip to South Bend. With the recent success the Horned Frogs have had, a series against TCU — who’s been near the top of the conference since joining — would make a big statement.

1. Alabama

“To be the man, you have to beat the man,” and there’s no doubt Alabama is “the man” in college football. There is no bigger game to be scheduled. Since Nick Saban joined the Crimson Tide in 2007, Alabama has won five National Championships, including two of the last three. Although the last meeting didn’t go as planned for the Irish — a 41-14 blowout loss in the 2013 National Title game — Notre Dame has worked to improve and become an elite team in college football once again. Although not consistently there yet, meetings with the Tide could do wonders to improve that effort — both on the field and in recruiting. If just playing and competing with Alabama could do that, imagine what a victory would do.

Next: Four Neutral Site Dream Matchups For The Irish

Honorable mentions:

Minnesota: An up and coming program with a great young head coach. This would benefit the Golden Gophers just as much.

Boise State: Seriously, how cool would it be to see Notre Dame play on the blue turf?