Notre Dame Football: Crafting a 10-game schedule for the Irish

Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The schedule for the college football season may be starting to take shape. How might the schedule shake out for the Notre Dame football team?

Notre Dame football is likely on the road for a 10-game season with a little wiggle room for postseason play, given what has been said in the media lately. First, Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick gave his opinion on the season, essentially saying that he would like to see at least a slight delay to the season and between 8 and 10 games on the schedule.

Swarbrick’s comments were then followed by news Thursday that the PAC-12, that already announced a conference-only schedule, would be implementing a 10-game schedule that starts on September 19th.

Given Swarbrick’s comments and the announcement from the PAC-12, it would seem as if other conferences could follow a similar game plan, at least in terms of delaying the season and adjusting the amount of games played.

The ACC, SEC, and Big 12 have yet to announce conference-only schedules. Assuming they don’t, here’s my take on what a perfect schedule could look like for Notre Dame in 2020:

September 19th – Western Michigan
September 26th – at Wake Forest
October 3rd – OFF
October 10th – at Navy
October 17th – at Pittsburgh
October 24th – Arkansas
October 31st – Duke
November 7th – Clemson
November 14th – at Georgia Tech
November 21st – Louisville
November 28th – BYU

In this schedule, I chose to keep as many dates the same as possible, which meant knocking Navy and Arkansas from the first two weeks and re-scheduling. The Irish were supposed to play Stanford on October 10th, while Navy had an open date on its schedule that week. In addition, both Notre Dame and Arkansas were scheduled to be off on October 24th.

Finally, to round out the season, BYU was supposed to play at Stanford on November 28th, which would be a logical time for them to pencil in a trip to South Bend, instead. The rest of the schedule remains the same in terms of dates, locations, and opponents.

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It’s certainly not ideal, but this schedule would provide Notre Dame with one of its most important rivalry games (Navy), a top-tier opponent at home (Clemson), and some other interesting matchups, without flipping the entire schedule upside down.