The Notre Dame football team plays in big-time games every season, but the Shamrock Series games have taken on a meaning of their own.
The Shamrock Series for the Notre Dame football team has helped expand Notre Dame’s national outreach as well as its wardrobe. But uniforms aside, how would the best of these games be ranked if we built a list of the top 5?
That’s the question I set out to answer.
Notre Dame football: Naming the top-5 Shamrock Series games
1. 2012 — #9 Notre Dame 41, Miami (FL) 3
2012 was certainly a magical season for the Irish, as Notre Dame went 12-0 en route to a National Championship appearance. The defense featured Heisman runner-up Manti Te’o and quarterback Everett Golson led a steady offensive attack that was made even scarier by a trio of star running backs; Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick, and George Atkinson III.
Notre Dame football was so good in 2012 that the legendary Brent Musburger, who was infamously candid about his opinion on the Fighting Irish, had this to say when the Irish played #8 Oklahoma later in the 2012 season. “Folks, let me say this loud and clear: Notre Dame is relevant again.”
In a season with no losses, this October night was one of the most complete and impressive victories of the year for Notre Dame. The Irish dominated in every facet of the game, rushing for 376 yards and 5 touchdowns on 51 attempts. Notre Dame got 100+ yard rushing nights out of George Atkinson III and Cierre Wood and showed the college football world just how dominant this 2012 team was.
It’s important to note that coming into the Shamrock Series game, Miami was 4-1 and averaging over 41 points per game in those four wins. This was not a bad team by any stretch of the imagination. Notre Dame was simply given an opportunity in the limelight to flex its muscles to a national audience and did just that. This is the most impressive Shamrock Series game so far, hands down.