Notre Dame Football: What would a hypothetical Big Ten schedule look like?
The remaining Notre Dame football conference opponents come from a rotation of 14 teams played at least twice in 4 years. The Notre Dame Football program would need to become extremely selective when scheduling non-conference games.
The Fighting Irish would play against the remaining 14 opponents in a rotating fashion. In other words, the Notre Dame football team would play against Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA, Maryland, Penn State, Iowa, and Northwestern during one season and Ohio State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Rutgers, and Indiana during another season.
The conference could either conduct a home-and-home in consecutive seasons or skip a season in between. The permanent opponents would rotate annually.
To create as much scheduling fairness, the teams would likely be placed in pods or tiers based on past performance. For example, Ohio State and Michigan are at the top with Indiana and Rutgers at the bottom.
The Notre Dame athletic director could fill out the remaining games on the Irish slate with the Naval Academy and a one-off opponent. This allows Notre Dame to keep their historic rivalry with the Navy and add a game that could result in a Shamrock Series game if desired.
Would Notre Dame want that one-off opponent to be a home-and-home with a primetime opponent like Alabama (on the books for 2029-2030) or more of a cupcake like Marshall (this year’s September opponent)? The need for greater strength of schedule will be determined by the type of post-season championship. The current direction indicates that Notre Dame would continue to pursue brand new opponents.