In their attempts to create a non-conference schedule that will fill the stadium and their pockets from higher ticket prices, Ohio State have constantly tried to agree on a series with Notre Dame, only to have the Fighting Irish turn them down again and again.
Two of the most storied franchises in College Football have only played each other four times, the last of which in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. It’s even weirder thinking how rare games between these giants is considering Notre Dame have been almost annual opponents to Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan State and to a lesser extent, Michigan.
According to Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer, Ohio State’s non-conference scheduling plan for the 2014 season going forward is about putting on a list of three games that include one top 10 (nationally) opponents, followed by someone in the top 30 of 40 and another MAC team. That’s the ideal, but obviously it doesn’t really work every season, and this season’s threesome of Florida A&M, Buffalo and San Diego State didn’t really help the team win any computer points.
Notre Dame rarely have to worry about strength of schedule issues because their unique status in College Football as an independent and as a program that no matter how badly it does remains one of the marquee attractions of the sport in terms of TV audience and fans going to stadiums, so adding another game like Ohio State, especially with the Buckeyes looking as strong as they have for the last couple of seasons, just doesn’t make sense.
Notre Dame is going to face some scheduling transition from next year, as they become a partial member of the ACC, required to play five teams from that conference each season, which might make some of their older rivalries make way for the new “way of life”. They’re playing only Pittsburgh from that conference this season, and played against Pitt and Miami last year.