Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Schedule
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are one of the most popular, iconic and
powerful football teams in the NCAA, with all kinds of big-name players passing through their ranks over the last several
decades. The Fighting Irish are known for being a football powerhouse, and their status as an Independent (meaning, they aren't
part of any NCAA football conference) means that the team schedule changes from year to year with a varying slew of competitors.
The Fighting Irish draw fans by the thousands to their own Notre Dame Stadium for every game during football season, and especially
when the Irish play teams like the USC Trojans or Michigan Wolverines. There are all kinds of big games on the schedule this
season as the Fighting Irish look to make it into a BCS bowl game, and the odds are in Notre Dame's favor to end the season
on a high note. Which bowl will the Irish be part of this year? Be sure to track the team schedule and follow along as your
Fighting Irish head out on the turf.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Rivalries
Despite the team declining
the Big Ten Conference when it extended an invitation to join the conference, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish still have some
ongoing rivalries with nearby Big Ten teams, including the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans. In fact, Notre
Dame's century-old rivalry with the Wolverines dates back to the late 1800s and is considered Notre Dame's first rivalry.
The Fighting Irish and the Wolverines have been playing each other on the football field since 1887, when the two teams first
faced off on the turf. Although they do not play each other every year, whenever the NCAA does see a matchup between these
two teams, it's a big one. Similarly, the Irish and the Michigan State Spartans are fierce rivals, and these teams face off
every year for the Megaphone Trophy. Notre Dame is leading this series, taking home the trophy more than 45 times. The Irish
also have rivalries outside of the Midwest, and especially against the USC Trojans. The Trojans can be considered Notre Dame's
No. 1 rival, as the two teams have punched out more national titles and Heisman Trophies than most other college football
rivalries out there. The Navy Midshipmen are also a big rival for the Irish, and these two teams have played each other every
year since 1927.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Trivia
Can Notre Dame football just make up its own
rules in NCAA football? Sometimes it seems as though it can, as the Fighting Irish are one of the few independent teams in
the NCAA and the only one that receives an automatic bid to a BCS bowl by finishing in the top eight of the final BCS ranking.
The Irish have turned down conferences like the Big Ten to join a sanctioned NCAA football conference, yet they continue to
thrive as one of the best college teams in the nation and certainly one of the most financially stable as well. Notre Dame
is the only independent team to score its own national television contract, as home Irish games are broadcasted on the Notre
Dame Football on NBC, and they are certainly a sought after team to beat season after season, regardless of the conference.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football NFL Players
With 11 claimed national titles, seven Heisman Trophy winners
and 97 consensus All-Americans on the roster over the last century, it's no wonder why Notre Dame football gets college ball
fans all kinds of excited. The Fighting Irish have seen loads of top NFL players through their college years before jumping
into the pros, with current NFL players including big names like Manti Te'O, Golden Tate, Sergio Brown and Anthony Fasano.
The Irish have also sent players onto the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including former NFL heroes like Curly Lambeau, John
McNally, George Trafton, Wayne Millner, George Connor, Paul Hornung, Alan Page, Joe Montana, Nick Buoniconti and Dave Casper.
The total of former Notre Dame players to go onto the NFL tops the 400s (and counting), and that's to be expected from a team
with multiple Heisman winners.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Trivia
Notre Dame athletes aren't only
incredible at their respective sports; they're also quite smart. The Notre Dame athletic program sees that its stars spend
as much time in the classroom as they do on the field, and the statistics reflect such emphasis on academics. Since the early
'60s, the Fighting Irish football team has graduated almost 99 percent of its football players in four years, with only 13
football players to date leaving the Irish before obtaining their college degrees. The Irish are also in the Top 20 ranking
by U.S. News & World Report in academics, and has had dozens of All-Americans on their roster over the last several years.