Well, isn't this an interesting confluence of events? Just days ago, Alabama's head football coach Nick
Satan Saban announced how eager he would be to play the Fighting Irish. Saban said that it would fit his philosophy of playing one "big time" intersectional game per year.
Satan's Saban's announcement, Notre Dame's associate athletic director threw a big bucket of cold swamp water on the notion of an Irish Tide game. Said John Heisler:
"It's not for lack of interest," said John Heisler, Notre Dame's senior associate athletics director who is in charge of scheduling. "I just don't know where we'd put them."But today, as I booted up the computer, my Google alerts delivered to me the news that:
Notre Dame will play football games at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., in 2011 and 2014. No opponent has been announced for the games.Hey, John Heisler, I think I know where we might be able to fit the Crimson Tide into our schedule! How about in 2011 in Orlando? It makes perfect football sense. The Irish want to play some big games at neutral sites to return the program to its "Independent" roots. Playing Alabama in Orlando would sell lots of tickets, and would draw high-paying television coverage. It would broaden the reach of Notre Dame into SEC territory. Perfect. For Alabama, it's pretty good as well. 'Bama wants to play the Irish. They don't have to travel outside the deep South to do it (and we know how SEC teams hate to leave Dixie to play big games). And they get great exposure in Urban Meyer's back yard, recruit-rich Florida.
Of course, the finances would have to worked out. I know Notre Dame envisions these games as virtual home games from a revenue standpoint, and 'Bama may not want to travel to Orlando for a regular visitor's share of the cash. But the marquee nature of this match-up means the Irish could give up a little revenue to the Tide and still get a nice payday.
Go Irish! Beat 'Bama!
[EDIT: I had included a comment (now removed) about Saban's earlier criticism of USC's schedule (which includes Notre Dame) as being soft. But it wasn't Saban (former LSU coach), it was Les Miles (current LSU coach). Thanks to Anonymous for pointing out my error.]