Friday, July 20, 2007

Irish to Play Alabama in 2011

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.

Shortly after 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.]


Sir john said...

I agree once again after DD post with you OC

Chris said...

That would be very interesting if something like that could be worked out. It would almost feel like a regular season bowl game.

Anonymous said...

Miles was the one who critiqued USC's schedule, not Saban. Just an fyi, love your think track though.

OC Domer said...

Anonymous - You're absolutely correct. I was confusing my LSU coaches! (I will edit post).

Thanks for the help.

Roll Bama Roll said...

I know Bama doesn't travel at the level ND does, but we've played outside of "Dixie" recently by going to UCLA and Oklahoma. We're also traveling to Penn State soon and unfortunately Ohio State's AD pulled out of negotiations for a home and home that were underway.

Anonymous said...

Actually, thinking it over. 2011 or 2014 wouldn't work for us.

In 2011, we play at Penn State and we play at Georgia Tech in 2014. I don't see Bama playing six road games in one season. For it to even realistically be considered, it'd have to be a 50/50 revenue split similar to our arrangement with Florida State this year.

Roll Bama Roll said...

Oh yeah, that last anonymous comment was from me. I accidentally submitted anonymously.

OC Domer said...

Roll Bama Roll -

Props to the Tide for going to UCLA. Most SEC teams are not as adventurous. As for the schedule - Either Coach Saban and Alabama want to do it, or they don't.

"If you want to do something you'll find a way. If you don''t want to do something, you'll find an excuse."

The revenue is always negotiable.

irishrick said...

Alabama would be very nice , however i would like to see texas or texas A&M game with the irish we need more folks from texas, to come to the golden dome..

Anonymous said...

This sounds great if Saban is still at Alabama then!!! You never know!

Sir john said...

Keep in focus this was a COACH speaking out not the BAMA AD. poop talk by a coach and weis did not respond, could be Saben wants to push his AD out? This is internal University politics in here to guys.

A big chunk of ND fans want white out. It depends upon who has the muscle with the trustees to force the AD one way or another.

OC Domer said...

Sir John,

I know it was Saban mouthing off. As soon as I gave 'Bama fans a viable opportunity to actually play ND (on a neutral field!), they came up with a bunch of reasons why it won't work. They already have tough out-of-conference road games those years. The money isn't right. Boo Hoo! You either want to play, or you don't. Which is it?

By the way - what's wrong with Domer Domain? Can't access the site.