Hey, wake up! Kevin White did something right! No, really. ESPN reported earlier today that the Fighting Irish will play the Oklahoma Sooners in football during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Now that's barnstorming. I am all fired up about this. As a young kid watching televised games on Saturday mornings and just learning to appreciate football, Oklahoma was one of my favorite teams. (Notre Dame was on Sunday mornings via the highlights show). It seems like they were on T.V. a lot, and I loved their flashy option offense, with the quarterback making the pitch just as he's getting creamed and the tailback streaking down the sideline to the end zone. When I think of classic college football I think of Notre Dame, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Was that so hard, Dr. White? Find a worthy opponent, and schedule a home-and-home. It makes for two great games that fans of both schools will be dying to see, along with the rest of the country. It beats the crap out of playing random lesser schools (WSU, Baylor) at random locations (San Antonio, Dallas) for no good reason ($$$$).
A game against Oklahoma will mean something. OU is a school with a proud history of winning championships and courting scandal. ND and OU have squared off nine times in the past, and the Irish have won eight of those games. The only Sooner victory came in 1956 when Oklahoma was in the middle of what would become an NCAA-record 47 game winning streak. OU was ranked #2 in the country and they beat an unranked Terry Brennan squad 40-0. But the best part? Here was the cover of Sports Illustrated the week leading up to the game:
Yep, the unranked Irish playing #2 OU on a huge winning streak, and the Golden Boy gets the cover. That had to rankle a few Sooners fans. By the way, another unranked Terry Brennan-led Notre Dame squad went into Oklahoma the next year and ended the #2-ranked Sooners' 47-game win streak with a 7-0 victory. How did that taste, OU?
Yes, this is how Notre Dame should schedule. Storied programs, home-and-home, with a little bad blood thrown in to make it interesting. I still hate the 7-4-1, but I have to commend Kevin White for this one. It's Christmas in July.