Notre Dame's long-awaited foray into scheduling the SEC took form on Wednesday with the announcement of a home-and-home series with Georgia. That likely will bump another college football luminary down the track.
The Irish's second pair of games in a four-game series with Texas -- originally slated for 2019 and 2020 -- appears destined for rescheduling deeper into the 2020s, a school spokesman confirmed. The Georgia game in 2019 effectively usurps the slot Notre Dame has available for a non-rival, non-ACC series in what has become a challenging scheduling operation for the independent Fighting Irish.
Texas and Notre Dame still will face off in 2015 and 2016 as planned, so there's no abandoning that marquee matchup altogether. But the original four-game agreement between the schools was announced in 2010, before Notre Dame entered into a five-games-per-season football partnership and took all of its other sports (except hockey) to the ACC. That represents the primary complication. And then there's Notre Dame's intent to maintain its traditional rivalry games with USC, Navy and Stanford, not to mention simply ensuring it has enough home games in any given year.
All of that has put limitations on how many occasions Notre Dame can entertain regular foes like Michigan State or Purdue while returning road games as well. The Irish and Spartans are scheduled to meet just five times over the next 14 seasons, while the Irish-Boilermakers series takes a hiatus after 2014 following annual meetings since 1946. Texas now falls into the same category, too, in an adjustment to the new realities setting in with the ACC agreement.
“We really can't expect to play any individual school any more than twice [a home-and-home] in a decade,” spokesman John Heisler said in an email. “So to be consistent with the way we are approaching all this, the last two Texas games ['17 and '19] would need to move into the next decade in some form. With the few slots we have now year-to-year we want to create as much diversity as we can in terms of variety of opponents and to do that we expect to have lots of two-year series.”