When Jack Swarbrick officially announced the Notre Dame football schedules for the next three years he spoke about scheduling the Irish to play in all parts of the country and against tough competition to help the Irish build a strong playoff resume each year. What he didn’t say though was that the schedules for the next three years give Irish fans a ton of options for some awesome road trips.
Aside from seeing Notre Dame host programs like Texas, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in addition to yearly staples like USC and Stanford, Notre Dame will have at least two great road trip options for fans each of the next three years.
October 18, 2014 – at Florida State
Fresh off their title run this year, Florida State will host Notre Dame next season. With Jameis Winston returning, Florida State is going to be a top 10 team again next season. Notre Dame’s last and only trip to Tallahassee came in 2002 when Tyrone Willingham led the Irish into Doak Campbell Stadium and took out the Seminoles 34-24. Notre Dame traveled to play Florida State in 1994 as well, but the game was played in Orlando. Notre Dame has to play both Michigan and Stanford earlier in the season so how those games play out will determine if this game is a matchup of top 10 teams.
November 8, 2014 – at Arizona State
Notre Dame and Arizona State played a great game this season in Dallas and Todd Graham has the Sun Devils poised for another good season in 2014. What will make this an attractive road trip for fans though is the venue. Temple, Arizona in November will make for a great long weekend for Notre Dame fans. This game will be the first of a rough four game stretch to end the season for Notre Dame next season. Following Notre Dame’s trip to Tempe, the Irish will host Northwestern and Louisville and then end the season in Los Angeles against USC.
September 12, 2015 – at Virginia
A week after starting off the 2015 season by hosting Texas, Notre Dame will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia for the first time ever to play the Cavaliers. The two programs have actually only met one time – the 1989 Kickoff Classic in Giants Stadium. Notre Dame won that only meeting 36-13 in the first game in defense of their 1988 National Championship. Charlottesville is an awesome college town and Scott Stadium is a pretty intimate environment to watch a game.
October 3, 2015 – at Clemson
Back when Notre Dame announced that is was joining the ACC in sports other than football and hockey, one of the venues that we talked about really wanting to visit was Clemson. Memorial Stadium, aka “Death Valley”, is a raucous environment that many Notre Dame fans would like to see Notre Dame Stadium resemble in terms of intensity and decibel level. Notre Dame has played at Clemson just once before in 1977 on the road to their 10th National Championship during Dan Devine’s third year at Notre Dame.
November 21, 2015 – vs. Boston College @ Fenway Park
I already wrote about how amazing of a road trip this game will be for Notre Dame fans, but its worth repeating. Notre Dame, in Boston, in Fenway Park. Sign me up right now. Tickets are likely going to be at a premium for this one due to the size of the stadium, but Notre Dame fans have almost two years to start saving so that shouldn’t be an excuse. I finally got to Fenway Park for the first time this fall and got to see the Red Sox score 20 runs, hit 8 home runs, and David Ortiz collect his 2,000th career hit. I’m hoping to see some offensive fireworks out of the FIghting Irish for my second trip to Fenway Park.
September 3, 2016 – at Texas
Notre Dame last traveled to Austin in 1996 during Lou Holtz’s final season in South Bend. 20 years later Brian Kelly will lead the Irish into Texas Memorial Stadium once again. In the 1996 matchup Notre Dame won a nail bitter when Jim Sanson hit a last second field goal as time expired. This game will kick-off the 2016 season for Notre Dame what better way to start things off than a road trip to Austin, Texas. Texas comes to South Bend the first week of the 2015 season so one of these programs will also be looking for revenge when they face off in Austin.
November 12, 2016 – vs. Army @ Alamodome
This matchup probably won’t get too many fans overly excited but the venue and city will make this one worth the trip. San Antonio is a great city to visit and the River Walk will give fans plenty to do before and after the Irish and Black Knights square off. An added bonus for this game is that the pressure should be off in terms of coming out of the trip with a victory. Sometimes even a great road trip can be soured by a rough loss. That shouldn’t be the case with this one. At least we all should hope that’s the case.
There are some other away games worth checking out that probably won’t require a lot of fans to have to spend too much money on a road trip. The Irish will be playing in Indianapolis for instance next year. Lucas Oil Stadium is located right in downtown Indy with a lot fun bars and restaurants within walking distance. Notre Dame will be playing in Irish fan hot beds like New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia as well.
Bottom line. If you are a Notre Dame fan living in the United States, there are going to be plenty of chances for you to see the Irish in some excellent venues over the next three seasons.