TV Rights Holding Up Potential Notre Dame-Baylor Matchup

In February of 2005, Kevin White announced that he would like to add a “mini bowl game” to Notre Dame’s schedule every year in areas of the country where the Irish rarely travel.  It appears the first of such games could be a matchup with Baylor, but according to the Dallas Morning News, the television rights for such a game are preventing the two sides from officially adding the game.

Big 12 officials have told McCaw that the Big 12 television contract calls for neutral site games played by member schools in what is considered a Big 12 viewing area to be aired by ABC.

McCaw disagrees with the Big 12’s interpretation of the contract, saying, “The old contract doesn’t specifically speak to that issue.”

The Big 12 wouldn’t have a problem if Baylor and Notre Dame were playing home-and-home, so NBC could carry one of the games and ABC could air the other. But Notre Dame has agreed to play Baylor only once, as a home game for the Irish in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

Should the game be given a green light, it would be played at either the Cotton Bowl or the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.  In case you haven’t seen the mammoth structure that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones plans to build, take a look.

Considering Notre Dame’s less than stellar recent track record recruiting in the Lone Star State, a matchup that filled the 100,000+ seat new Cowboys stadium would definitely be a nice shot in the arm for the Irish recruiting efforts in Texas.

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  1. You are missing the entire point of these “mini bowls.” Notre Dame already plays enough marquee games a year to not need to schedule yet another top 10 program. Notre Dame schedules big name teams and whether or not they are great teams by the time rolls around is another story. For instance, Penn State and UCLA both won 10 games in 2005 but weren’t nearly the same team in 2006 when they joined ND’s schedule. You can’t forecast that so adding another elite program to the schedule makes ZERO sense.

    Also, Air Force or Navy may be able to beat Baylor, but the perception is that they are among the weakest teams. Baylor is at least a BCS conference team.

    And what Notre Dame fans were saying they would expose LSU? Not too many over here. Most were extremely concerned with LSU’s speed. It’s easy to make stuff up after the fact to try and prove a point…

  2. Frankie V:

    What is this with the “fairly competitive” part? Better than Duke? Yes. But competitive in any sense of the word? No. Navy is a better program than Baylor right now, Air Force is also 3 years out of 4, and a great many of these smaller schools, even the I – AA programs, would beat Baylor more often than you would like to admit. Baylor is consistently the worst program in the worst BCS conference, and even when they were in the SWC they weren’t a winning team. It will be great for recruiting in Texas, but nationally people are still going to be talking about how ND is ducking people by going to that part of the country wtihout playing not only Oklahoma or Texas, but Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and (gasp!) TCU. And this whole game about how ND doesn’t schedule teams like South West Eastern State Tech … it is about time to put that to rest, OK? This is coming from a program that hasn’t won a bowl game since the early 90s, has been getting hammered by top opponents under Davie, Willingham, and now Weis, and their best victory in two years was an early season blowout of #21 Penn State that no one seems to remember or care about. ND fans spent the last two seasons talking about how they were going to expose LSU and Ohio State as frauds who played patsies, and look at what happened, especially this year when a lot of you wanted to play Meyer’s Gators. Replacing Air Force with a team that Air Force would beat more often than not isn’t going to help ND. Even replacing Army with a team that usually goes 7 – 5 or 8 – 4; a Clemson or Kansas, isn’t going to help ND. Getting to where they can beat teams that people care about on a consistent basis like the other top programs do … excuse me, that should be like the top programs do because my employment of “other” implies that ND is currently a top program or was once a top program in the recent past … THAT is what Notre Dame needs. Until Notre Dame gets to the point where they can schedule and beat an Oklahoma, Texas, or even a TCU, can it with the “our cupcakes would beat your cupcakes” delusions.

  3. The cowboys new stadium is also a pretty crazy place and it would be interesting to have Notre Dame play in “America’s Team’s” home stadium (although as an Eagles fan I might cringe a bit to see Notre Dame being called the home team in that stadium).

  4. Living in the south, I’d love this game to get the green light. I like my odds of snagging a ticket (100,000 +)if the game is played in the Cowboys new digs.

  5. The whole mini bowl game idea is not neccessarily to add another high quality opponent to Notre Dame’s schedule. With the likes of USC and Michigan as two marquee games every year along with teams like Penn State and Tennessee filling another marquee game each year the Irish already have enough big games.

    The point is to give Notre Dame a winable game against a fairly competitive opponent in an area of the country where Notre Dame doesn’t have a strong following such as Texas. A game against Baylor fills that criteria perfectly. A game like this would replace game like the Air Force or Army game. Notre Dame doesn’t normally schedule schools like South West Eartern State Tech like other schools do as gimmes so this type of game would be a nice fit on the ND schedule.

  6. this is a terrible idea the irish could at least sustain some credibility and play a quality big 12 opponent. Baylor is a joke and it would be emabrrassing. How can any team establish a mini “bowl” atmosphere with a program like Baylor that consistently finshes in the bottom of the Big 12 standings annually?

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