Notre Dame and Purdue have played every year since 1946 but according to multiple reports on Monday, the series could be headed for a break in the action in the near future with the two schools not scheduled to play each other again after next year’s contest currently.
Next year’s Notre Dame – Purdue game, recently rumored to potentially be played in Indianapolis for the 2014 Shamrock Series, is the last game the two schools are contractually obligated to play. After that game, it sounds like there is a good chance we’ll have a season without Purdue on the schedule shortly after.
Reports have all stated that the series will continue in some form in the future, but not necessarily as an every year ordeal with Notre Dame’s obligation to play 5 ACC opponents a year and Purdue and the Big Ten moving to a 9-game conference schedule starting in 2016. Add in Notre Dame’s rivalries with Navy, Stanford, and USC and the Irish will have just four open weeks a year and the Boilermakers just three.
The future of Notre Dame’s schedule has been in doubt since Notre Dame’s move to the ACC for all sports other than football that came with the 5-game commitment every year. The Michigan series has already been a casualty and Notre Dame has a game with Temple originally scheduled for 2014 to 2015 and went through a lot of hassle to move next year’s Arizona State game as well.
Should there be a break in the action, next year’s contest certainly will have a little extra flavor to it – especially if the game is moved to Lucas Oil Field in downtown Indianapolis as recent reports have suggested. Should Indy host the Shamrock Series, it will be the first time a Shamrock Series game will be within easy driving distance of the Notre Dame campus with previous destinations in San Antonio (2009), New York (2010),Washington DC (2011), Chicago (2012) and most recently Dallas.
While a Purdue game in Indianapolis probably won’t fire up the fanbase too much, a road trip to Indy for a game is one heck of a road trip for fans. Lucas Oil Stadium is right in downtown Indianapolis within walking distance of some great bars and restaurants. The city also showed in a big way that they know how to host an event with the Super Bowl in 2012.
Notre Dame has not lost to Purdue since Brian Kelly became head coach four years ago and hasn’t lost to them at all since 2007. In fact, the series has been very one sided with Notre Dame winning 23 of the last 28 games. Still, the yearly Notre Dame – Purdue game has been a staple on the Notre Dame schedule for nearly 70 years and it will be weird to see a future Notre Dame schedule without the Boilermakers on it.