According to reports from Black Knight Nation, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Army Black Knights are set to square off on the gridiron once again. The date and location have not been announced, but the last two times these programs met were at neutral sites. Notre Dame has developed strong ties with service academies over the course of its independence and it appears they will be facing both Army and Navy during the 2024 campaign.
Historic Series Renewed
Notre Dame and Army have met 51 times. The Fighting Irish are 39-8-4 all-time against the Black Knights and the program is on a 15-game winning streak. The last time the Black Knights beat Notre Dame was back in 1958, a season in which Army finished 8-0-1 and ended the year ranked #3 in the AP Poll.
Historically these programs have met at many different places including South Bend, the Bronx, San Antonio, West Point, and East Rutherford, to name a few. It is difficult to call this a rivalry, but this matchup vastly resembles the Notre Dame Navy Series. In fact, Army is Notre Dame’s sixth most common opponent of all time.
The 1946 “Game of the Century”. The Army Cadets were #1 and the Fighting Irish, under Frank Leahy, were ranked #2 in the nation. Once again, the contest was played at Yankee Stadium for the world to see. The game ended in a 0 to 0 tie and was a part of Notre Dame’s 1946 national championship season.
Brian Kelly has dominated the Black Knights in two meetings. In 2010, Notre Dame faced Army at Yankee Stadium, where the Irish coasted to a 27-to-3-point victory under quarterback Tommy Rees. More recently, the Irish headed out West to face the Cadets in San Antonio, where they dominated the Black Knights 44 to 6.
Army has been on the rise under Head Coach Jeff Monken. When the Cadets faced Notre Dame back in 2016, their program was in a different position than it is now. Since Coach Jeff Monken took over, he halted the program’s 14-game losing streak to the Navy Midshipmen. In fact, the Cadets have beaten the Midshipmen four of the last five seasons.
In 2018, Army finished 11-2 with a 70 to 14 win over Houston in their bowl game. The Black Knights even took the Oklahoma Sooners to overtime on the road, where they lost a nail biter, 28 to 21.
Will this matchup take place at a neutral site? The most likely location for this matchup would be Yankee Stadium in New York. Under Head Coach Brian Kelly the Irish faced the Black Knights at the ballpark back in 2010. Since then, Notre Dame has played in the Pinstripe Bowl (Rutgers 2013) and a Shamrock Series Game (Syracuse 2018) at Yankee Stadium.
There are a few other potential locations. The Alamo Dome in San Antonio would be another destination because the two programs have already met there and the city has military ties. MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey) and M & T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, Maryland) are two other venues in which the Irish have a lot of history playing service academies.
A final possibility is that Notre Dame could schedule Army for a Shamrock Series matchup at a completely unique location.
What ACC opponents will Notre Dame be facing in 2024? The Fighting Irish are set to play Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia, and Miami as a part of their agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Based on recent rankings, the home game versus the Miami Hurricanes would present the greatest challenge.
The Irish have scheduled strong matchups outside of the ACC. Jack Swarbrick has Notre Dame facing Texas A & M , Northern Illinois, Purdue, Stanford, Navy, and USC in addition to the ACC schedule. Certainly, it is nice to see several traditional opponents on the schedule, but the biggest matchup would be with the Texas A & M Aggies in College Station.
Thankfully, the contest will take place on opening weekend and a loss would give either school plenty of time to make their way back into the College Football Playoff race.
Army would be the 11th game on the 2024 Notre Dame Football Schedule. Jack Swarbrick has one game left to fill for the 2024 calendar. For better or worse, Army will be the second triple option team Brian Kelly and the Irish will face that season.
With the schedule almost finished, it will be intriguing to see if Kelly and Swarbrick fill the remaining spot with a marquee opponent or select a non-power five opponent.