Notre Dame’s Bowl Options

Lost in all of the Charlie Weis buyout rumors from the past few days is the fact that Notre Dame is still bowl eligible and according to Weis last week, the Irish will go to a bowl if they are invited this year.  That said, I came across a post over on the ESPN College Football Blog defining the bowl options for the Irish this year.

Here are the bowl games which will have an at large spot available to them.

Guaranteed Open At-Large Bids

  • (1) Texas Bowl – 12/30 – (vs. Conf USA)
  • (1) Poinsettia Bowl – 12/23 – (vs. Mountain West) (Update: The Poinsettia Bowl is not an option for ND)
  • (1) Bowl – 12/29 – (vs. Big East)
  • (2) Independence Bowl – 12/28
  • (1) Emerald Bowl – 12/27 – (vs. ACC)

Possible Open At-Large Bids

  • (1) Motor City Bowl – 12/26  (vs. MAC)
  • (1) Hawaii Bowl – 12/24 – (vs. Hawaii)

So there you have it.  We could be in a bowl game anywhere from December 23-December 30.  Of these bowls, the only one the Irish have ever been to is the Independance Bowl.  Notre Dame lost to LSU 27-9 in Bob Davie’s first season as head coach for the Irish in 1997.

Not exactly the big name bowls most were hoping for before the season started, but as the infamous Bob Davie used to say, “it is what it is”.

Lingering Questions for Notre Dame on Eve of Citrus Bowl

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  1. fastfinger 8 years ago

    Notre Dame is a quasi-member of the Big East (they belong for all other sports), and my impression was that they were entitled to take any of the Big East’s bowls. I think this has been a subject of controversy for Big East fans for quite some time, allowing ND the benefits of Big East affiliations without actually having to commit to joining the conference for football. Allowing ND to take a bowl game when there are many other 7 win teams out there is another travesty of college football. All hail the TV revenue. Make ND join a football conference and play by the rules like every other school has to, or else be totally ineligible for post season bowl games.

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  2. Andy 9 years ago

    I think OSU fan should be more concerned with spelling if he’s going to toss words like ignorant around.

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  3. C-Dog 9 years ago

    osu fan,
    My apologies for identifying you with a disreputable Ohio State program. That said, why have you intruded on our blog site. This is meant for ND fans, not outsiders. There are several blog sites for that and I’m sure you are welcome there.
    I grew up in Pennsylvania and I know they were licking their chops at a probable double victory over OSU. As long as we’re talking about the PAC-10, can any of the PAC-10 teams that still maintain the “student” in student athlete compete? Didn’t the PAC-10 for 1-6 against the lowly Mountain West this year? And you have the gall to come into a Notre Dame chat room which has nothing to do with you? Who is arrogant and ignorant? Look in the mirror, take care of your own house by actually winning the PAC-10, and talk about your conference’s general mediocrity, both in performance and in officiating.

    You aren’t invited here.

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  4. osu fan 9 years ago

    Actually you ignorant and arrogant ND fans I am not an Ohio State fan. There is more than 1 OSU and if you read my first thread it talked about beating you in BOWL games. Where it hurts you the most. That’s right the lowly Beavers have beat you in two bowls this decade and if the Irish had only done well enough for the Sun bowl to choose them then the Beavers would have a chance to take their frustrations of missing out on the Rose Bowl by kicking your butts all the way back to South Bend again (Just like 2000 and 2004). By the way maybe one of these days you should schedule us in the regular season, we could use an easy win! Nothing better than watching the Irish loose and since you will be keeping Charlie around for 1 more year that is another 3 years of loosing to look forward to.

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  5. dan 9 years ago

    with you on that c-dog. OSU stinks they are overrated every year

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  6. JC 9 years ago

    Count me in C-Dog. Lets include Ivan Maisel and Mark May too.


    Further, I am sure OSU’s 10 wins encapsulates numerous signature wins in their extremely difficult conference.

    Just like OSU’s academics…Hmm…Oh yeah, Football – 1.9 GPA and probation carries the day there. Phys-Ed anyone?

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  7. C-Dog 9 years ago

    @osu fan,
    If we settled into the Big Ten Conference we might not do worse. But ND will never join the Big Ten because they support embryonic stem cell research. That’s no joke. It’s why as an alum I voted against it in 1998. But unless you violate NCAA rules or have low standards like THE Ohio state does, being an independent allows you to chart your own course. I laugh at OSU and their lack of academic excellence. Maurice Clarett, enough said.
    Speaking of so called BCS conferences, how about the MAC instead of the Big Ten, or the Mountain West instead of the PAC-10? Since folks are picking on ND it’s all fair game now.
    I hope ND goes to any bowl and Weis or no Weis, puts up 70 points on an opponent.
    ESPN and all the other so called journalists can stick it. I’d like to take everyone one of you on this fan blog and challenge Pat Forde, Gene Wojechowski, etc, at ESPN, and Dennis Dodd at CBS, and any of these other bar hoppers to a football game. Tackle, no pads. I know I’ll put a few lights out. Anyone interested?

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  8. bleednd82 9 years ago

    I could care less if we lose a “second tier bowl” as well. As Justin said people are already “done” with CW and are writing him off. I think his job is safe. Its another game that we didnt have the opportunity to play in last year. Its more practice, more games and the most important thing to end the season on a high not and 7-6.

    So I ask what would mean more: another ND loss or a ND win in a bowl game?

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  9. JC 9 years ago

    Ok, living in the past? My money is on Urban Meyer.

    No more speculation on or what if’s. I’ll bet he’s the next ND Coach.

    Now sit back relax and enjoy the ride to your next national title.

    By the way, no bowl either.

    @osu fan,

    You got to be kidding, after two in a row horrible nt bowl losses and the ween-nee-ten conference. They would kill you in the SEC conference.

    And your going to lecture us?

    Go back to your vainglorious over ranked site and team. You haven’t beaten any significant contender teams either.

    Where did the two losses come from??

    Let us know when you when you really think you can beat….Hmm is it USC? or LSU? or Florida?

    Refesh my memory, what was the point spread on your last two bowl blow outs?

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  10. robert t. gilleran 9 years ago

    frankie v,
    1. we already knew about this one.
    2. however, as confirmed by steve hare at irish illustrated on 12/1/2008, “Evans:Weis not going anywhere”, charlie, in person, visited the home of former 2009 usc verbal commit, and current nd verbal commit, wr shaquelle evans( either 4 or 5 star depending on the rating service)right after the usc game, but on the highest priority list of every school in the us, including usc in inglewood, ca.
    3. naturally, young shaquelle and his parents wanted to know if there was any basis for these rumours that the jobs of charlie or of any members of his staff were going to be in any jeopardy during the 4 years that shaquelle is going to be studying and playing football at notre dame.

    4. charlie pulled out for them their own( to keep) orginal notarized documents signed by every necessary party at notre dame, including nd ad jack swarbrick, confirming that the jobs of charlie and his staff wwere never in any danger at all.
    5. this process is being repeated all over the us right now by charlie and other members of his staff, both with nd’s current 2009 verbal commits and with quite a few dynamite student athletes who had been sitting on the fence.
    6. so, once again, the vicious hansenites and their allies have been exposed and busted yet again as the con artists and liars that they have always been.
    7. as for nd ad jack swarbrick, we are informed that he is currently in hawaii. now, what do you think that he is doing in hawaii?

    we thank frankie v and his colleagues at for having the guts to step up to the plate for charlie and his staff and for notre dame’s fine, but very young, 2008 football team and we wish everyone and very merry christmas and happy new year,

    robert thomas patrick gilleran

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  11. Justin 9 years ago

    if we lose we lose. we’d get to hear more from the pundits calling for weis’s head.. whats new. but it’d be another game for our guys to develop. our sophomores have never been to a bowl game. so it’d be great for them to experience that.. and i mean really thats a big point here.. even tho our season didnt turn out the way we all woulda liked and hoped for, those kids busted their aces out there. they do it all year round. they deserve to go to a bowl game if they are eligible.

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  12. jonnyC 9 years ago

    @osu fan:i would try & argue & tell you to get a life and go to an OSU site, but the fact is you’r right. right now we do suck & any pathetic bowl offer we recieve we should be thankful for. but that certainly doesnt mean we’r finished. if any program can turn it’s self around its ND. kenbo is right look at PSU they turned it around pretty quickly and look at them now. what bowl game is it again that they’r going to osu-fan?? i cant seem to remember……

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  13. osu fan 9 years ago

    All this talk of “lowering” yourselves to a lower bowl” Are you kidding me how much lower can this program go? Go play anyone and pray you can pull something out because you program is on the brink of collapse…..and you fans who consider it “lowering yourselves” should be happy any bowl will take you. With your strength of schedule and only 6 wins…..if you were in a conference you would be 3 and 9 again!

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  14. jonnyC 9 years ago

    justin/bleed: what if we do go to a “lower tier” bowl game & lose??
    -im not trying to argue w/you guys at all. palying devil’s advocate really.
    PS i don’t think being “sour” or “negative” makes a bad fan. its the fans who illicit no emotion at all, one way or the other, that isn’t a true fan. believe me, i wouldnt be losing sleep and walking around p*ss’d off for the last 6 weeks if i didnt care. i just want us to be champs. nothing more, nothing less. if its with CW great!! if he’s not gonna lead us there than he’s got to go. simple as that. should we “do the right thing” & give him another year? fine, but trust me, if urban meyer or bob stoops woke up tomorrow & said he wanted to come to south bend, then about 99% of the fanbase(myself included) would say “Charlie who???”

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  15. teo 9 years ago


    I used to believe in that theory — that because the Irish keep going to top-knotch bowls (save last season), we keep losing because we’re playing top-knotch opponents — but this season proved this theory wrong. We had the 107th toughest schedule. We still went 6-6.

    We stink. I don’t know how else to say it. I think Weis gets one more year. I think that’s fair, given what he’s done for the program. But, we stink. Period. We’re going to have trouble if we play Hawaii. Wer’e going to have trouble if we play almost anyone else.

    And, one more thing: RUN THE FOOTBALL!!

    If ever we needed to run the ball, it was Saturday night. And, Weis gave it like two series and then decided it was better to give it to an over-extended sophomore quarterback. NO way. Force that o-line to run clock.

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  16. KenB043 9 years ago

    Greetings to all you true ND fans. I have been a fan all 53 years of my life, I also live in Southern California, so I take my share of beatings. I may be a fool but Charlie is my coach and Jimmy is my QB, end of story. I would rather have my 6 and 6 season, than to just jump on the bandwagon with another team. Do you remember Penn State a few years ago, they were just as bad as we are now, lets not kid ourselves. We will return, I have faith in that, as long as Charlie is my coach I back him, I may scream in my own living room but he is still my guy until they make a change. Any game now is fine, another chance to watch my team. I love to back Notre Dame, I do not care who the coach is lets just play.
    As I said I would be happy to go 6-6 and not call myself a SC fan, its worth it. Go IRISH!!!

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  17. bleednd82 9 years ago

    Some ND “so called fans” sound so sour and negative and spend a little too much time living in the past. We are not a dominate team like we were 20-30 years ago. I think CW is building something that will be undone if he gets canned. I want to get this bowl losing streak off our backs.

    @ Justin your right we havent lost any recruits and I dont think we will. These guys are high on CW and ND together. They arent going anywhere. A “lowier tier” bowl is better than “no” bowl at all. Seriously I cannot believe what I am reading from fans. 6-6 we shouldnt go to a bowl? Are you kidding me? Because why? We are too good for it. -Justin I agree with you all the way here. We are going and I think CW will be around for another game atleast. I think ND does the credible thing and keeps him for 1 more.

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  18. Justin 9 years ago

    i agree with you on the last couple games. but the USC game was a given before it kicked off. The Syracuse game was the irish laying an egg (it happens in college football.. look at LSU recently).

    I think a “lower tier” bowl will pit the irish against an opponent more on our level, and one that we should win against. Which to me, would be good exposure.

    And if we would happen to win (an if sentence), I think it would really help out Charlie’s recruiting by showing that ND is still behind the guy and he’s still coaching and on the scene. Rivals and ESPN both have us listed as a top 10 class (one has us at 7 and one has us at 10 if it hasnt changed). It’d give Weis a strong push to finish off this class.

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  19. Dustin 9 years ago

    As an ND fan and current Ball State student who has seen both of these teams play in person this year, Notre Dame would get pounded in a Motor City Bowl if it includes Ball State. I never thought I would say that when I first got to Ball State when I was a freshman in 2005, but it is what it is.

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  20. jonnyC 9 years ago

    @ Justin “another game of national recognition which helps recruiting” i agree with this statement but at the same time the last couple of games we played were on a national stage, and about the only recruiting i think they help’d with was with any potential punters who are in high school & wanna play for us!! lol
    & i know we havent really been relevant for the last 15 years or so (w/the xcption of a few years you already mentioned), and maybe i’m a bit of a snob, but i just don’t like the thought of ND playing in one of these B.S. bowls.
    maybe i just to wake up & face reality. We’r just not that good & our future is probably filled with a bunch of “thrifty car rental bowls” and thats just the way it is.

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  21. JC 9 years ago










    There, my end of the season diatribe, if I hurt anyone’s feelings, I am truly sorry.

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  22. Ryan Ayers 9 years ago

    ND lost to L$U in the Independence Bowl in 1997 by a score of 27-9 not 29-7.

    Just wanted to let you know the editorial error.

    Go Irish!!!

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  23. KYLE 9 years ago


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  24. Ghost of Jerry Cooney 9 years ago

    Im scared to see ND take the field in a bowl game and take another loss to a 3rd tier team which they are likely to face. ESPN had a good quote today with the coaching situation and its something to ponder: Is whats out there better than what we already have? Im not sure. ND should regroup and let the media storm calm down without putting us through having to defend another horrible performance which Mark May and Jesse “the Coupon Don” Jackson are sure to shove in our face.

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  25. Justin 9 years ago

    Another nice thing about a bowl game is its another game of national recognition which helps recruiting.

    As far as “lowering” ourselves to a bowl, I think we need to be honest. ND hasnt been consistently relevant on the national scene for 15 years. We’ve had some really good seasons; The latter quinn years, Jarious Jacksons senior year, the walton/duff/etc defenses always kept us in games with a bad offense. But we’ve basically had a “good” year followed by an average year for a long time now. We’ve been lowered for a while.

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  26. Matt 9 years ago

    I want them to go to any bowl they get a chance at…it would be good to get the extra practice…and who knows if we win the game…then we get that damn bowl losing streak off our back and get some good momentum going into next year…Go Irish

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  27. NDguy45 9 years ago

    Bob, I was at the ‘Cuse game. The students were throwing snowballs at everyone. Fellow students, state troopers, the cheerleaders, the cameramen, a ‘Cuse kick returner, and even Notre Dame student athletes being introduced to the crowd during timeouts. Get your facts straight. In fact not one snowball that I saw was lobbed at an usher in a yellow jacket.

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  28. jonnyC 9 years ago

    i know i’m gonna regret this, but….who or what are “hansenites”???

    -i’m kind of torn on this one. On the one hand I dont what our beloved university to have to lower itself & make an appearence in the poinsettia or the papajohn’s bowl (papa F’ing johns bowl?? are we freiking kidding?!?!?)
    but on the other hand I want to end this ridiculus bowl victory drought in the worst way!! no matter what game it is, I desperately wanna put a “W” in the win column after a bowl game & get atleast that monkey (gorilla at this point, who are we kidding)off of our collective backs & get some positive momentum going into ’09

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  29. David 9 years ago

    The should toss charlie before the bowl game, and let brown or tenuta fill in as interim for the bowl game.

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  30. C-Dog 9 years ago

    I almost freaked to see The Gilleran back, but then realized after reading his post, that it’s an early April Fools joke. The real gilleran was much further down the alzheimer’s road. The guy is either institutionalized or in the grave. But nice work on the ghost writing.

    If it were the real gilleran it would have been a fitting end to this dismal season.

    At 6-6 you’d think we should be happy after last year’s 3-9.

    Here’s why I think this season is worse. We did play a weaker schedule and should have won at least two more games than last year without any improvement. No one realized how bad Michigan is and there’s your other win. Corwin Brown and Jon Tenuta have definitely improved the defense.
    So those are all positives.

    What didn’t improve. The offense didn’t really improve. We are wasting our skill players. The line doesn’t use it’s feet well and doesn’t move the pile at all. Also take a stop watch and time how long it takes the QB to give the bal to a running back. Compare with any top ten team. If I’m an opposing linebacker I’m licking my chops on the telegraphed hand off.
    Then there’s the attitude. Yeah the kids are responsible, but the coach sets the expectations and if the kids are allowed to work to a low bar, then that is on the coach. One kid with a mediocre attitude, it’s the kid. 25% or more of the team letting down, that’s the coach.
    Let’s recall 4 games this year. North Carolina and Pitt. Bad, choke type losses that never used to happen at ND. An offensive letdown against BC that shouldn’t have happened against a team with recruits many of you say should be on a below .500 team. BC is playing for the ACC championship this weekend. Syracuse — that’s the worst loss I’ve ever seen. We played down to a 9 loss team. Then the continued futility against USC. That loss makes me think we’ll never compete unless we join the Ivy LEague or Div 2 or 3. I hate myself for thinking that, but where’s the evidence to support that we can compete? 3 decent years in the last 10. And to think Holtz was run out for a couple of 8-3 seasons.

    Last year’s 309 could be pinned partially on Willingham. This one is totally one Weis. If there isn’t a clear admission to the AD that he needs to be more effective as a head coach, he needs to be replaced with a PROVEN winner.

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  31. bleednd82 9 years ago

    Finally talking about something positive I see. I am glad. Talking about a chance to be 7-6.

    I dont mind going to any of these games. If the game is closer to Indiana I could go so I am hoping for something close to home so maybe motorcity bowl? I would also love a matchup vs Miami (Thug U) in the Emerald bowl.

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  32. Paul 9 years ago

    I’m a glutton for punishment….bring on one more game.

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  33. JC 9 years ago

    I have never been in agreement with any .500 team receiving a bowl bid.

    And certainly not for “practice”, that’s a new one.

    But again, it’s not my call.

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  34. Justin 9 years ago

    I check the site daily, just never post. But I think we should definately take the bowl option. As a diehard ND fan, I am always tired of hearing ppl talk about the fact that we havent won a bowl game since 93. I want to see us end that streak. That would be a major positive that could come out of this season.

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  35. dan 9 years ago

    i say we skip the bowl game and avoid further embarasssment

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  36. David 9 years ago

    well his latest post was a dissapointment. I am starting to believe this guy isnt as crazy as i originally thought he was, and is just a guy that is pretending to be crazy.

    His antics have let me down, exactly like notre dame football has.

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  37. JC 9 years ago

    “beer nazi security guards.”

    Yeah, darn those guys, they are everywhere, especially the ones with the white coats.

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  38. robert t. gilleran 9 years ago


    1. thanks for the nd bowl information.

    2. while we will be at whatever bowl game nd chooses, we would prefer the hawaii bowl.

    3. the nd student athletes and charlie and his coaching staff and their familes and the real nd fans, both students and non students,including myself and members of my family, could use a trip to hawaii, both for the great surfing and to cheer on notre dame.

    4. the trip and the win just might be very good for recruiting also, in addition to breaking the bowl win jinx.

    5. as usual, it took a real sportswriter and many notre dame students to expose one of the latest frauds created by the hansenites and other media con artists.

    6. take a look at the emails from notre dame students published online at cbs by dennis dodd on 11/29/2008.

    7. the snowballs and boos from the student section at the nd/syracuse were not directed at charlie and his staff or at any notre dame football players.

    8. they were directed at the beer nazi security guards who, together with some local police, have been routinely violating the civil and legal rights of notre dame students and who will be fired pronto.

    9. of course, hansenites and their allies have never let the truth get in the way of their fraudulent progaganda before, including the completely phony garbage about the job securities of charlie and his staff at notre dame and the garbage about charlie and the team losing the support of any sigificant number of notre dame students or fans.

    10. when the hansenites receive hundreds of emails from notre dame students and fans about their fraudulent articles, they block them all from their comment and blog sections, as they do with anyone who exposes them for the liars and con artists that they have been for years.

    thanks and GO IRISH!!!

    robert thomas patrick gilleran

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