Well, how is this for a late Friday afternoon whopper. As speculation continues to run wild about whether or not there will be a 2020 season, we got some tantalizing rumors about a possible addition to Notre Dame’s 2020 schedule. The Alabama Crimson Tide. Yeah, that’s right, there are rumors that the Irish and Tide could clash in a potential week one mega season opener.
The rumor comes from a radio appearance from Gary Stoken on ESPN Radio this afternoon.
Stoken oversees the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Series and has been making the rounds on the radio this week, talking about all of the potential possibilities for the upcoming season – specifically with the opening weekend in mind. He’s also mentioned some other teams on other appearances this week, so take this with a massive grain of salt for now.
Stoken isn’t the only one fanning the flames of a potential Notre Dame – SEC battle this season though. Fox Sports analyst and former Notre Dame legend Brady Quinn more than hinted that Notre Dame could play an SEC team this fall.
There’s a lot to unpack here for this to work. Specifically:
- Notre Dame is still scheduled to open the season at Navy in Annapolis
- Notre Dame’s schedule is still very much in flux after losing three games
- Notre Dame will need the ACC’s help in some capacity to fill its schedule.
There have been rumors that while the Pac 12 and Big 10 have decided on a conference-only schedule, that the other conferences could decide on a ten-game season with nine conference games plus one out of conference game.
This is where Notre Dame’s independence could really come in handy and would really get those who hate Notre Dame’s ability to stay independent all up in arms.
Let’s say the ACC says to Notre Dame that it’ll help it fill its schedule this year if it plays nine ACC teams like each ACC team will likely be playing. Notre Dame could do that and be free to do what it wants with its other games. The Irish could, in theory, play 11 games to accommodate nine ACC games, Navy, and Alabama.
Before anyone gets too excited, remember, this is all dependent on there actually being a 2020 season; and that is still very much in doubt.
Assuming there is a 2020 season, though, and Notre Dame and Alabama do start the season off against each other in either Tuscaloosa or South Bend, it might just be the first bit of good sports news college football fans have gotten in months.
Notre Dame vs. Alabama in week one would be a rating bonanza for whoever gets to cover the game. It would also give Notre Dame a shot at Alabama in the first week of the season when their chances of taking down the Crimson Tide would be as good as they’d ever be.
We’ll see if this ultimately has any legs to it, but for now, news like this is like mana in the desert to Notre Dame fans starving for a bit of good news.