Notre Dame Set to Sign 10 Game Deal with UConn

According to the Hartford Courant, Notre Dame is close to signing a deal with UConn for a 10 game series starting in 2009. The series would include 5 games at Notre Dame Stadium and then 5 split up between Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. None of the games will be played at UConn’s home field, Rentschler Field, which can only hold 40,000 people.

So far, it seems some UConn folk are not too thrilled about the prospect of not having a single game on their home field.

The thought of playing Notre Dame is exciting, but the eventual announcement of this series figures to get a mixed reaction in Connecticut. And we may get a taste of that as early as Wednesday when Notre Dame plays UConn in basketball. That’s why the risk must pay off for the UConn athletic department. This better work, because Hathaway has bent over so far for Notre Dame he can see Jimmy Hoffa’s body buried in the Meadowlands end zone.

UConn Division 1A Season Records

Year Records
2002 6-6
2003 9-3
2004 8-4
2005 5-6
2006 4-8
2007 9-4

The way it was explained to me, Gillette Stadium (tentatively 2013, 2017, 2020) or the new Giants Stadium (tentatively 2015, 2019) will be rented by UConn and used as an ordinary home game. There will be a limited visitors allotment of tickets going to Notre Dame. UConn’s season ticket holders would get the game as part of their package and attempts would be made to satisfy UConn fans first. There better not be shenanigans. There better not be some sudden price surge the way Lew Perkins tried with the UMass-UConn basketball debacle. There better not be a hundred hidden details. If ever we need to keep a close eye on the details, it’s this deal.

And let’s be honest, how many fans will be pulling for UConn at the Meadowlands? Even Gillette would be split, right? They figure to be neutral-site games at best. Notre Dame will satisfy its East Coast fans, get exposure in two huge media markets, zero in on a big recruiting target and have zero pressure to join the Big East. Notre Dame figures to be delighted.

The upside for UConn is national TV exposure with potential recruiting gains. For a young program, the argument is that it will be worth it. Considering half the state can get to Giants Stadium and the other half can get to Foxborough fairly easily, the inconvenience may not be so bad. We’ll see.

It’s quite understandable for UConn fans to be upset about not having a single one of these games as a true home game. Both Giants Stadium and Gillette Stadium will most likely be filled with more Notre Dame fans than UConn fans. Along the same lines, Notre Dame has never played Navy at their home field in Annapolis either.

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From ND’s perspective, this is a pretty good deal. It puts the Irish in two NFL Stadiums five times in 10 years in two pretty big markets against an up and coming team. Some people will no doubt bitch and moan about it because complaining about the schedule has been a hot topic across all of the ND boards over the last few weeks, but if UConn continues to improve as they’ve been, this could be a pretty nice little series.

The Huskies were 9-4 this year with a loss in the Meineke Car Care Bowl to Wake Forest. They were also taken to the woodshed by West Virginia in 66-21 loss in Morgantown. They were 8-0 at home, however, which could explain why the author of the previously quoted article was so upset about not having a single game against the Irish as a true home game.

Last summer’s transfer of Zach Frazer to UConn will undoubtedly add a little flair to this series in 2009 and 2010 if it does indeed go down as is being reported.

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12 comments

  1. Kevin 12 years ago

    From a different angle, can anyone see any irony with playing UConn? As in, “Hm. Wasn’t LOU Holtz coach of the Irish? And wasn’t SKIP Holtz (his son) the coach of UConn?” I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. But I relish the possible irony.

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  2. bleednd82 12 years ago

    JC-LOL

    I dont mind playing San Diego St before we play Michigan. It will be a good game to get some schemes down and a few “kinks” out. I dont feel a Appy st situation will take place at all but will help us more than hurt us. Finally, we get a game to see where we are at rather than being thrusted into a game with a opponent that we need to bring a flawless performance. You know what I mean.

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  3. JC 12 years ago

    Last year the schedule did not have a favorable sequence of teams nor ideal break period. One or two early tune up games OK, but from there, put the pedal to the metal! You already know playing higher ranked teams has many obvious benefits. Check out USC’s schedule for 2008, not a cake walk!

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  4. JC 12 years ago

    Yes my friends, to be safe, all you have to do is acquiesce to the dim-witted bravado and psycho-dramma presented by the self-proclaimed ND gate keeper. If you don’t, you will recieve thunderously crushing economic despair or verbal assassination. For a guy that claims this site has no future, he sure has his lips super glued to it!

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  5. JC 12 years ago

    Amen, Brother Bleed, Not to mention he decided to use a few choice words on you and me for agreeing on a topic 1-27-2008. In which had zero to do with him. He definately has some issues!

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  6. bleednd82 12 years ago

    Mac, BoB knows what he is doing. He has been warned by others about how he posts and also making threats to “sue” people all the time. He wont stop because he hasnt taken his meds in months. Obviously!

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  7. bleednd82 12 years ago

    UConn is going in the right direction with their football program but I cant help but ask the question to why schedule them? Is it just for on the exposure? ND gets more exposure than any college in the country. I think this might have to do with more of the “Big East” ties we have for other sports. I will warn though that the Big East is underrated and in the perception of the “haters” its another doormat league. I know its not, you know its not but they will throw it right back in our face. I wouldnt mind adding another BE team as well. They have been good to us. People in Big Ten hate us and put us down all the time and I see them being no differnt with adding a BE Uconn team. I like the idea but dont know if a good one for us.

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  8. clements2 12 years ago

    A series with UConn isn’t too bad of a deal for ND. It gets the Irish a lot of exposure in the Northeast (Meadowlands) for recruiting. Although, from ND’s perspective I can see this being a game where there is everything to lose and not much to gain on the field. All in all, it’s probably worth it for ND.

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  9. Mac 12 years ago

    And another thing, when will people realie that this blog is NOT a message board? We post articles, and you respond to the articles. You don’t give a cursory one-sentence response and then proceed to a three-page dissertation on something completely different. It’s not that difficult of a dynamic.

    Seriously, Bob, wouldn’t it be nice to get some actual responses to your posts occasionally? If you want to have meaningful discourse about ND football, get yourself a login name and go to the actual message board on this site at https://www.uhnd.com/bb/forum/index.php?action=main&forumid=6.

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  10. Mac 12 years ago

    The bigger question here is, will I projectile vomit or spontaneously burst into flames the moment I step foot in Gillette Stadium?

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  11. Donald 12 years ago

    How does this sit with ND’s plans to have two home games for ever one away?

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  12. Poppy 12 years ago

    A shot in the dark. Who knows what either ND or Conn. will be like in 5 years. I think Conn. in football is still considered a 1AA school
    and can ONLY profit from this exposure in many ways. It is OK with me.

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