NOTRE DAME — After months of struggling to whittle down an overstuffed lineup, Notre Dame released its 2014-2016 schedules on Friday, Dec. 20.
Each season features six home games, five away games and one off-site home game for the Shamrock Series matchup.
Because of its recent scheduling realignment, Notre Dame is under contract to play 15 Athletic Coast Conference games over the next three years. The Irish will play four ACC teams (North Carolina, Florida State, Syracuse and Louisville) in 2014 and six in 2015.
“Everybody who sort of made a major move has been in a position where they’ve swapped a conference schedule for a conference schedule,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Friday. “This presented us with a very different opportunity. We had years where we had as many as 16 games under contract once we took the ACC commitment. So you had to step back and ask yourself, ‘How are we going to make decisions here? What do we want to achieve?’”
Swarbrick said the program stuck to a list of scheduling goals, which included the 6-5-1 model, satisfying the ACC commitments, continuing the Shamrock Series, controlling the calendar in terms of kickoff time and bye week placement and preserving important rivalries.
Those “important rivalries,” Swarbrick said, include USC, Navy and Stanford — which are locked on Notre Dame’s schedule through 2022.
Swarbrick also focused on spreading the Irish schedule from coast to coast, hitting major stops along the way. The Irish will play in nine of the 12 largest cities and nine of the 10 largest Catholic communities in the country.
“We want to play in special places,” Swarbrick said. “When we’re not here, the most special place in the world to play football, we want to take our student-athletes to other special places. You have seen us do that with the Shamrock Series.”
The 2014 schedule features three games at NFL stadiums — Sept. 13 vs. Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts), Sept. 27 vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium (New York Jets and New York Giants) and Nov. 1 vs. Navy at FedEx Field (Washington Redskins).
Notre Dame’s first ACC game will come against North Carolina on Oct. 11, followed by a trip to Tallahassee, Fla., to face Florida State.
Notre Dame’s 2015 slate is headlined by the Shamrock Series game at Fenway Park against Boston College. The Nov. 21, 2015, matchup will be the first football game at Fenway since 1968.
The 2016 Shamrock Series game will take place Nov. 12 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, against Army.
Aug. 30, Rice
Sept. 6, Michigan
Sept. 13, vs. Purdue (Shamrock Series at Lucas Oil Stadium)
Sept. 27, vs. Syracuse (at MetLife Stadium)
Oct. 4, Stanford
Oct. 11, North Carolina
Oct. 18, at Florida State
Nov. 1, vs. Navy (at FedEx Field)
Nov. 8, at Arizona State
Nov. 15, Northwestern
Nov. 22, Louisville
Nov. 29, at USC
Sept. 5, Texas
Sept. 12, at Virginia
Sept. 19, Georgia Tech
Sept. 26, Massachusetts
Oct. 3, at Clemson
Oct. 10, Navy
Oct. 17, USC
Oct. 31, at Temple (at Lincoln Financial Services Field)
Nov. 7, at Pittsburgh
Nov. 14, Wake Forest
Nov. 21, vs. Boston College (Shamrock Series game at Fenway Park)
Nov. 28, at Stanford
Sept. 3, at Texas
Sept. 10, Nevada
Sept. 17, Michigan State
Sept. 24, Duke
Oct. 1, vs. Syracuse (at MetLife Stadium)
Oct. 8, at N.C. State
Oct. 15, Stanford
Oct. 29, Miami
Nov. 5, vs. Navy (Location TBD)
Nov. 12, Army (Shamrock Series game at the Alamodome)
Nov. 19, Virginia Tech
Nov. 26, at USC