Notre Dame Football: Must-See Matchups for Fighting Irish Fans in 2012
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will get plenty of exposure in 2012, as their schedule features a number of marquee matchups.
The Irish will kick off the season in Ireland and round it out in Southern California. But along the way there will be three clashes that Notre Dame fans would be foolish to miss.
Here are the must-see matchups for Fighting Irish fans in 2012.
September 1: Navy
The annual matchup between Notre Dame and Navy on the gridiron has developed into one of college football's most underrated rivalries. The Midshipmen always play the Irish tough, and in 2012, the two programs will clash in Dublin, Ireland. It doesn't get much better than that for Fighting Irish football fans.
Notre Dame annihilated Navy last season, beating them 56-14 in South Bend. Still, Notre Dame's season opener in 2012 is no gimme. Navy will be just as excited to play on such a unique stage overseas, and even more motivated to avenge their brutal 2011 loss to the Irish. After an 0-2 start to the season a year ago, Notre Dame fans will be watching with hearts pounding on September 1.
September 22: Michigan
There were few college football games in 2011 as thrilling as Notre Dame vs. Michigan. The two rivals went back and forth in the waning moments before the Wolverines ultimately prevailed 35-31 in front of their home crowd. On September 22, Irish fans will get to watch their beloved Notre Dame attempt to avenge that gut-wrenching loss.
Michigan will field a superb team this season, led by dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson. Notre Dame will have its work cut out for it in South Bend, but the home-field advantage in college football can never, ever be underestimated.
Michigan will be in hostile territory against an opponent in the Irish, who have plenty of incentive to upend their rival in 2012.
October 27: Oklahoma
Which matchup is Notre Dame's biggest in 2012?
It's not often that Fighting Irish fans get to watch Notre Dame take on Oklahoma on the football field. This season, though, the Irish will square off against the national championship-contending Sooners in Norman. Notre Dame is 8-1 against Oklahoma all time, but the teams haven't played each other in over a decade.
With that said, there's simply no way that Notre Dame fans can skip out on this matchup. Although Notre Dame will be heavy underdogs at kickoff, they have an opportunity to make a mess of the BCS picture with a win, and who knows, maybe even position themselves into a big-time bowl game. Regardless of what's at stake, or the projected outcome, this is a must-see matchup in 2012.
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