Notre Dame Football: Future of Irish-Boilermakers Series in Doubt

Matt SmithCorrespondent IIINovember 4, 2013

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 14: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish scrambles with the ball against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 14, 2013 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Purdue 31-24. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

In September 2012, when Notre Dame announced it would be joining the ACC as a non-football member but also play five football games annually against ACC teams, it became clear that Notre Dame would not be able to continue playing its three Big Ten rivals each season.

First went Michigan. The Irish and Wolverines will meet for the final time on Sept. 6, 2014 in South Bend, after the Irish opted out of the series with three years notice prior to the 2012 game, as was contractually required.

Michigan State, already scheduled to rotate off the Notre Dame schedule in two of every six years, reportedly will now come off the Irish schedule completely after a home-and-home in 2016 and 2017 (via FB Schedules).

For a while, at least, it seemed as if the Purdue series would survive.

The Fighting Irish and Boilermakers have met every season since 1946. The schools are just two hours apart, and playing Notre Dame ensures that Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium will be filled to capacity at least once every two years.

Last week, it was reported that the 2014 meeting, scheduled for South Bend, may be moved to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and become Notre Dame's annual neutral-site Shamrock Series game.

This move made sense for both schools. It would allow the series to sync with Purdue's nine-game Big Ten schedule, which begins in 2016. Moving its home games with the Irish from odd years to even years would avoid the Boilermakers having to travel to Notre Dame in years when it would already be playing five Big Ten road games.

The game in Indianapolis would likely have been scheduled as a one-off game, with Purdue then going to South Bend in 2015 and the Irish returning to West Lafayette in 2016. 

Now, it appears as if the yearly series may in fact become the final casualty of Notre Dame's ACC alliance.

Monday, Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke told Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal and Courier that the series with Notre Dame will continue, but not on an annual basis. Details are still being worked out as to when and how often the longtime rivals will meet.

“We’re going to play on a periodic basis but we’re not going to play every year,” Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke told the Journal and Courier.

Notre Dame Schedule Changes Since Joining ACC
OpponentFuture of Series
MichiganEnds after 2014
Michigan StateWill play in 2016-17; no other meetings scheduled
PurdueTo be determined; will no longer be annual series
Lafayette Journal and Courier/

Burke added that he expects a resolution soon regarding both the 2014 game as well as future meetings.

“We’re close to a set of comprehensive set of dates into the next decade,” Burke told the Journal and Courier. “We want to give people a road map into the future so they can see the Purdue-Notre Dame series, while it will be different, it is going to continue."

Notre Dame has yet to release its 2014 schedule. The university does not release future schedule information until the entire 12-game slate is finalized.

Numerous rivalries have had to be sacrificed as a result of conference realignment. While Notre Dame-Purdue doesn't rank in the same annals as Texas-Texas A&M, Nebraska-Oklahoma and Missouri-Kansas, the potential ending of the series serves as another example of the changing landscape of college football.