Fifteen Questions: A Quiz on Notre Dame's Rivalries

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Fifteen Questions: A Quiz on Notre Dame's Rivalries

I’ve lost track of how many articles have been written this offseason advising Notre Dame football to join a conference. Any conference affiliation will require the independent Irish to sacrifice some long-time rivalries.

Rivalries are defined by tradition, often naturally linked by distance, and usually contribute to a tougher conference strength of schedule.

The great regional rivalries form the history and intensity that vibrates through college football, often determining conference champions:

Texas–Texas A&M (115 years)

Auburn–Georgia (112)

Ohio State–Michigan (105)

Texas–Oklahoma (103)

Nebraska–Oklahoma (82)


Auburn–Alabama (73)

LSU–Arkansas (54)

Navy–Army (109) transcends regions. Miami–Florida State (53) and  Florida–FSU (53) transcend conferences with the winner owning state bragging rights.

How much do you know about tradition, distance and strength of schedule for Notre Dame and her rivals?

Go with your gut—or research these. The answers will challenge and may surprise you.  I'll post the answers next week.

The Quiz

  1. How many Big Ten teams has Purdue played more times than Notre Dame?
  2. How many Big Ten teams has Michigan State played more times than Notre Dame?
  3. How many teams has Pittsburgh played more than Notre Dame?
  4. How many teams has Navy played more than Notre Dame?
  5. Who has played USC more—Notre Dame or UCLA? How many Pac-10 teams has USC played more than Notre Dame?
  6. How many ACC teams has Boston College played more than Notre Dame?
  7. Which rivalry is older: Navy—Notre Dame or Alabama—Auburn?
  8. Which rivalry is older: Michigan—Ohio State or Michigan—Notre Dame?
  9. Which rivalry began first: Auburn—Georgia, the “Oldest Rivalry in the South,” or Michigan—Notre Dame?
  10. What college football rivalry has produced the most national titles, the most Heisman trophy winners, All-Americans, College Football Hall of Famers, and future NFL Hall of Famers?
  11. Which campuses are closer to each other?
    • Notre Dame—Purdue or Florida—Florida State
    • Michigan—Ohio State or Michigan—Notre Dame
    • Alabama—Auburn or Michigan State—Notre Dame
  12. Pittsburgh is Notre Dame’s fifth-oldest rivalry. How many of last year’s BCS conference champions have played their fifth longest conference opponent more years?
  13. Rank these rivalries in length of time played:
    1. Miami—Florida State
    2. Florida—Florida State
    3. LSU—Arkansas
    4. Notre Dame—Pittsburgh
  14. How many of Notre Dame’s rivalries predate ACC football (1953)? How many predate Big East football (1991)?
  15. Who had the tougher regular season schedule last year?
    • Alabama (SEC West champion) or Notre Dame
    • Ohio State (Big Ten champion) or Notre Dame
    • Cincinnati (Big East champion) or Notre Dame

Answer Guide

15 Head of the Class
12-14 Gifted
8-11 Good, but need more time studying
4-8 Ask for the Notre Dame Football Encyclopedia as a gift
0-3 Stick to writing articles about other team

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