The structuring and shaping of the Notre Dame schedule is a very complicated process. Not being tied to a yearly conference slate gives the Irish unparalleled flexibility while also presenting unique challenges to fill the schedule each season.
Former athletic director Kevin White's choices and philosophies greatly curtailed that flexibility.
First, he set out to soften the schedule in an attempt to make the path to success easier than it had traditionally been for Notre Dame.
Next, he committed to scheduling in a 7-4-1 format that restricted the ability to find quality opponents since ND could not offer a home-and-home. White also attempted to bully smaller schools into scheduling their "home games" at neutral sites.
Luckily, new athletic director Jack Swarbrick has worked to undo many of White's foibles, most notably the 7-4-1 structure. The schedules in coming seasons are far more interesting than in recent years and the quality of opponents both home and away has risen back up to the standard Notre Dame historically kept.
Goodbye, Tulsa and Western Michigan. Hello, Texas and Miami.
So who else could Swarbrick look to target for future Irish campaigns? Today, we list 10 teams that Notre Dame hasn't played in over 20 years (or ever) that would be welcomed additions to the schedule in coming seasons.