Notre Dame’s new football schedule for the 2020 season follows the ACC’s designated format of 10 conference games plus one nonconference opponent that must be played at the ACC team’s home state.
That nonconference opponent for the Irish? Western Michigan. So ends one of the longest-running continuous series in college football.
Notre Dame and Navy will not play one another in 2020 as a result of the Irish being grouped in with the ACC’s scheduling plans for the coronavirus-impacted football season. It will be the first season the two teams don’t face off since the series began in 1927.
Notre Dame-Navy claimed to be the third-longest college football rivalry that was never interrupted, and the longest such rivalry between two teams who weren’t conference opponents.
Originally scheduled to meet in Dublin, Ireland, this year, the trip overseas was canceled earlier this season due to travel concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. The plan was for the two teams to play at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis for the first time in the rivalry’s history.
But Notre Dame, famously an independent football program for decades, is following the ACC’s guidelines this season. The Irish will get to have a stable schedule during the pandemic and compete for an ACC Championship, and in return the ACC will benefit from a share in the program’s television money.
The Midshipmen filled the hole in their schedule by adding a home game against another football independent: Brigham Young. They will open their respective football seasons with a game in Annapolis on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.
“Obviously many will be disappointed that our longstanding competitive streak with Notre Dame will be interrupted due to the scheduling circumstances imposed by the pandemic,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. “However, we have agreed that Navy and Notre Dame will continue as one of college football’s longest intersectional matchups through our extension and I appreciate Notre Dame making this a priority.”
The Notre Dame-Navy series is expected to resume in 2021.
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