Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Ranking Notre Dame's Schedule

April 4, 2020

Notre Dame could very well have one of the most interesting schedules for any program in college football in 2020. 

The Fighting Irish technically won't play a road game on a college campus this year, which is mind-blowing in itself. Yes, LA Memorial Coliseum isn't on USC's campus if you want to get technical. 

Notre Dame will also play in four NFL stadiums as Wake Forest, Wisconsin and Georgia Tech agreed to play neutral site games, while Pittsburgh normally plays at Heinz Field. 

Will the Irish get to play it? We'll see, but there's no reason not to be optimistic. 

Here are the games I'm looking forward to in order. 

1. November 7 - Clemson 
This one is big for Notre Dame and college football. It could be a top 10, if not a top-five matchup in South November. It's been a minute since the Irish have hosted a game this big in the final month of the season. It's a statement game for Notre Dame as 2015 was a statement game for Clemson when the Irish traveled to Memorial Stadium in a monsoon. 

2. October 3 - Wisconsin 
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau night. I don't need to say more. 

3. November 14 - Georgia Tech
The matchup is far from sexy and the Yellow Jackets don't run the triple-option anymore, so why is this so high? Mercedes Benz Stadium. The halo video board has received great reviews and I'm a sucker for technology. Plus, Chic-Fil-A for the fans? What’s not to like!

4. October 10 - Stanford
The Cardinal is slowly creeping back to being a mediocre and 2020 will be a telling year in terms of where the program is headed. Notre Dame should have its way with Stanford once again, but it will also be a physical football game, which I enjoy. It's always good to catchup up a few former Notre Dame recruits and their families as Stanford as more than a few great families on the roster.

5. November 28 - USC 
This game would likely be No. 3, but USC is a dumpster fire and the Coliseum is historic and renovated, but it's also still likely a dump. The game itself could be challenging because USC does have pieces on offense, but an experienced Notre Dame team should get its fourth consecutive win over the Trojans. 

6. September 12 - Arkansas 
SEC SEC SEC! It's hard not to like a guy like Sam Pittman, so it'll be interesting to see where he has the Arkansas program early on in his tenure. The Razorbacks didn't have a single spring practice, which isn't ideal for a new staff, but I'll enjoy watching a team I haven't ever seen play in my life. 

7. November 21 - Louisville 
I have a feeling this will be an excellent football game. Scott Satterfield exceeded expectations in year one and could have the Cardinals rolling by the time game 11 rolls around. Not only is his offense a lot to handle, but he gets his guys to play hard. It's also Notre Dame's Senior Day in the middle of road games at Georgia Tech and USC. 

8. October 17 - Pittsburgh
Not a fan of Pittsburgh. Not a fan of average football. However, as a media member, I have to say I'm a fan of the prime rib bar at Heinz Field. 

9. October 31 - Duke
Duke could be significantly better as they've landed some big transfers, including former Clemson quarterback Chase Brice. We know at least one ISD member thinks highly of David Cutcliffe, so it could be a wild Halloween in Notre Dame Stadium. 

10. September 26 - Wake Forest 
This game simply doesn't move the needle much for me. I've been to Bank of America Stadium and I've seen Wake Forest play Notre Dame. Now, it won't be easy as Wake Forest runs the RPO game just as good as anyone, but there is a big talent gap here. 

11. September 19 - Western Michigan 
Western Michigan isn't rowing the boat into Notre Dame Stadium, so there really isn't too much here to be excited about looking at it now.

**August 29 - Navy 
This game could be significantly bumped and I don't have a spot for it right now. It could be No. 1 from a simple fact that it's being played, which means there is a college football season. I see no way it will be played in Ireland, so there are plenty of options. Both teams should take one and play in San Diego again. It'd be a great weekend for Notre Dame fans and ISD members as you'd get Tyler Buchner coverage on Friday and college football on Saturday. 

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