Alabama and Notre Dame finally schedule rivalry game, but there's a huge catch


By design, dominant college football teams don’t last particularly long in the modern era.

Jimmy Johnson’s Miami Hurricanes teams were transcendentally dominant, but for only three years, between 1986 and 1988. During those three seasons, the Hurricanes never finished worse than second in the final Associated Press rankings.

There was also about a three-year window between 2000 and 2002 when Miami thrived once more. The team wasn’t relevant again for the next 15 or so years.

Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans teams were crushing their peers from 2002 to 2008, before scandals, graduations and Carroll’s timely departure brought it all crashing down.

Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators teams, led by Tim Tebow, were elite by any metric, but Florida was only truly dominant in three of Meyer’s six seasons at the helm.

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The exception to this cycle? The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Seemingly immune to the ravages of changing coaches and graduating players, Notre Dame and Alabama have been two pillars of consistency and quality for what feels like forever.

So how is it that these two iconic and enduring college football legacies have only clashed seven times?

Notre Dame, which leads the all-time series 5-2, hasn’t played Alabama since 2013. However, Alabama does boast the last marquee win between the two teams in the 2013 national championship game. That being said, the only thing people really remember from that lopsided 42-14 game was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s fictitious girlfriend.

The two schools sought to rectify the lack of games by finally agreeing to terms for a pair of home games, one for each school, in the future.

The only catch is that it’s the distant future. As in far enough down the road that America could be enjoying the presidency of the guy who came after the guy who came after President Donald Trump.

Yes, those dates are correct: Sept. 2, 2028 and Sept. 1, 2029. The first game will be at Notre Dame.

Do you plan to watch Alabama take on Notre Dame in 2028?

College football fans can get excited that Notre Dame and Alabama will finally butt heads again, but it’s not for another decade.

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If Saban were to coach those games, he would be about two months shy of 77 years old for the first matchup. Today’s 8-year old football prospects could be starring for both teams in 2028.

“Notre Dame and Alabama, that alone will get people excited, but we’re also opening the season against each other, playing on campus and the Irish will make their first-ever trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a statement, per the Chicago Tribune. “It’s just a really cool matchup and will be a great experience for everyone involved.”

“Alabama and Notre Dame represent two of the most storied programs in college football history,” Saban said in a statement. “What a great opportunity for our teams and our fans to be able to witness these teams play in two of the sport’s most iconic venues in Tuscaloosa and South Bend.”

“It doesn’t get more tradition-rich than Alabama-Notre Dame when it comes to college football,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne added. “What a great opportunity this is for our program and for our fans to kick off the 2028 and 2029 seasons.”

It’s evident that all parties involved are rather excited for the games. But it’s anyone’s guess who will still be around when the teams face off.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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