Are the Irish close to a series with the Badgers?

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With all the uproar surrounding Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and his comments regarding conference affiliation, it was a Big Ten coach that raised an eyebrow or two with an interesting tweet.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, via his Twitter page earlier today, mentioned that the Badgers are “trying to lock up a home and home contest with Notre Dame or Nebraska for the future.”

That news would seem to jive with the reports that linked the Badgers and the Irish together last season, when Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez mentioned that the two schools were negotiating a series.

Bielema mentioned that the game would be in Madison in 2012 and a trip to either South Bend or Lincoln in 2015. Taking a look at the tentative 2012 schedule, this seems to work with the Irish schedule. If we assume Notre Dame is still trying to fulfill the 7-4-1 model, the Irish have their neutral site game locked down with the season opener in Dublin against Navy. The three away games on the schedule right now are at Michigan State, a high-profile matchup against Oklahoma in Norman, and the biannual trip to Los Angeles to play USC the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

(With Wake Forest already on the books in 2012, adding Wisconsin would make this a pretty legit schedule.)

Alvarez’s connections to the Irish are well known, but his ties to the Nebraska football program are even more prominent. Alvarez was a linebacker in the 1960s for the Cornhuskers and played under head coach Bob Devaney.

Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”