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Notre Dame vs. Michigan under the lights highlights 2012 home slate

Mar 16, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

Getty Images - Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

The first night game in Michigan Stadium history ended up giving Notre Dame nightmares. This year, the Irish are hoping to return the favor, setting the kickoff against the Wolverines for a primetime start. Notre Dame will host its second night game in as many years next season, setting a 7:30 p.m. start time for the Michigan game, one of two evening starts on the NBC broadcast slate.

Also made official is the televised broadcast of the annual Blue-Gold Spring Game, set for April 21st at 1:30 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. The culmination of 15 spring practices will be a welcome look into the Irish football program, and will give a nice progress report on the many intriguing storylines that the Irish take into spring ball.

Other than the evening kick against Michigan, the Irish home games at Notre Dame Stadium will all be set for 3:30 p.m. and will all be broadcast on NBC. The Irish’s second night game will take place at Soldier Field, with the Miami Hurricanes coming to Chicago to take on the Irish in their annual neutral site game.

Here’s the complete NBC Sports Group’s 2012 Notre Dame football schedule (all times ET):

Date Opponent Time Television

Apr. 21 Blue-Gold Spring Game 1:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network
Sept. 8 PURDUE 3:30 p.m. NBC
Sept. 22 MICHIGAN 7:30 p.m. NBC
Oct. 6 MIAMI (Soldier Field) 7:30 p.m. NBC
Oct. 13 STANFORD 3:30 p.m. NBC
Oct. 20 BYU 3:30 p.m. NBC
Nov. 3 PITTSBURGH 3:30 p.m. NBC
Nov. 17 WAKE FOREST 3:30 p.m. NBC

  1. nudeman - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Thanks for putting up something that gets off the “Tee-go ’round”

  2. worstrayever - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    “Notre Dame Nightmares” is, I believe, French for “Oedipal Complex.”

  3. herringbonesports - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I find the development of hosting night games to be a welcome change for the atmosphere from my couch at home to all that I’ve heard from those in attendance at USC in 2011. We spoke to former ND president (87-05) Father “Monk” Molloy and Jack Nolan last night and asked them their opinions about South Bend Night games. Jack stated from a “I work at the game” standpoint that he prefers the day games because it’s an easier, less taxing experience, but ultimately believed in and understood the benefit to recruiting, exposure, excitement that night games translated into.

    Father Molloy’s exact quote was, “I could care less about the jerseys and helmets, but I’m only in favor of hosting every single home game at 1:30 pm.” He talked about the benefit to local businesses (two seperate meals served to the masses at restaurants, etc.) and the easier job it is from crowd control and on-site issues. It was an interesting take and he was pretty adamant about it. I’m sure from his insider standpoint there is more than just “keeping tradition” into wanting the games exclusively in the day and it’s an opinion I definitely respect … but definitely disagree with.

    I haven’t looked at what I’m sure was rampant speculation on Shepard. Guess I won’t.

    • nudeman - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Frankly, I think Malloy’s comments are a reflection of an area where ND needs to just come into the new millenium.

      Yes, probably a bigger logistical hassle, but the nat’l viewership is HUGE.

      1-2 night games a year isn’t exactly selling your soul. Hire more people to control the crowd, sell less alcohol, do something different. Every other major conference thrives on night football.

    • don74 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Father Molloy is well intentioned but unrealistic with his view of 2 meals……I attend a game or two a year with a very different experience. We fly into Chicago, stay downtown, drive to the game and drive back to Chicago when it’s over. We attempted to stay in SB after the SC game but rooms were not available. What was available was over priced for the value. Based on the traffic on the toll road my guess is 50% of the fans get off the highway and drive into one of the lots, never seeing SB. Last year the hotel in Chicago was filled with SC fans, they did the same thing. I wouldn’t mind staying in South Bend but there simply aren’t the rooms.

    • bernhtp - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Father Jenkins, the current president, has increased the commitment to football relative to his predecessor. Father Malloy is a great man, but I think the football programmed suffered a bit under his tenure.

      The current administration, especially with the hiring of Swarbrick, appears more pragmatic with respect to night games, field turf, etc. We will see changes that move Notre Dame forward while still being consistent with its unparalleled tradition.

      • nudeman - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        Here’s one reason why you’re right: I saw an intvw yestdy on Outside The Lines with the President of the NCAA (name escapes me).

        Get this: Of all the CFB programs, there are no more than approx 20 that are in the black.


        I don’t know if ND is in the black or red, but football is the #1 revenue producer, and the quest for more revenue is non stop.

        That tells me in the next couple years, you’ll see a jumbotron with advertising, more NBC night games, and maybe even signage in ND Stadium. And probably a bunch of other stuff too.


      • bernhtp - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        I do expect to see field turf (very different than astroturf) within a few years. They just have too much trouble with the grass and the new field turf is proven to be even safer than pure grass. A jumbotron – probably a pair at opposing corners – is not out of the question, but there is tremendous resistance from board factions on this. However, I really don’t expect any gawdy advertising.

        When I discussed the jumbotron with a few of its proponents, the question was addressed with a question: would Knute Rockne want a jumbotron? Given that he was the consummate showman and promoter, the answer would be a resounding yes. I expect Notre Dame to modernize (conservatively), but not to sell out.

        Yes, very few athletic programs make money, but Notre Dame is one of them.

    • 9irish - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      I’m kind of on the fence about that…definitely see the points made about revenue, recruiting, etc. But does EVERY game have to be Barnum and Bailey? Weird uniforms, night here, night there, playing on the North Pole or something? Poor players are probably stressed out.

      Not a lot of “normal” ND games anymore

      I know that one can argue both sides of that

      Go Irish

      • 9irish - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Just as a point, living here in the middle of Big Ten country, OSU and Michigan play almost all there home games at 12 noon. Not Notre Dame, but not exactly “small” programs, either. when they do play an oddity, it is a really big deal. Everybody goes crazy (I don’t mind the Ireland game, BTW :)

  4. dickasman - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Ahhhhhh, September….So close…..yet sooo far awayyyy!

    • nudeman - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Yes dick,
      I hope Golson is the man. Offense seems more stacked than in a long time

      Also, I read on One Foot Down that ND has more options that you’d think after Tee leaving. K Russell and Farley are two of the names mentioned (along with Davonte) as being possible switches to CB.

      Pardon me for not imploding, but I think they’re fine.

  5. ndirish10 - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Just as long as they don’t play Crazy Train over, and over, and over, and over, and over…..I’m just saying.

    • oldestguard - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      I am trusting they have that and a few other things worked out by next year’s night game – including QB position, and how to prepare the guys for these “prime-time games”.

      Mich and Miami will be 2 huge opportunities to make statements on the national level.

      Sorry to hear about Tee, but I really feel talent will step up and we can be better at cb than the last few years.

      I am locked into the QB position as this, to me, is the real deal maker / breaker for this team for next year.

      Don’t care to speculate on who – just want someone to clearly step up and OWN that postion.

      I’ll never think again that Coaches are overpaid – I can see why they visibly age from year to year.

  6. canadianndfan - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Not to sound negative because I love night games and all…but I hope CBK doesn’t make this game a “huge recruiting weekend” like he did with USC last season. My fondest wish for this game is for the Irish to recreate the scene from the movie the program only with Denard.
    Denard goes to run….Manti bulls over the fullback…Denard changes direction and gets lit up by a charging DE Lynch (ala Lattimer) who knocks him clear out of his cleats and out of the game….
    Ok so I’m a movie geek…a fan can dream right? lol

  7. bjc378 - Mar 16, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    My only complaint about all the new stuff is the playing of music too close to kickoffs. An ND tradition is the ooooooohhhhhh…IRISH! right before kickoffs. Right before big games it gets insane and gets the people going. Now you can barely hear the crowd under the music and its ruined. Turn the music off and give the crowd time to get pumped before each kickoff

    • bernhtp - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      They’re still figuring this out. I think they use the music a bit too much, which takes the fabulous band out of the game.

  8. idratherbeinsouthbend - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    I’ll save you all the time reading my opinion on each of the little nuances that have changed the football experience at ND over the past few years, but would like to point out that even though these are individually small inconsequential decisions, they have to be incredibly difficult to make.

    I can’t imagine trying to balance the all of the factors that these little decisions influence. Recruiting, ecomonic impact to the community, FB revenue, television scheduling, and most importantly, the tradition of the single most iconic college sports program in the world.

    This is not a rhetorical question…what do you think? Is there ANY college sports program that carries a tradition even close to ND Football? What’s the closest comparison?

  9. papadec - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    idrather – Michigan, usc, Army, Navy, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M – just to name a few off the cuff. BUT, I’ll still take the Irish over any of them!

    • nudeman - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Agree with papa, but I’m not clear on the point of the original question.

      Is it that ND, with the desire to be a rigorous academic institution AND a football power, has the toughest row to hoe? No doubt. Today the only one that comes close is Stanford, but they have neither the football tradition nor the fervent alumni who demand football excellence. A good football season there is a total amenity.

      When they razed their old stadium a few year ago and built a new one, the actually DECREASED the size, and not insignificantly. The old bowl was an 85,000 seat edifice; the new one is something like 55,000. Can you imagine ND doing that? Or OK, NE, TX? The fan base and alumni would lay their bodies down in front of the tractors if necessary to stop it.

      So my point is, back to your original question, ND stands alone in terms of all the dynamics you’ve mentioned. Probably also makes it the toughest coaching job, maybe even in all of sports.

      • joeschu - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        AMEN! I remember in the mid 90’s when the stadium expansion was being discussed. There were those same sentiments flying around. You wouldn’t be able to see the library, the original bricks and wood seats were sacred and shouldn’t be disturbed, etc… You’ll always have an element of “the base” that wants to freeze time just as they remembered it in the good ol’ days.

        ND has (by far) the toughest balancing challenge in all of sports. You have to take Catholic character, academic standards, long-standing traditions, competitive pressures, recruiting implications, community impact, NBC broadcast implications, etc… in to every decision.

        Despite some things I personally didn’t love (those ugly helmets, PA music), I think on the whole, ND is doing the right things to push modernization while keeping the spirit of the place consistent. The stadium renovation turned out to be a PERFECT example of this. A new, modern exterior surrounds the original stadium in a way that lets fans appreciate the foundations of ND football traditions.

        Jack Swarbrick has done a phenomenal job balancing all of this so far. He did away with the ridiculous scheduling scheme of the previous regime and is cautiously stepping his way into other subtle, but important, changes to the program that respect the delicate balance he’s been charged with maintaining. He has navigated the conference realignment masterfully (so far), and the arrow on almost every ND sport is pointing up.

        Field turf could be a perfect example of this. For a number of reasons, it may be time to go to an artificial surface. The right thing to do would be to resist the temptation to cover it with a bunch of technicolor logos/graphics and keep the traditional simple hash-marked end zones. The key, as always for ND, is to find and keep the balance.

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