When Will BYU Play Notre Dame Again?

Jun 26, 2019, 12:24 PM | Updated: 12:48 pm
BYU Notre Dame...
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 20: Prince Shembo #55 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish stops Iona Pritchard #5 of the BYU Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium on October 20, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated BYU 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – When BYU declared their football independence nine years ago, the crown jewel of BYU’s declaration of independence was an ESPN contract. After that, was a six-game series with college football power Notre Dame.

Those six games were supposed to be completed by the 2020 season.  We are now headed into the 2019 season and only two games have been played, both in South Bend, and the series has been downsized to three matchups.

The Irish owe BYU a visit to Provo.  When will that happen?  We are now starting to see some progress towards these religious powers squaring off again on the gridiron.

Last week on the Cougar Tracks Podcast here on, former ESPN VP of Programming and current college football scheduling matchmaker for the Gridiron app, Dave Brown joined the show.  Brown and I discussed a variety of topics on BYU football including the possibility of the Irish returning to Provo.

“If you take a detailed look at Notre Dame’s schedule, they’re filled up for a lot of years,” said Brown on the Cougar Tracks podcast.  “They have used every road game for the foreseeable future.  But I don’t think BYU and Notre Dame are done playing each other.”

Back in 2010, when the six-game series between BYU and Notre Dame was announced, the Irish didn’t have a partnership with the ACC in football.

When Notre Dame added five games against teams in the ACC, that really changed a lot of things for them.  When you have only 12 games a year it takes quite a while to work through that. A lot of their road slots are filled well into the foreseeable future,” said Brown.

During the 2018 BYU Football Media Day last year, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe had an optimistic tone about the Notre Dame series, which was something that hadn’t seen much hope in a while. “What we have coming is better than a check,” said Holmoe.

“Notre Dame always intended to do right by the contract,” Holmoe said. “They have had a lot of changes and their arrangement (ACC partnership) changed their football scheduling. While we aren’t exactly partners, we are both independent programs. We have a contract and we’ll make things work.”

Back on January 30th of this year, Holmoe said there was nothing new to report on the Notre Dame series. But did add there was no possibility of the two schools creating a “13th data point” contest each year.  Notre Dame has no such interest in that type of arrangement.

For the longest time, there was never a quote from Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick on how he views the BYU series.  Swarbrick said on Tuesday when asked about the BYU series that the Irish will absolutely be playing the Cougars.

Looking at Notre Dame’s future schedules, the earliest year where they possibly make a trip out to BYU is 2025.  The Irish usually have seven home games a year and they have five road games at most in every schedule until 2025.  BYU currently only has four games scheduled for the 2025 season, with three of those four already set to be played in Provo.

Listen to the full interview with former ESPN VP of Programming Dave Brown on Cougar Tracks below.

You can subscribe to the Cougar Tracks Podcast on iTunesGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher, and any other major podcasting platform.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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