Notre Dame 2023 Will Be Judged By The Big 3

Every team who plays Notre Dame has the game circled years in advance.

 If the game isn’t the top game on their slate it’s number two only losing out to historical traditional match ups, often in-conference.

 Everybody wants to beat Notre Dame. This is why Notre Dame has no “easy” games.

Even those who enter the game severely undermanned are extra motivated by the idea of knocking off the Irish and being able to brag about it forever (Marshall).

From the Notre Dame side, however, it’s physically and emotionally impossible for Irish fans and players to be naturally “amped” up for all 12 games to the same degree.

Certain games just by their nature generate buzz, grudges, points to prove, recruiting ground to gain, and involve rivalry trophies to earn back.

1. 9/23 Hosting Ohio State There are a lot of overlapping dynamics between Notre Dame and Ohio State. 

Of course, everyone knows Marcus Freeman’s history as a player in Columbus.

The Buckeyes and Irish are also two of the more dominant “cold weather” Midwest recruiting operations that often clash for top talent on the trail.

In a lot of ways, Ohio State is what Notre Dame wants to become. A traditional northern power with enough talent to compete in the playoff and win.

2. 10/14 Hosting USC If you ask any Notre Dame fan who claims to be a “traditionalist”, such as yours truly what the most important game of the year is every year the answer would be USC

Having the upper hand in this rivalry is vitally important practically and existentially for the Irish.

3. 11/4 @ Clemson There is a reason so many Notre Dame fans like me follow what happens when the Irish and Clemson matchup with so much intrigue. 

Of all of the teams that have won Championships recently,

Clemson is by far the one that mirrors the Irish the most in terms of how they recruit and operate. These parallels breed hope for Irish fans.