One of the intriguing topics of this year’s early Ohio State football season has a familiar Cleveland bent: Attendance. In his latest article for The Plain Dealer, beat reporter Doug Lesmerises writes about the team’s non-conference scheduling and pricing efforts to increase attendance.
While the main focus of the article was on this season’s three non-conference home games of Buffalo, San Diego State and Florida A&M, along with the new ticket pricing structure unveiled to increase amounts for key games, there also was one fascinating aside. In discussing the Buckeyes’ plans with having just three non-conference games starting in 2014, Lesmerises writes:
The plan is for one major opponent considered a top 10 program ([OSU athletic director Gene] Smith said he asks Notre Dame every year “and they say no,”) another program among the best 30 or 40 in the country and one opponent like a MAC team.
The Fighting Irish and Buckeyes have met only five teams in their storied football histories. The most recent one occurred in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, made famous by the split jersey worn by ND quarterback Brady Quinn’s sister, who was dating OSU linebacker A.J. Hawk. Previously, the two teams also matched up in regular season action in 1935 and 1936, along with 1995 and 1996.
Notre Dame is transitioning to its unique partial member status in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Starting in 2014, they’ll be required to face off against five ACC teams per season. This year, they only play one such team (Pittsburgh), which means a number of long-time rivalries (such as Michigan) might be going to the wayside.
Lesmerises’ research isn’t all that surprising: The Buckeyes do have a recent history of a handful of powerhouse home-and-home series. There’s no harm in trying to ask, as a home game against the Irish would likely be among the most crazed ticket-sellers in school history.