Notre Dame's Fighting Irish playing Tulsa?

Posted by BrianBoru at 7/21/2009 3:12 PM EDT

The Fighting Irish are finalizing the finishing details on a 2010 date with the University of Tulsa. An official announcement is imminent.

This move is not surprising because Bubba Cunningham, former associate athletic director at Notre Dame, is Tulsa's athletic director.

However, I'm not sure of how I feel about this matchup.

...Tulsa?

If you think ND is going to catch a bunch of flak (and they already have) from the pundits about the 2009 schedule — next season's schedule appears to be even softer.

Taking a look at the 2010 slate, Southern Cal appears to be the only cinch bet to be any good next season. Perhaps Utah may be good. But after that, you wonder where the Irish are going to earn any potential signature wins — a necessary task for entering the BCS Bowl discussion.

I would like to see ND tweak their scheduling practice a bit, replacing a few of the Big Ten opponents with a few nationally renowned programs from across the country: Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma or Tennessee.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick would be wise to extend the Big Ten the same degree of professional courtesy that her conference has shared with Notre Dame over the years.

That is to say that Notre Dame ought to put aside its long-standing deference to what is in the best interest of the Big Ten — and start playing hardball.
After all, Notre Dame was not welcomed to join the Big Ten back in 1926.

The conversation should be something along the lines of this: "Hey, Purdue — you wanna continue the series with us, making money hand over fist? Well, guess what, you can choose to either play us later in the season or try to schedule some middling directional program who will bring not even a fraction of the revenue that we will. Deal? Great. Nice doing business with you!".

I've always believed that the only thing that has ever stopped Notre Dame is Notre Dame. Whether it has been tightening the admissions standards beyond the pale of its competition or not heeding its own best interest through poor scheduling, Notre Dame needs only to open its eyes and take a look in the mirror.

For nothing in college football, love 'em or hate 'em, can command the attention and elicit the emotions quite like Notre Dame Football.

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