There was an ominous hole in NU's schedule in 2014, and to be perfectly honest, my sense was that it would get filled with some random opponent none of us were particularly interested in.
Instead, today, we've found that NU will turn to the granddaddy of college football programs, Notre Dame, for a home and home in 2014 and 2018. Which, although it will take place far, far after I've graduated from college, is pretty awesome.
NU and ND isn't exactly a "rivalry" - the series is slumped quite favorably in Notre Dame's favor. But there's sort of a mythos about the NU-Notre Dame series for NU fans: it's the big school that we shouldn't play against, and generally have, and lost, but they had one tragic flaw of hubris: the school decided not to recruit Pat Fitzgerald, and in 1995, in the opening game of the season, they paid the price by getting beaten by NU on national TV on the way to NU's Big Ten title run. Since, they've tried to court Fitzgerald, but he's been steadfast in his dislike for the program that decided not to give him the option to play there.
In a few years, he'll have an opportunity to express that feeling on the gridiron once more. (I wish it was happening sooner, because.... Notre Dame... you know.... kinda sucks right now.)
Last year I ranked Notre Dame as NU's No. 1 Facebook stalker, finally, we get to live that out in football.
They've done a mad good job with announcing this, as many national media sources have picked it up - I've been really, really impressed with NU marketing as of late, keep it up.
I'm headed up to Ryan Field to get some quotes from Fitz, but, for now, comment here.