Stanford Athletic Diretor Bob Bowlsby announced earlier today that Stanford and Notre Dame have agreed to continue their football series through the 2019 season on a home-and-home basis. The current agreement concludes this year, when the Irish are due to visit the Farm on November 26, the final game of Stanford’s regular season.
The matchup has paid dividends for both programs particularly in recent years, when the games have been more or less competitive. Although Notre Dame is 17-8 against Stanford in the history of the rivalry, Stanford has won in each of the past two years, including a drubbing of the Irish in South Bend this past fall. Notre Dame, which is unaffiliated with a conference for football, benefits from filling a spot on its schedule with an academically prestigious school in a BCS conference that is located in the fertile recruiting ground of California. Two highly touted recruits that recently committed to Stanford, Alex Carter and Noor Davis, both chose Stanford over Notre Dame since the turn of the calendar year.
For Stanford, Notre Dame is both a high-quality non-conference opponent and a competitor for many scholastically oriented high school prospects. And, although the program has not played well for several years, Notre Dame football still has an awful lot of cache in the sporting world and in American culture.
While this year’s game should be closer than last year’s was, Brian Kelly’s squad still looks to be a year away from being the kind of team that can compete on Stanford’s newly acquired BCS Bowl level. That said, the Irish could have the talent to pull an upset, especially if they catch Stanford looking ahead to the PAC-12 Championship Game scheduled to take place one week after ND’s date in Stanford Stadium.