As an FBS independent program, the Notre Dame football schedule is always a tough one to predict. Even teams that schedule games a decade in advance largely have the same opponents give or take a few non-conference games. The latest schedule release from the Fighting Irish certainly appears to be an interesting one.
On Friday, the Notre Dame athletic department announced its football schedule for the 2021 season. The schedule includes nine games against Power Five schools, as well as Toledo, Cincinnati, and Navy.
As a partial ACC member, they naturally had the largest contingent of teams from any one conference on Notre Dame's football schedule with five. Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia Tech are all on the slate.
Purdue and Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten, while USC and Stanford will represent the Pac-12.
Notre Dame will open the 2021 schedule on the road against Florida State before back-to-back home games against Toledo and Purdue. They will close out September with a road game against Wisconsin.
October will start with Notre Dame's first-ever meeting with Cincinnati, followed by Virginia Tech before a Week 7 bye.
A three-game home stand begins in late-October with USC, North Carolina, and Navy visiting South Bend.
Notre Dame will then visit Virginia before their home finale against Georgia Tech, followed by their regular season finale at Stanford.