Notre Dame and Texas announced today that the Week 1 game between the two historic programs has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 3 to Sunday, Sept. 4.
">April 8, 2016
Why'd this happen?
Texas AD Mike Perrin said this in a release:
"When you hear Texas Longhorns and Notre Dame Fighting Irish it grabs everyone's attention," Perrin said. "That's a historic sporting event that fans worldwide want to see. This schedule provides a wonderful opportunity to play the game in an exclusive window so everyone can see it. We discussed it quite a bit and took into account all of the factors in making the decision. Now we are thrilled to take part in this showcase opportunity for both of the schools, our teams and passionate fans. In a weekend full of key college football match-ups across the country, these great institutions and storied programs will meet at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in a stand-alone spot on the college football calendar. That is tremendously exciting for all of us involved."
That statement is basically a fluffy way of saying this: there are A TON of ridiculously appealing games set to be played on that Saturday, so it makes sense for us to move the game to Sunday night, when it won't have any real competition for TV viewers. (The NFL won't have started yet.)
I mean, just look at the slate for the opening Saturday of the 2016 college football season:
- North Carolina vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta
- Clemson at Auburn
- Wisconsin vs. LSU at Lambeau Field in Green Bay
- Oklahoma vs. Houston at NRG Stadium in Houston
- UCLA at Texas A&M
- USC vs. Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
The game times for those contests haven't been fully released, but you can expect USC-Alabama to get the primetime slot on ABC. One of the other games - Wisconsin vs. LSU, Oklahoma vs. Houston - could potentially get a night kickoff on ESPN.
Texas-Notre Dame can now play on Sunday night in primetime and get most of the college football audience.
It won't surprise us if college football tries to always have a big game played on that Week 1 Sunday before the NFL begins. Spreading the games out makes sense for everyone involved.