Sooners, Notre Dame agree to games in 2012-13Posted: July 27, 2007
NORMAN — The Irish are coming.
Oklahoma’s quest to fill future football schedules has found a powerhouse partner: Notre Dame.
The Sooners and Irish have agreed to a two-year series that will bring the Irish to Norman in 2012, with OU returning to South Bend, Ind., in 2013. Notre Dame hasn’t played in Norman since 1966.
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione confirmed the agreement, yet consistent with his policy, preferred to withhold comment until a signed contract is in hand. Notre Dame’s John Heisler, a senior associate athletic director in charge of scheduling, also confirmed the deal.
While the schools have met just nine times in football and just once since the late ’60s, Notre Dame stands as a major nemesis to OU fans. The Irish own an 8-1 record against the Sooners and are still resented for a 1957 win in Norman that ended OU’s NCAA-record 47-game winning streak.
Notre Dame beat the Sooners 34-30 in 1999, Bob Stoops’ first season and the first meeting between the elite programs in 31 years.
The schools had been trying to get back together since.
“We agreed at that time to agree to schedule some additional games,” Heisler said Thursday.
“It didn’t get done at that time. And it took a while to get these slotted and to fit. But we’ve finally made it work.”
The Sooners and Irish played fairly regularly in the 1950s and ’60s, when eight of the nine previous matchups occurred.
OU’s only series win came in 1956, when the No. 1-ranked Sooners romped 40-0 in South Bend. The most referred-to game in the series came a year later, when the Irish visited Norman on Nov. 16, 1957 — Statehood Day — and as a 19-point underdog, knocked off the No. 2-ranked Sooners and halted one of the most celebrated streaks in sports.
When the Sooners played at Notre Dame in ’99, some 6,000 OU fans made the trip to South Bend.
Beyond the fan bases, OU-Notre Dame matchups also create a stir nationally. The Irish have won 11 national championships, more than any school. The Sooners have won seven national titles — all since 1950.
“Certainly, there haven’t been a huge number of games in the series,” Heisler said. “That’s what makes it a little intriguing, because you have two names that have been pretty high profile a long number of years.
“When they aren’t routine appearances, it grabs more attention.