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DATE WITH THE IRISH
Sooners, Notre Dame agree to two-year series beginning in 2012

By John Helsley Published: July 27, 2007
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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 only nine times in football and only 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 awhile 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.

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Irish heritage
•Oklahoma and Notre Dame have met nine times, with the Irish winning eight of the matchups.

With more games on the horizon for 2012 and 2013, a look at the series:

1999: Notre Dame 34, No. 23 OU 30 (South Bend)

•Oklahoma's future non-conference schedules are littered with premium opponents.

There's an effort to add at least one more: Ohio State.

OU and Ohio State are in discussion about a possible home-and-home series for the years 2016 and 2017.

The Sooners are scheduled to face a high-profile squad in every season through 2019, with the exception of 2016 and 2017. Adding the Buckeyes would give OU a lineup of foes that includes Miami, Washington, Notre Dame, Florida State, Tennessee and LSU.

The lineup:
2007: Miami

2008: at Washington

2009: at Miami

2010: Florida State

2011: at Florida State

2012: Notre Dame

2013: at Notre Dame

2014: Tennessee

2015: at Tennessee

2016: Ohio State - TBA

2017: Ohio State - TBA

2018: LSU

2019: LSU

By John Helsley

1968: No. 3 Notre Dame 45, No. 5 OU 21 (South Bend)

1966: No. 1 Notre Dame 38, No. 10 OU 0 (Norman)

1962: Notre Dame 13, OU 7 (Norman)

1961: Notre Dame 19, OU 6 (South Bend)

1957: Notre Dame 7, No. 2 OU 0 (Norman)

1956: No. 1 OU 40, Notre Dame 0 (South Bend)

1953: No. 1 Notre Dame 28, No. 6 OU 21 (Norman)

1952: No. 10 Notre Dame 28, No. 4 OU 21 (South Bend)

By John Helsley

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