SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame won't play a Big Ten opponent in 2015, the first time that's happened in more than 100 years, but the Fighting Irish will play a home game against Boston College at Fenway Park.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick released schedules for the next three seasons on Friday, saying a goal was to follow the model Jesse Harper started back in 1913 when he scheduled games at Army, Penn State and Texas and helped give the Fighting Irish a national following.
"We play coast to coast. Jesse Harper made that decision a hundred years ago. It changed the trajectory of the football program and the university, and we're not going to stray from it," Swarbrick said.
The 2014 schedule was released so late because Swarbrick had to adjustments when the school agreed to play five games a season against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents after joining the league for most sports other than football. That left the Irish with too many games.
The problem was solved when Wake Forest agreed to move its 2014 game to 2015 and Swarbrick made the game against Boston College a Shamrock Series game, where the Irish play one home game a season at a neutral site.
Swarbrick said that fit in with his goal of playing games in special places. The Irish will face Boston College at the home of the Boston Red Sox — the team Irish coach Brian Kelly grew up rooting for. The field served as the home field for Boston College for 76 games from 1914 through 1956.
Notre Dame already has measured the field at Fenway to make sure there wouldn't be a recurrence of what happened when Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley Field in 2010 and they had to change the rules so that the offenses would run only toward the west end zone because the east end zone came within a foot of a padded brick wall.
"We spent a lot of time mapping it, staking it," Swarbrick said. "The Yankees will tell you when we went there the first time, we drove them crazy. We had to outline the entire field. We had to walk in and see it."