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Football: Future Schedules Released

Heather VanHoegarden | Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Notre Dame finalized its football schedules for the next two years, the University announced Monday in a press release outlining the football schedule for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Next year the Irish will face Penn State, Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, North Carolina and Army at home. They play at Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Air Force and USC. The Irish also play Navy at Baltimore, Md.. Notre Dame played the Midshipmen at a neutral site in 2004 as well, winning 27-9 at the Meadowlands.

Next year’s schedule only includes one bye week, before the UCLA game. This happens because of the new NCAA rule that allows teams to play a 12th game, resulting in Notre Dame playing seven home games next season. The bye week comes six games into the 2006 season, after the Irish will have faced Stanford at Notre Dame Stadium.

But Irish head coach Charlie Weis said earlier this season that he was not concerned about having just one bye week in the future.

“If [the bye week] is early in the year, you have to use it to push your system,” Weis told The Observer for a Nov. 4 article. “If it’s in the middle of the year, you’ve got to use it to rest your guys. You just have to make sure whenever those bye weeks occur, you use them to the greatest benefit.”

And Notre Dame continues to play a difficult schedule. Of the 12 Irish opponents next season, five are ranked this season, including No. 1 USC and No. 4 Penn State.

The Irish open 2006 with No. 20 Georgia Tech and conclude on the road against No. 1 USC. Notre Dame faces all three service academies next year in a four-week span. Navy is Oct. 28, with a break for North Carolina, and then Notre Dame faces Air Force and Army in consecutive weeks.

In 2007, Notre Dame is set to play the same teams but will substitute a home game with Boston College for a game with North Carolina and a home matchup with Duke for Army. The games against the other opponents will be played in the opposite team’s stadium in 2007.

The bye week in 2007 comes eight games into the season, as it is the week after the USC game and before the Navy game.

Once again, the Irish will open with Georgia Tech, but this time at Notre Dame Stadium.

The 2007 season concludes with a trip to Stanford, and the Irish play No. 1 USC on Oct. 20 at Notre Dame Stadium.