Last year, out of nowhere Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said that the Georgia Bulldogs would be a natural matchup for the Fighting Irish.
Then last month, it was reported by CBS Sports that Notre Dame and Georgia were in discussions to schedule a future home-and-home football series, possibly for 2018 and 2019.
A possible Georgia-Notre Dame matchup was again referenced this week when Brian Kelly was featured on Bruce Feldman’s podcast.
“I know the mention was Georgia. You hear a lot of rumors of that. Is that something that seems like it would be just too hard to squeeze in or is that something you’ll push for?” Feldman asked.
“No I don’t think that that’s something that’s too hard. I think one of our wishes, Jack (Swarbrick, Notre Dame AD) and I, is that we want to get an SEC team on our schedule,” Kelly said. “The discussions have been to include an SEC opponent, and we want one that we feel makes sense, that has a very good geographical draw for us in the SEC.
“If you look around we’re in Florida already with Florida State, so I think you can probably figure out pretty easily what SEC (team) would be the best draw for us as it relates to recruiting and an alumni base.”
Kelly is, of course, speaking about the state of Georgia and it’s fertile recruiting base. A look at the 247Sports composite recruiting rankings shows that Georgia has the fourth highest number of top recruits, trailing only Texas, Florida, and California.
Notre Dame already plays opponents in California (Stanford and USC) and has a future home-and-home series scheduled with Texas. The Irish have also played in Texas as part of their Shamrock Series.
So it makes sense for the Irish to want to play in Georgia, and the Georgia Bulldogs are the only SEC team in the state. The next time Georgia and Notre Dame face off on the gridiron, it will be only their second meeting following the 1981 Sugar Bowl.
“I would imagine a lot of fans would get excited about those traditional Georgia-Notre Dame helmets matching up against each other at some point” Feldman said.
“I would think,” Brian Kelly said while chuckling.