Notre Dame vs. Georgia? Irish coach calls Dawgs 'natural matchup'

USA TODAY Sports

Two of college football's most storied schools have literally nothing in common, but Brian Kelly thinks Notre Dame and Georgia should play.

Notre Dame vs. Georgia is a rivalry steeped in tradition, and -- wait, what is Brian Kelly talking about exactly?

The coach of the Fighting Irish said he'd like to play SEC squads more often, but can't:

After playing 12 non-SEC teams last year and beating all 12, and then getting completely obliterated by Alabama in the national title game, Kelly is probably eager to prove his team can hang with the bad boys in college football's toughest conference -- or at the very least say he'd be eager to do so. But history doesn't really make it seem like Notre Dame is too interested in going up against the SEC: Despite needing to find 12 opponents every year as an independent, the Irish haven't played an SEC opponent in the regular season since facing Tennessee in 2006, and besides that hasn't played an active SEC member since before the turn of the millennium, and none of their future games are currently scheduled to be against SEC schools.

And as for the Georgia thing... umm... what? The two teams have only played once, the 1981 Sugar Bowl, with a pair of Herschel Walker touchdowns giving Georgia a 17-10 win and a national title.

So what makes these teams natural rivals?

  • Feud over the College Football Hall of Fame's move from South Bend to Atlanta
  • English bulldog Uga serves as a symbol of royal oppression of the Irish people
  • A spinoff of Notre Dame-Miami, titled Catholics vs. Baptists
  • ND trying to own up to "SOUTH" part of South Bend
  • Or maybe this:

We'll see if anything comes from this in terms of actual on-field matchups, but as noted, it probably isn't in the cards. Notre Dame will have less flexibility with five ACC games per year, and with the SEC moving to a nine-game conference schedule, Georgia will have less incentive to play a marquee opponent in one of its three non-conference games. It might not be a natural matchup, like Kelly says, but it probably would be a pretty damn good football game most years.

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