Army and Notre Dame a rivalry meant to be

There's been talk of Army and Notre Dame discussing renewing their storied rivalry. Now, there's only one thing left to do. Let's get it on. The Black Knights vs. Fighting Irish is a classic college football games. We're not saying Army should also throw USC and Ohio State on the schedule. But Notre Dame is a good fit.

Army athletic director Kevin Anderson and Notre Dame officials are believed to be talking rematch. With Army believed to be on the uprise under new coach Rich Ellerson and Notre Dame struggling a bit, maybe the Black Knights have a shot.

As Army fans know, Notre Dame has dominated the series of late. The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 37-8-4. Army has lost 13 in a row to Notre Dame, its last win coming in 1958. The teams' last meeting came in 2006 with quarterback Brady Quinn leading the Fighting Irish to a 41-9 win.

However, in Army's two previous meetings with Notre Dame, the Black Knights played them tough. Ellerson figures to turn his Army team into more like those Army teams. A career-long 48-yard field goal by Jim Sanson with 1:06 remaining gave No. 18 Notre Dame, a 25-point favorite, a 20-17 win in South Bend in 1998.

Three years earlier, the Fighting Irish beat Army 28-27 at the Meadowlands when a two-point conversion from quarterback Ronnie McAda To Ron Leshinski with 39 seconds failed. McAda rolled out right and hit Leshinski in stride. Notre Dame cornerback Ivory Covington, giving up five inches and 80 pounds, hit Leshinski almost simultaneously, stopping him a foot from the end zone. The Fighting Irish entered the game ranked 17th and favored by 23 points.

One of college football's all-time classic games was played between Army and Notre Dame. The date was Nov. 9, 1946 at Yankee Stadium. Army and Notre Dame both entered undefeated. Army was the two-time defending national champion and had beaten Notre Dame 48-0 and 59-0 the previous two years.

Both teams averaged over 30 points per game. Army had a 25-game winning streak, last losing to Notre Dame in 1943. The game featured four current or eventual Heisman Trophy winner, three current or eventual Outland Trophy winners and 23 current or eventual All-Americans. Notre Dame's Johnny Lujack made a diving touchdown and game-saving tackle of Felix 'Doc' Blanchard. Both won Heisman Trophies.

Then came the controversy. Both teams would finish the season undefeated with this one tie, but it was Notre Dame that was awarded the National Championship by the Associated Press, with Army coming in second. Teams didn't accept bowl bids in that era, and so neither put itself at risk of a loss that would have ruined their National Championship bid.

It would be hard to beat that kind of high drama, but it would still be nice to see Army and Notre Dame go at it again. The teams' are believed to be playing 2011. But maybe we will get an annoucement with some good news about a series at some point this year.


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