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Alvarez: Badgers have eyes on Notre Dame football

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McClatchy Tribune
May 28, 2009
— Those University of Wisconsin football fans who have criticized the school’s non-conference football schedules as soft and lacking big-name programs might want to sit down before they continue reading.

UW athletic director Barry Alvarez is working to get Notre Dame on the Badgers’ schedule, with 2012 through 2015 as the window of opportunity.


Alvarez revealed his efforts during a radio interview on WTSO-AM in Madison.


According to Alvarez, Notre Dame officials are revamping their annual series with Big Ten Conference member and longtime rival Purdue. Instead of facing the Boilermakers every season, Notre Dame would like to face Purdue every other season.


When Alvarez spoke during a clinic at Notre Dame earlier this spring he informed Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick that UW would be interested in filling the vacancies.


“We haven’t confirmed yet,” Alvarez said, noting officials from Purdue and Notre Dame are still working on their respective future schedules. “But yes, there is work being done on it.”


UW and Notre Dame have met in football 16 times, the last time in 1964. The Irish lead the series, 8-6-2.


Nine of the games have been played in Madison, four in South Bend, Ind., two in Milwaukee and one in Chicago.


It is no secret Notre Dame has struggled under coach Charlie Weis, who is 29-21 in four seasons but just 10-15 in his last two.


The Irish finished 3-9 in 2007 and 7-6 last season.


The latter mark included a 49-21 victory over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl to snap a string of nine consecutive bowl losses.


Notre Dame last won a national championship in 1988, when Alvarez was an assistant there under Lou Holtz. Two seasons later, Alvarez took over as UW’s coach.


Nevertheless, Notre Dame’s name still carries a tremendous amount of prestige nationally. The Fighting Irish have the No. 2 winning percentage in NCAA history (.736) behind Michigan (.738).



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