The holiest affair in college football

In what has become the most formidable football rivalry among Catholic universities in the United States, the BC vs. ND football game is steeped in the tradition and lore of two historic programs.

Photo courtesy of Lyfe Photography/Flickr

Boston College is one of the oldest football teams in the Northeast, playing their first season in 1893. Notre Dame boasts an even earlier start, playing their first game against Michigan in 1887. Despite such early beginnings, both teams played each other for the first time at Foxboro Stadium in 1975—nearly 100 years after the establishment of both teams. Notre Dame won that contest decisively, 17-3.

After the inaugural game, Notre Dame and Boston College only played each other twice in the 1970s and 1980s. Notre Dame won both games.

It was not until the 90s when Boston College first defeated Notre Dame and a rivalry was born. Cementing themselves as a legitimate football squad, BC defeated number one Notre Dame in 1993 with placekicker David Gordon’s 41-yard field goal as time expired.

Bask in the glory days of BC football with this oldie:

The win gave BC their first victory against a top-ranked opponent, effectively launching them into the national spotlight. Tom Coughlin, the head coach for BC at that time, was the focal point of the good vibes surrounding the team; he was subsequently hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 to be their head coach.

While the 1993 victory against ND arguably sparked a new era of consistency and success at BC, Notre Dame got its revenge in 1997 when Deke Cooper tackled Mike Cloud on fourth down in the final seconds of the game for a 31-26 Irish victory.

Again, not one of the brightest moments in BC football history…

Following the loss to Notre Dame in ’98, BC went on to dominate the series for the next six meetings. This dominance was highlighted by Boston College’s 14-7 victory against a number four ranked Notre Dame squad. BC’s win streak against Notre Dame ended in 2009 when Dave Shinskie threw an interception in the waning seconds of the game.

Both teams have traded punches for the last two decades, ultimately forming a rivalry that, although considered much more special for BC fans than Notre Dame fans, promises a dynamic, exciting game day experience.

History points in Boston College’s favor heading into Saturday. BC is 2-0 against Notre Dame football teams in the top five.

Something about Notre Dame’s 2012 season indicates that the Eagles may need a little more than history on their side, though.

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