Tech-Notre Dame at the Georgia Dome?

South Bend, Ind.—Maria and I had a wonderful weekend here as we took part in the College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. A very impressive group of players, including UCLA’s Troy Aikman, Oklahoma State’s Thurman Thomas, and Florida State’s Ron Simmons (of Warner Robins, Ga.) were enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The coaches included Lou Holtz, who won a national championship at Notre Dame and finished his career at South Carolina, John Cooper, the first coach to take a Pac-10 team (Arizona State) AND a Big Ten team (Ohio State) to the Rose Bowl, and former Georgia head coach Jim Donnan, who went in as a member of the divisional class for his success at Marshall.

 

Here are just a few nuggets from the weekend that might interest you:

 

Georgia Tech and Notre Dame at the Georgia Dome? Gary Stokan, the much traveled president of the Atlanta Sports Council, was here over the weekend talking to Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick. The subject? Trying to get the globetrotting Fighting Irish to consider Atlanta for one of their neutral site games.

Notre Dame likes to play neutral site games in order to help recruiting. The Irish are playing Navy at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. in 2010,  Baylor in New Orleans in 2012, and Arizona State in Arlington, Tex., in 2013. Today the school will announce that it will play Army at the new Yankee Stadium in 2010.

Stokan made the pitch for Notre Dame to consider Atlanta for one of these trips. The word I got here is that the Irish might consider it for a chance to play a Georgia Tech or an Alabama.

“For what Notre Dame wants to do with its schedule, this just makes sense,” said Stokan.

 

Tenuta takes over the ND defense: You’ll recall that former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta landed at Notre Dame when Chan Gailey’s staff got let go after the 2007 season. He went to Notre Dame not as coordinator, but as an assistant head coach who worked with the linebackers. Corwin Brown was the defensive coordinator. This season, which is a crucial one for head coach Charlie Weis, Tenuta will be in charge of the Notre Dame defense. Brown remains on the staff as Associate Head coach and co-defensive coordinator but Tenuta will call the defenses.  “Corwin is a great guy but Charlie had to make a tough call,” someone close to the program told me. “Tenuta is a great coach.”

Holtz headed to Japan: Anytime Lou Holtz is in South Bend he is the star attraction, and so it was Saturday night when he was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame. Holtz couldn’t talk a lot because his voice was raspy from yelling. Yes, yelling. Sunday morning Holtz took a group of former Notre Dame stars to Tokyo to play against the Japanese National team. The game will be on July 25. While Holtz was taking part in all of the Hall of Fame festivities, he was also sneaking away to the Notre Dame practice fields looking his potential team, some of whom are in their 40s, like former QB Tony Rice (who will turn 42 on Sept. 5). “Let’s put it this way,” Holtz said. “If Rudy comes back he is going to be our star.” Among the other people on Holtz’s coaching staff for this game will be former Georgia defensive coordinator and former Notre Dame assistant coach Bill Lewis.

Before the evening was over Holtz had everybody convinced that the Japan National Team was just a little bit better than Nebraska in 1995. Donnan would have none of it.

“Yeah, Lou really knows how to schedule,” Donnan said. “He should be able to beat Japan.”

 

Donnan humbled by enshrinement: Donnan won 64 games in six seasons as Marshall’s head coach. He won a Division I-AA national championship at Marshall in 1992 and played in a total of four national championship games. He had a 15-4 record in the playoffs and if you count his 4-0 bowl record at Georgia, Donnan has a career post-season record of 19-4. With his wife, Mary, and his children (Todd, Tammy, Paige) and grandchildren there to see it, no one enjoyed Saturday night’s enshrinement dinner than Jim Donnan.

“This puts a nice cap on my career,” said Donnan, who did not get back into coaching after he was released by Georgia after the 2000 season. “I hope the folks at Marshall and Georgia will look back and think that we did some nice things while we were there.”

Donnan still lives in Athens where he is involved in various business ventures. He has cut back on his television work because this fall he will be flying to Oklahoma to see one of his grandsons play football.

 

Will the Hall of Fame remain in South Bend? I have to give a lot of credit to the people of South Bend who put on quite a weekend for the Hall of Fame enshrinement. There is no question that the people of that community take a great deal of pride in having the Hall of Fame in their town. They made us all feel welcome.

But there are persistent rumblings that eventually the College Football Hall of Fame will relocate to a larger city where there is a guarantee of more traffic and exposure. The two leading cities, I’m told, are Atlanta and Dallas.

If it’s Atlanta, the goal would be to place the HOF near the Aquarium and the New World of Coca-Cola so that it would become a destination for out of town visitors, especially during the SEC championship game, the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and the Chick-fil-A kickoff. Dallas is also a player because of a powerful group that includes former Cowboys Roger Staubach, Deion Sanders, and Emmitt Smith plus billionaire T. Boone Pickens.

None of those talks, I’m told, has reached the serious stage. But based on what I saw this weekend, it is going to be hard to get the HOF out of South Bend.

Please follow me on Twitter at:

 

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

143 comments Add your comment

Too Easy

July 20th, 2009
8:52 am

RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!

Too Easy

July 20th, 2009
8:57 am

70,000 Catholics and 2,319 gt fans.

GTPHISH

July 20th, 2009
9:02 am

I love the idea of GT-Notre Dame at the dome.

CGriggs

July 20th, 2009
9:06 am

So Alabama could play in the GA Dome opener for 3 years in a row? Keep us updated.

Ron Mexico

July 20th, 2009
9:11 am

The HOF belongs in South Bend. It would be a shame to see it go to Dallas, which doesn’t have a major college football team in the area.

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
9:12 am

Saban has been trying to get Notre Dame on the schedule since he landed in Tuscaloosa. That would be a monster game. We’re also trying to get a Big 12 opponent for a game in Texas Stadium or the Super Dome.

Where have you gone Jim Bob Cooter ?

July 20th, 2009
9:14 am

Tony,

1) Congratulations. I speak for everyone here that your honor is well deserved. You make the best sport in the world better,and that is hard to do.

2) GT-ND – Play it. It would be a sellout. But remember ,this ND is not the ND of 1999. The college landscape has changed too much. Lots of high school 5 stars have to have the whole golden dome history explained to them (slowly , in short sentences) and they are just not that impressed.Its been almost a generation since ND was a dominant program and everybody has the kind of rabid fan base that they used to have.They’re just another middling program these days.

3)John Tenuta is in a good situation in SB. Tech has moved on. A change that benefitted both.

4) Lou Holtz.Funny guy. NCAA enforcement nightmare. I’ll bet that he will break a few recruiting rules even with his team of has-beens. I would send ESPN a large check if the would please stop the Dr. Lou segments at halftime.

5) When I read that “puts a nice cap on my career” comment from Jim Donnan , I ran out of champagne within minutes. Donnan was a jackass. He should have been smart enough to know that the coaches position at UGA is one of the highest profile jobs in the state , year round.Good media ,alumni and public relations (in addition to being a classy guy) are part of the job description. Period. CMR fulfills this requirement and wins.I’m tired or rehashing Donnan’s departure at Georgia. Nobody else wanted the guy. That should tell you something.

6) CFB HOF. To ATL PDQ. If money talks,the HOF walks. Maybe not this year,but in the forseeable future.

Michael G.

July 20th, 2009
9:24 am

Jim bob,

you only speak for yourself about tony, not “the rest of us.”

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 20th, 2009
9:26 am

Donnan makes the HOF, then they should build a temple for Paul Johnson.

Otto

July 20th, 2009
9:28 am

If ND plays GT in the Dome I hope GT kills them. Yes it would sell out. If given tickets I may even put on a GT hat for that one.

As a UGA fan I want the Atlanta Sports Council to end the kick off games as CPJ said it is not doing GT or UGA any favors.

Otto

July 20th, 2009
9:32 am

Got 12? I’d love to see a Bama/OU rematch, maybe play it twice one in the Super Dome and the other in the Cowboys new stadium. BTW get Chik Fil A to sponsor and move the kick off classic out of the Ga. Dome thanks.

CharlotteGator

July 20th, 2009
9:33 am

I’d prefer ND-Bama versus ND-GT. Tech playing Notre just doesn’t stoke that much interest for me.

The Donnan stuff is humorous to me. A poster above made the best point: “It should tell you something that nobody wanted him.”

The HOF in Atlanta is an interesting idea. Dallas doesn’t seem like a good location, but Atlanta would definitely draw all the out of towners that are in ATL as well as the rabid SEC fan bases that converge there.

I know I’d come check it out and make the 3.5 hr. drive. By the way, how big is the HOF? Doesn’t seem like there’s that much to display given that college football history started in 1990. :)

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
9:34 am

Otto,

The kickoff games are doing Atlanta’s economy a favor and that’s what it’s all about. UGA chooses not to play in the game. I’m not sure why Tech hasn’t played on yet. We, Bama, love the kickoff game.

Thanks for the added national exposure, Atlanta Sports Council.

Saint Simons

July 20th, 2009
9:34 am

Tech will play Notre Dame but uga want!! uga likes to buy their wins against cukecake teams!!!!

Hungover mutt fan

July 20th, 2009
9:35 am

NICK SABAN IS GOING TO NOTRE DAME!
gooooooooooooooooo dawgs!

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
9:39 am

Otto,

Unfortunately, the name I’ve heard for the game in Texas Stadium is Baylor. Let’s hope Bama can work something out with OU or Texas. We, college football fans, deserve it.

Denver Dog

July 20th, 2009
9:39 am

Got 12 Saban tried so hard that he scheduled Chattanooga, North Texas, and Florida International. That was a really another stupid statement you made, again! Learn facts before you let your little fantasy fingers start typing, again!

Ramble ON, the did build a Temple, they took out another 5000 seats so the stadium would look full when 15,000 fans shou up. You should praise these people instead of trying to run them into the ground.

Denver Dog

July 20th, 2009
9:49 am

Got 12 Based on the current mind set at Red Neck U, they will try and schedule Jax State, or Northern Alabama at that Texas Stadium Game. Here is a thought, maybe they could go to the west coast and play UTAH.

Denver Dog

July 20th, 2009
9:54 am

Saint Simons, is Gardner Webb one of those power teams, that Tech wants to play, or is it Jax State, Furman, or another one of those tough teams. How about OK State, Arizona State, Colorado, or maybe Florida, Tenn, Auburn, try some of those before you start typing stupid things again, By the way, when we have played Notre Dame, we have beaten them.

PCole

July 20th, 2009
9:54 am

Didn’t know the Hall was for Cheaters like Holtz. Hopefully they changed out the microphone after he got through spitting all over it as he spoke.

m

July 20th, 2009
9:56 am

I loved the last time that Tech played Notre Dame in South Bend. The score was 33-3. It was a fun victory but also a little sad that the famed “Touchdown Jesus” had to be renamed to “Field Goal Jesus”.

Tech versus Notre Dame in the dome would be great.

Tech fans have fond memories of Jim Donnan…just like the dawgies do for chan gomer gailey.

Tenuta is a one trick pony but he gives 100%….a heck of a lot different than the comatose chan gomer gailey.

Tony…congrats on the hall of fame. Do you think now you could quit being such an sec homer-gomer and give us some real reporting?

And, finally, Thank God and Greyhound that chan gomer gailey is gone FOREVER.

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
9:58 am

Denver Dog,

Is this the part where I reply in kind, and we go back and forth in a keyboard free-for-all? I’m unfamiliar with the internet tough guy game.

http://blog.al.com/rapsheet/2009/06/nick_saban_lays_out_his_ideal.html

CharlotteGator

July 20th, 2009
10:06 am

Got 12,

Great link. Really enjoyed reading some of Saban’s comments on that stuff.

I have a legitimate question though. Do you think he says that knowing it will never happen? Maybe just to fire up his team, fanbase, recruits, etc.? I ask because I just don’t see a situation where any of those other schools (except for maybe USC) would sign up for that. I might have read it wrong but it seems like he was talking of rolling different teams on and off. I just don’t see other big schools signing up for that since they typically want a home and home. Unless of course he meant home and home with one school then switch to another. If so, then I’ll go work on my reading comprehension and come back in a few weeks.

Anyway, just seems to me that while us fans would love it, I don’t see his AD or other schools’ AD’s, boosters, coaches, etc. wanting to sign up for that deal.

CharlotteGator

July 20th, 2009
10:09 am

The example I’m thinking of is USC kinda playing the we’ll go anywhere, play anyone card. They say that and then claim to be beating up the other conferences, but when you look at it they’re demolishing UVA, Arkansas, Ohio St., etc. It could be that USC has tried to play the other big time schools in the ACC, SEC, and Big 11, but have been rebuffed. I don’t know that’s the case however. I’d like to think the powerhouses in those conferences would show up if invited.

Peadawg

July 20th, 2009
10:09 am

Coming from a bulldawg fan…I hope GT beats the hell outta Notre Dame. DO NOT LET THEM COME INTO OUR STATE AND WIN!

pensacola dawg

July 20th, 2009
10:22 am

Tech would never go fot a game at the dome, just think how embarrassing it would be to tech when a visitor more than 500 miles away tripled the number of tech fans.Actually Im all for it!!!!!

Miles

July 20th, 2009
10:22 am

Right now, Notre Dame would get worked by either Alabama or Georgia Tech. Notre Dame needs a good coach and then they’ll return to stardom. As long as Weis remains the coach, they’ll be merely mediocre. Since Holtz left, Notre Dame has gone downhill. Losing to USC the year Matt Leinart fumbled the ball out of bounds short of the goal line with seconds remaining on the clock was symbolic of the the type of losing coach Weis is.

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
10:25 am

CharlotteGator,

Saban says he would like to play one big non-conference game each year against a team with which Bama has historical ties (e.g. Penn St, Notre Dame). It seems the only way to get a one-and-done is a neutral site game which appears to be hard to schedule (except for the Kickoff Classic).

We have Georgia Tech, Penn St and Michigan St coming up for home-and-home. Back in 2007, Saban tried to book ND for a home-and-home but they are booked until the late 2010’s.

dan

July 20th, 2009
10:32 am

Where have you gone Jim Bob Cooter ?

I will help you raise money to get rid of the ” Dr. Lou segments” and the cheesy “Pep Talks” he did the year before. Although I will say that some of those pep talks he would do at Notre Dame were kind of legit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNB2CqYrd-o&feature=related

Otto

July 20th, 2009
10:38 am

Got 12?? Baylor? Whats the point? I do agree Atlanta business likes but the UGA fan base shouldn’t. As you said added exposure for Bama or whoever plays in it.

m, UGA fans have fond memories of every coach GT has had since Dodd by the time they are fired or take another job as Dodd was the last to have a winning record against UGA when they packed up their North Ave. office.

murfdawg

July 20th, 2009
10:46 am

Nobody wants to play GT in the Dome. They are a middle of the pack ACC team and do not have the national exposure to attract a big name team outside of Dixie. The only national exposure they get is when they play UGA. But beating Georgia once in eight years seems to be enough for them to live off of for a year.

East Cobb Hokie

July 20th, 2009
10:51 am

Tony, congrats on the award.

Re GT/ND- could the Jackets sell their half of the tickets to their own fans?

m

July 20th, 2009
10:51 am

Otto,

George O’leary beat ugag 3 out of his last 4 games.
Bobby Ross beat ugag 2 out of his last 3 games
Bill Curry beat ugag 2 out his last 3 games.

They all figured out how to beat ugag.

At Tech, Paul Johnson is 1-0 against ugag. Get back to me if y’all EVER beat him.

45-42…glad it still hurts so bad…and it is only the beginning.

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
10:52 am

Otto,

We’re hoping for Texas but it’s not up to us. It’s probably Jerry Jones who decides who plays in Texas Stadium. The only thing we can do is decline (which we wouldn’t) if the opponent is Baylor or some other no-name Big 12 team.

Tony Barnhart

July 20th, 2009
10:52 am

A couple of things:

Thanks to everybody on this blog who wrote such kind notes about my trip to the Hall of Fame. It was a great night for my family and I am truly honored.

A number of you have asked about coach Erk Russell. He is not in the divisional Hall of Fame because, by rule, you have to be a head coach for a minimum of 10 years. Coach Russell did it for nine seasons at Georgia Southern. There are people working behind the scenes trying to ge the Hall of Fame to take another look at this. There is no question in my mind that Erk Russell belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Denver Dog

July 20th, 2009
10:59 am

Got 12, just wanted you to state the facts, sorry that it hurt so much. “Saban said he is happy with San Jose State, and Georgia State.” Ga State is a start up team. So just get your facts straight, and by the way, your team still should go west and play, we did it last year, UT has doneit repeatedly, and playing Arizona State and Colorado, may not have the same appeal as playing Jax State, Georgia State, and Floriday International, they do play good football, and they do love having us go out there. Ok, so now Georgia Tech and Michigan State are tough teams since your school is playing them. At least you didn’t sign your name chump this time.

mcdawg

July 20th, 2009
11:13 am

ND vs. Bama would be great but ND vs GT makes sense-the HOF is a great site blows away cooperstown (which is nothing but a Yankess/Red Sox shrine)so understandable that it would move to a bigger market

bb

July 20th, 2009
11:25 am

Denver Dog,

Congrats on that 1-0 record against Notre Dame. UGA has a long distinguished history of scheduling powerhouse opponents.

Yeah, yeah, I know. We’re in the SEC, blah, blah, blah.

I will give UGA credit for their OOC schedule the last 2 years.

Elliot Garcia

July 20th, 2009
11:26 am

Have you ever been to South Bend? It makes Athens, GA look like Manhattan….

Denver Dog aka gilligan

July 20th, 2009
11:30 am

hey dimwit….

we scheduled gardner webb as a make up game. it was the only game we could schedule on short notice. i think those awburn tigers opted out of our series. i guess they got tired of us beating them.

question for you…. when we beat you frawgs AGAIN this year are you guys going to try an opt out of our series too? or will you fire the rev??

dimwit!

traditionally gt always plays a tougher otc schedule that ugag. look it up nit wit.

i take that back….

most real top ten teams play a tougher otc than ugay. key word is ‘real’.

i know i know… ugag is no 1 . ugag is no 1. ugag is preseason no 1. LMAO.

you frawgs always do your best work in the PRESEASON. why is that?

cause your a woulda shoulda coulda school of losers.

btw tell your mama i said hi.

Denver Dog

July 20th, 2009
11:35 am

mama says high

Nachos Fan

July 20th, 2009
11:35 am

Denver Dog is a tool! Go drink a PBR or something dude.. your gonna have a heart attack!

Crue Fest ‘09.. party or die

Got 12?

July 20th, 2009
11:38 am

Denver Dog,

In reviewing your original post, I am having problems identifying the “facts” you say hurt me so much. Please point them out.

Denver Dog

July 20th, 2009
9:49 am

Got 12 Based on the current mind set at Red Neck U, they will try and schedule Jax State, or Northern Alabama at that Texas Stadium Game. Here is a thought, maybe they could go to the west coast and play UTAH.

Saint Simons

July 20th, 2009
11:42 am

Gosh, I seriously hope we get to play Furman or Jax State in one of these Dome openers. 1500 screaming fans would spend dozens of their dollars to watch our power house Tech team pull out a win against these Giants.

Peadawg

July 20th, 2009
11:46 am

Hey m, what about Chan Gailey? How’d he do against Georgia?

That’s what I thought.

HEDGEPRUNER

July 20th, 2009
11:47 am

Denver dawg get over yourself, UF has owned your team since Dooley retired so stop your crap about beating up on Tech, now that PJ is here you will see a different mind set and philosophy at Tech, so much more that MR will have many disgruntled fans after Tech beats them again this year and when was the last time UGA won a NC, 1980 ? So stop trashing our program and start worrying about your own, especially this year with 85% of your offense gone from last year….45-42 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THWG

ctfalconsfan

July 20th, 2009
11:47 am

If the Dome is looking for an event how about putting 2 Southern Conference teams in there- GA Southern v App State.

get the picture

July 20th, 2009
11:56 am

It doesn’t bother me that the College Football Hall of Fame is in South Bend, I’m not a fan of Notre Dame for many reasons, but I get that the Hall is in South Bend. However, I recently visited the Hall of Fame and was EXTREMELY disappointed. It’s a joke of a facility for such a great game. While I think most colleges keep the memorabilia for their teams and their players in their own “halls”, the displays and lack of information on each player at the col HOF is pretty sad. I’ve told numerous people, unless you just happen to be in South Bend and you just happen to have a couple hours and $12 to waste, don’t make a special trip to see it. With all it’s great history and great players, the people that put the hall together just didn’t do these players and teams justice. Maybe it’s a funding issue, but it’s just not worth the trip.

Nachos

July 20th, 2009
12:02 pm

41-30

45-42

The party is over mutts!

Tide Rising

July 20th, 2009
12:08 pm

Denver Dog,

Alabama’s strategy is to play one huge big time noncon game per season against a big name team like VT that either dominates its conference or is in the top 2 or 3 in its conference like Penn State who we open with next year.

Georgia plays 2 midlevel bcs conference games in Ariz. State and Ok State as opposed to one team that is in the top 1-3 teams in its conference. CMR is playing 2 bcs conference opponents but they are both very winnable games in most years. ASU is not very good as of late. Ok State is a decent team but not world beaters either even if they will start out fairly high in this year’s polls. They’re usually the 4th best team in their division and got pounded by Ole Miss in their bowl game. Tech is a team UGA unfortunately has to play because its an obvious instate rivalry.

Its just 2 different strategies. Bama wants to play 1 very premiere team where we perceive that its a game that could go either way. UGA is playing 2 bcs conference teams where in any given year the dogs should have a 70% or more chance of winning. CMR stated himself in an AJC article last year that he does not want to schedule the USCs or Oklahomas of the world. He wants to schedule interesting bcs conference opponents but not the historically top 1-3 teams in a conference. The facts seem to back this up. Not saying either schedule is tougher or better as far as exposure. Its just different scheduling strategies.