Brigham Young vs. Notre Dame in Armed Forces Bowl, Kick Off to Holy Rivalry?

Alex StrelnikovCorrespondent IIOctober 27, 2011

Notre Dame v USC
Notre Dame v USCJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

BYU is struggling this year and headed for a 9-3 season, maybe 10-2 if it gets past TCU. Notre Dame is struggling also, and will in all probability end up 8-4. That means Notre Dame is out of BCS contention, and at 8-4 not likely to place in one of the runner-up spots of the big conferences for a bowl. So where could that put them?

BYU has a home for a bowl game, the Armed Forces Bowl. Here is the interesting part: Next year, and for the next six years, BYU and Notre Dame meet in home-and-home competition. The real "Holy War" of football is about to be kicked off in a natural rival between two independents.

Might it start on December 30 of this year with the two meeting in Dallas on a neutral field?

Many are hoping Notre Dame will join the Big East, finally, as the Big Ten isn't interested. Their plate is full for now. How about the Big 12? If the Big 12 added West Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville that would put them at 12 and in the big time with the addition of two big-name schools—sorry Louisville.

But what of a Notre Dame, BYU, West Virginia add for the Big 12? The Big 12 would be second to none in the BCS spin of who's the best conference. The only problem is BYU and its own network (BYUtv) and Notre Dame's exclusive TV broadcast contract.

Then there is this take: Suppose those at ESPN and NBC realize the holy grail of rivalries coming in the next few years is between BYU and Notre Dame. Six games are on schedule already, but what about starting it off with a bowl game appearance? Seven games between the two biggest church-sponsored schools, and two of the bigger markets nationally.

Perhaps with a bowl kickoff there might even be impetus for a BYU-Notre Dame game in Dublin or Rome. What will that do for exposure for BYU, and international interest in American football for all concerned?

Yes indeed, someone ought to start thinking about this BYU-Notre Dame on December 30 in Dallas. Perhaps they could change the name of the Bowl to the "Independents Bowl?"