The 2022 College Football Classic is already a distant memory and as this year’s season begins to heat up, we’ve put together a list of teams that we’d love to see play here in future fixtures. Notre Dame and Navy are slated to play here in 2023, but beyond that no announcements have been made on the rest of the games. After next years matchup, there will be 3 games left of the 5 we were originally promised – and we have some thoughts on who we’d like to see playing in those games. Keep reading to find out:
- Alabama Crimson Tide
Could you imagine the absolute pandemonium if Nick Saban and the Tide rolled into Dublin? An SEC team has never played in Ireland, and if the College Football Classic wants to be taken seriously on an international stage, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. Alabama crossing the Atlantic is not outside the realm of possibility and would be a huge step towards establishing Ireland as a true home of college football in Europe.
2. Pittsburgh Panthers
Not a lot of people (Okay, me) know that Pitt actually played in Ireland back in the 90’s. On December 2nd, 1989, the Panthers defeated the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers on a scoreline of 46 – 29 in Landsdowne Road. Patt Narduzzi and Co. are always a contender in the ACC and would surely be welcomed back to reprise their previous appearance. Pittsburgh would offer some good interconference matchups with the likes of Syracuse or Georgia Tech and should definitely be on the radar when future fixtures are being determined.
3. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Okay hear me out: The Chants are one of the strongest Group of 5 teams. In 2020 they went 11-1 and probably would have gotten a Playoff spot if they were a bigger program. Last year, they were 11-2 and won their Bowl game. In fact, they have earned bowl appearances in the last 2 seasons. This isn’t some “cream puff” team. These fellas are for real and would be a slightly more exotic offering that the mid-west football we’ve been treated to in previous editions of Irish college football games. Their uniforms are pretty cool looking too.
4. Oregon Ducks
Speaking of Sexy Uniforms… The Oregon Ducks kit out in fresh drip for almost every game and have rocked some absolute stunners over the years. Dan Lanning’s Ducks got rollicked by the Georgia Bulldogs at the start of the season but are now sitting comfortably at no.10 nationally with a 5-1 record. The high-octane offense of the Ducks would bring a bit of energy to the Irish College Football series, something that has been lacking in recent outings.
5. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels are on this list by virtue of their Irish punter Ben Kiernan, and their legendary Head Coach, Mack Brown. How cool would it be for a native Irishman to play a big time college football game on home soil? North Carolina have a strong football history and several fun rivalries that could be transplanted across the Atlantic.
6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
How could I make a list of college football teams I want to see play here and NOT put Notre Dame on it? If it was up to me, the Irish would play in Dublin every year. Sadly though, it’s not up to me. Something special happens when this team play in their ancestral home. They always draw a great crowd and are guaranteed to sell out and if the organizers can work out a deal to bring Notre Dame here every year or two there should be no reason not to.