Notre Dame Football History:

In Notre Dame's inaugural game on November 23, 1887 the Irish lost to Michigan by a score of 8–0. Their first win came in the final game of the 1888 season when the Irish defeated Harvard Prep by a score of 20–0. At the end of the 1888 season they had a record of 1–3 with all three losses being at the hands of Michigan by a combined score of 43–9. Between 1887 and 1899 Notre Dame compiled a record of 31 wins and 15 losses. Notre Dame continued its success near the turn of the century and achieved their first victory over Michigan in 1909 by the score of 11–3 after which Michigan refused to play Notre Dame again for 33 years. By the end of the 1912 season they had amassed a record of 108 wins, 31 losses, and 13 ties. In 1913, Notre Dame burst into the national consciousness and helped to transform the collegiate game in a single contest.

Notre Dame had many great coaches throughout the years. Some of these coaches were Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Gerry Faust, Lou Holtz, etc. These coaches have been a huge reason why Notre Dame has been so successful. Notre Dame has made 715 appearances in the Associated Press poll over 71 seasons. Notre Dame has spent 496 weeks in the Top 10, 277 weeks in the Top 5, and 95 weeks at #1. Notre Dame has finished the year ranked in the final Associated Press poll of the season 49 times.


The Irish have many rivals. Among these rivals we have USC, Michigan, Michigan State, and Navy. USC is Notre Dame's primary rival. The rivalry has produced more national titles, Heisman trophies, and All-Americans than any other. It is considered one of the most important rivalries in college football, and is often called the greatest rivalry not dictated by conference affiliation or geography. Other than during World War II, the teams have played each other since 1926. Notre Dame leads the series 44–35–5.

Michigan is considered Notre Dame's other major rival. The rivalry is Notre Dame's first and oldest. Michigan leads the all-time series 23–16–1

Michigan State is also a very important rival. Notre Dame holds an all-time 46–28–1 series winning margin. The winner of this game receives the Megaphone Trophy. The Megaphone Trophy series record is 32–26–1 favoring of Notre Dame.

Navy is also a rival of Notre Dame. Navy and Notre Dame have one of the longest continuous series in college football, having played 83 games without interruption since 1927. Notre Dame had a 43 game win streak, the longest in Division 1-A football, which ended in 2007. Navy won in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Notre Dame won in 2011 and 2012.

These Rivalries are definitely the reason why Notre Dame is such a great program. They have changed the way people look at collegiate sports. If it wasn't for The Fighting Irish, college football would not be the same.