Perhaps buoyed by the success of outdoor hockey games played at venues like The Big House and Fenway Park, Notre Dame could try its hand at hosting the stick-and-puck sport in the shadows of Touchdown Jesus.
After watching his Irish hockey team come away with an outdoor win over Miami of Ohio at Soldier Field in Chicago Sunday (pictured), ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick acknowledged that there have been discussions on bringing a hockey game to Notre Dame Stadium. While no such game will be feasible for the foreseeable future, it appears that hockey at the historic football stadium is a matter of when and not if.
“I think there will be a time and place to do this at Notre Dame Stadium,” Swarbrick said according to the Chicago Tribune. “It’s not imminent. It’s nothing soon. But doing this once a year is great for the kids. …
“I had talked to the guys at Fenway (Park) about their experience with the Winter Classic – it’s big. It’s a major undertaking. As I say, there’s nothing even remotely planned. But I just think somewhere down the road it’ll make sense for us.”
Dubbed “The Big Chill in the Big House,” the 2010 hockey game featuring Michigan and Michigan State at massive Michigan Stadium was a resounding success. The official attendance for the mid-December game was over 113,000 — nearly 4,000 over the stadium’s official capacity — setting a world record for a hockey game.
With an official capacity of 80,795, a hockey game at Notre Dame Stadium couldn’t match the record attendance figure set at the Big House, but it would have the potential be an additional financial windfall for an athletic department whose bottom line is not exactly hurting.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah