Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on Tuesday told reporters it felt like it was the Irish’s destiny to land in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Swarbrick, along with coach Brian Kelly and Rutgers AD Julie Hermann and coach Kyle Flood, was at a press conference at Yankee Stadium to promote the Dec. 28 game between the No. 25 Irish (8-4) and Scarlet Knights (6-6).
Sometimes things feel preordained in a sense, and you work real hard to achieve a certain result, and you wind up in a place and when you get there you say, This was meant to be. This is perfect,’ Swarbrick said. And everything about this opportunity feels that way to Notre Dame.
Swarbrick pointed to Rutgers being a former conference partner for Notre Dame for why he feels that way. The two programs were members of the Big East before the Irish left for the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Rutgers, which is moving to the Big Ten, became part of the American Athletic Conference after the Big East crumbled.
The Notre Dame AD also mentioned the historical significance of playing in Yankee Stadium for the program.
This is an important year for Notre Dame football, because it marks the 100th anniversary of the first great team and the first great game in our history, Swarbrick said. Nov. 1 of 1913, Notre Dame beat Army in New York, effectively introduced the forward pass to college football and changed the trajectory of not just our program but our university forever.
The bowl game will be the second time in the last four years that Notre Dame plays at Yankee Stadium. The Irish played the first college game in the new stadium when they defeated Army 27-3 on Nov. 20, 2010.
Notre Dame is 16-6-3 in Yankee Stadium games.
We are playing in an iconic stadium, Kelly said. And we are playing in a bowl game that is being organized by one of the greatest sports franchises in the history of athletics and we recognize that.