John Heisler | September 7, 2018
Bubba Cunningham began the conversation.
Bill Scholl added additional context.
Then Jack Swarbrick and Brian Kelly brought it to a conclusion.
That's how Ball State ended up with a football game Saturday against eighth-ranked Notre Dame in Notre Dame Stadium in the first trip to South Bend for the Cardinals.
Cunningham is the former Notre Dame associate athletics director (now the athletics director at North Carolina) who left the Irish to serve as the Ball State athletic director from 2002-05.
Scholl is a one-time Notre Dame senior associate athletics director (now the athletics director at Marquette) who also did a stint in 2012-15 as the Ball State athletics director.
As the Notre Dame scheduling philosophy evolved, Swarbrick (the current Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics) and Kelly (the Irish head football coach) had to determine how to go about locating opponents for the one home game per season (in most years) in which a team would play a game at Notre Dame without that contest being returned as part of a home-and-home series.
As opposed to simply picking teams off a map, the Irish administration decided to talk to programs with some sort of Notre Dame connection.
Read more here.