Irish to Play in Soldier Field??

By: Nick Shepkowski and 670 The Score

soldier field.jpg

There are reports out that now that the 2011 neutral site contest vs.
Maryland in Washington, DC is taken care of that Notre Dame will now
look to Chicago and Soldier Field to host the 2012 neutral site game. 
Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune reports the suspected opponent
would be from the Big Ten or Big XII.

You can throw the regulars of Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue out
in talking about them being the opponent for this game.  Why would any
of the three give up an already scheduled home game against ND to play
them instead at a neutral site?  Why would Notre Dame give up a home
game to play them on a neutral site?

hope is that it is a BCS Conference school from the immediate area. 
Yes, getting an Oklahoma, Texas, or Nebraska to travel to Chicago to
play the Irish would be cool and very possibly be the biggest game of
the given weekend nationally but the likelihood of that is next to
none.  If we're talking logical teams who may say yes to the offer, why
not consider Cincinnati, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin, or my choice Iowa?

None are seen
as truly elite schools but all have been respectable on the football
field in recent memory.  Why do I pick the three? 

Brian Kelly would have helped recruit what would then be seniors and
juniors at Cincinnati.  Can you imagine the storyline of him coaching
against his former team after the way he was received on his way out of

Illinois:  The amount of Illini fans in the
city of Chicago is phenomenal.  Couple that with Subway-Domers who live
in the city and it would make fun for one helluva fun Saturday on the
lakefront whether the game was competitive or not...unlike the
Alamodome game vs. Washington State this past Halloween.

I used to enjoy this two brain-powered schools playing each other early
on each season at the start of my Irish fandom, could it be brought
back?  It would be fun but until Notre Dame changes their name to have
an "Eastern" or "Central" in front of it, Pat Fitzgerald won't consider
playing them out of conference...

  A successful but not elite team in college football, it would create a unique matchup that was unfortunately nixed as a possible opponent for Notre Dame in the future.  Chicago is a fair halfway point for the two schools to meet since they were unable to work out a deal for a home and home recently.  Although not my top choice, this also could offer an exciting game.

Iowa:  The Hawkeyes often go without the national respect they sometimes deserve.  Outside of Ohio State they have been the most consistently solid team in the Big Ten for the past ten years.  Iowa has played at Soldier Field as recently as 2007 against Northern Illinois and usually have a respectable out of conference schedule so perhaps they would consider accepting an invite? least I can dream...

Did I miss anyone?  If so, leave a
comment as to who and why they should be play the Irish in this
potential neutral site game in 2012...

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