March 25, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame and Kansas will face off in the second Eddie Robinson Football Classic, as those two teams open the 1999 college football campaign Saturday, August 28, in Notre Dame Stadium.
The game will be televised nationally by NBC Sports, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. EST (3:30 p.m. EDT in New York).
The Eddie Robinson Football Classic benefits the Eddie Robinson Foundation and honors the former Grambling coach who retired following the ’97 season after 55 years in that role. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in 1998. Robinson finished with a career mark of 408-165-15 (.707) and won more games than any coach in college football history.
Proceeds from the game enable the Foundation to offer scholarships each year to five high school seniors ($15,000 per year for up to four years) and to five eighth-grade students ($2,500 to be invested for college) — in addition to other scholarships awarded directly to accredited universities around the country. The game is being promoted for the Foundation by Dorna Sports Promotions, Inc., of Winchester, Va.
Nebraska and Louisiana Tech played in Lincoln, Neb., in 1998 in the initial Eddie Robinson Football Classic (Nebraska won 56-27).
Notre Dame’s appearance in the Eddie Robinson Classic marks its second in one of the exempt, preseason games sanctioned by the NCAA. The Irish defeated Virginia 36-13 in 1989 in the Kickoff Classic played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Notre Dame also previously played 12 regular-season contests in 1991 and 1997 when the Irish finished the regular-season in Honolulu against Hawaii.
1999 will mark only the second time Notre Dame has played seven home games in Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish also did that in 1988, a year in which they finished 12-0 and were consensus national champions.
The August 28 start will mark the earliest in history for Notre Dame football and the earliest for a home game at Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be played four days after the University begins classes on Tuesday, August 24. The Irish will begin fall practice on Sunday, August 8.
Notre Dame holds a 3-1-1 series edge over Kansas, with each of the last three meetings taking place in Notre Dame Stadium. Kansas won 24-5 in Lawrence, Kan., in 1904 and tied the Irish 0-0 in 1933 in Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame’s victories came by scores of 24-6 in 1932 (in Lawrence), 28-7 in 1935 and 52-0 in 1938 (both in Notre Dame Stadium).
This marks the second of four straight seasons the Irish face at least one Big 12 Conference team, following the Irish victory in ’98 over Baylor — and including a ’99 game with Oklahoma (Oct. 2 at Notre Dame) plus two dates with Texas A&M (Sept. 2, 2000 at Notre Dame — and Nov. 10, 2001 at College Station). The Irish defeated Texas in both the ’95 and ’96 seasons and defeated Texas A&M in Cotton Bowl matchups following the ’92 and ’93 seasons. Notre Dame also played Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl following the ’94 season.
Coach Terry Allen’s Jayhawks return 14 regulars from a team that finished 4-7 in ’98 — while Bob Davie welcomes 11 returning starters plus a placekicker from his 9-3 squad that played in the Gator Bowl after the ’98 campaign.
“There is a tremendous amount of interest generated by the preseason games, so our team, our program and our fans, not to mention the scholarship recipients, all will benefit from our participation in the Eddie Robinson Football Classic,” says Irish coach Bob Davie.
1999 Football Schedule
Aug. 28 KANSAS*
Sept. 4 at Michigan
Sept. 11 at Purdue
Sept. 18 MICHIGAN STATE
Oct. 2 OKLAHOMA
Oct. 9 ARIZONA STATE
Oct. 16 USC
Oct. 30 NAVY
Nov. 6 at Tennessee
Nov. 13 at Pittsburgh
Nov. 20 BOSTON COLLEGE
Nov. 27 at Stanford
*Eddie Robinson Classic — Notre Dame Stadium