The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game is considered one of the greatest and most controversial games in college football history played between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The match has been played in Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and rated No. 1. Notre Dame elected to not try for a score over the series the match ended in a 10–10 tie. Notre Dame went on to win or share the national title in two polls (including the AP and UPI); Michigan State won or shared in three small polls, and Alabama, who finished with all the only undefeated and untied album, won two small polls.
Notre Dame, which had won a national championship in 1964 (non consensus), rated No. 1 both AP and Coaches’ polls. Defending National Champion Michigan State, who had finished the 1965 season No. 1 at the UPI Coaches’ poll, but had been upset by UCLA in the Rose Bowl the previous year, entered the game ranked No. 2 in the polls. The Fighting Irish, whose bid for a national championship two years earlier had been snuffed out by USC, were hungry, while the Spartans had background and home-field advantage on their side. This was the first time in 20 years that a college football matchup was awarded the”Game of the Century” label by the national press, and ABC had the country’s audiences in its clasp, with equal parts Notre Dame fans and Michigan State fans. It was the tenth time at the 30-year history of this AP poll the No. 1 team played the No. 2 team. The Spartans had conquered Notre Dame the prior year 12–3 holding Notre Dame to minus-12 yards rushing.
A fortuitous quirk in scheduling brought these two teams together late in the season. When the 1966 schedules were drawn up, they weren’t even supposed to meet. Michigan State had just nine games scheduled (although they were permitted to have eight ) while Notre Dame was initially scheduled to play Iowa that week, as had been the custom since 1945. However, in 1960, the Hawkeyes abruptly dropped the Irish out of their schedule, from 1964 onward. Michigan State was available and agreed to return to Notre Dame’s program in 1965–66.
The match wasn’t shown live on TV. Each group was allotted one nationwide television appearance and also two regional television appearances each season. Notre Dame had utilized their nationwide TV slot in the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives did not want to demonstrate the match everywhere but the regional place, but pressure in the West Coast and the South (to the tune of 50,000 letters) made ABC atmosphere the game on tape delay. ABC relented and blacked from the Michigan State-Notre Dame game in two states (allegedly North Dakota and South Dakota), so it could technically be called a regional broadcast. It would also be the first time that a school football game was broadcast to Hawaii and also to U.S. troops in Vietnam.  The official attendance was declared at 80,011 (111% capacity) and was the most attended match in Michigan State football history at the time (the present record is 80,401 on Sept. 22, 1990 vs. Notre Dame).
Notre Dame was coached by Ara Parseghian and Michigan State was coached by Duffy Daugherty, both college legends.
A lot of the original ABC telecast footage resides. The second half is present in its entirety, as do both scoring forces beginning in the second quarter (Michigan State’s field goal and Notre Dame’s touchdown).
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