The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game is considered among the greatest and most controversial games in college football history played between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The game was played in Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the competition 9–0 ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and ranked No. 1. Notre Dame elected to not try to find a score over the last series the game finished in a 10–10 tie. Notre Dame went on to win or share the national title in fourteen polls (including both AP and UPI); Michigan State shared or won in three minor polls, and Alabama, who ended with all the only undefeated and untied album, won two minor surveys.
Notre Dame, which had won a national championship in 1964 (non consensus), ranked No. 1 both AP and Coaches’ polls. Defending National Champion Michigan State, who’d finished the 1965 season No. 1 at the UPI Coaches’ poll, but was 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 before had been snuffed out by USC, were hungry, although the Spartans had history and home-field edge in their side. This was the first time in 20 years a college football matchup was awarded the”Game of the Century” label by the national media, and ABC had the country’s audiences in its grip, with equal portions Notre Dame fans and Michigan State fans. This was the very first time at the 30-year history of the AP poll the No. 1 team played with 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 2 teams together late in the season. They were not even supposed to fulfill when the 1966 schedules were drawn up. Michigan State had only nine matches scheduled (although they had been allowed to possess eight ) while Notre Dame was originally scheduled to play Iowa that week, as had been the custom since 1945. However, in 1960, the Hawkeyes suddenly dropped the Irish from their schedule, from 1964 onward. Michigan State was accessible and agreed to return to Notre Dame’s program in 1965–66.
The match wasn’t shown live on national TV. Each group was allotted one nationwide television appearance and two regional television appearances every year. Notre Dame had used their nationwide TV slot at the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives didn’t even want to demonstrate the match anywhere but the regional area, but pressure from the West Coast and the South (to the tune of 50,000 letters) made ABC air the game on tape delay. ABC relented and blacked from the Michigan State-Notre Dame game in just two countries (allegedly North Dakota and South Dakota), therefore it might theoretically be called a regional broadcast. It would also be the first time that a college football game was broadcast to Hawaii and to U.S. troops in Vietnam.  The official attendance was declared at 80,011 (111% potential ) and has been the most attended match in Michigan State football history at the time (the current 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 school legends.
A lot of the original ABC telecast footage survives. The second half is present in its entirety, as do both scoring drives starting in the next quarter (Michigan State’s field goal and Notre Dame’s touchdown).
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