The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game is regarded as among the most significant 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 and ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and rated No. 1. Notre Dame elected not to try to find a score on the series; consequently, the match finished at a 10–10 tie. Notre Dame went on to acquire or share the national title in two polls (including the AP and UPI); Michigan State won or shared in three minor polls, and Alabama, who ended with all the only undefeated and untied record, won 2 small polls.
Notre Dame, which had last won a national championship in 1964 (non consensus), ranked No. 1 both the AP and Coaches’ polls. Defending National Champion Michigan State, who’d finished the 1965 season No. 1 at the UPI Coaches’ survey, but had been upset by UCLA in the Rose Bowl the past calendar year, entered the game ranked No. 2 in the polls. The Fighting Irish, whose bid for a national championship two decades before was snuffed out by USC, were hungry, while the Spartans had background and home-field edge on their side. This was the first time in 20 years that a school football matchup was awarded the”Game of the Century” label by the national media, and ABC had the nation’s viewers in its grip, with equal parts Notre Dame fans and Michigan State fans. It was the tenth time at the 30-year history of the AP poll the No. 1 team played with the No. 2 team. The Spartans had defeated Notre Dame the previous 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 programs were first drawn up they were not even supposed to meet. Michigan State had just nine matches scheduled (although they were permitted to have eight ) while Notre Dame was originally 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 program, from 1964 onward. Michigan State was accessible and agreed to come back to Notre Dame’s schedule in 1965–66.
The game wasn’t shown live on TV. Each team was allotted one national television appearance and two regional television appearances each season. Notre Dame had used their national TV slot at the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives didn’t even want to demonstrate the game everywhere but the regional place, but pressure in 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 match in just two states (allegedly North Dakota and South Dakota), therefore it might theoretically be called a regional broadcast. It would also be the first time a school football game was broadcast to Hawaii and also to U.S. troops in Vietnam.  The official attendance was announced 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 educated by Ara Parseghian and Michigan State was coached by Duffy Daugherty, both school legends.
A lot of the ABC telecast footage resides. The second half is present in its entirety, as do both scoring drives starting in the second quarter (Michigan State’s field goal and Notre Dame’s touchdown).
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