The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game is considered among the most significant and most controversial games in college football history played between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The match was played in Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 and ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and ranked No. 1. Notre Dame elected not to try to find a score over the final series. Notre Dame went on to win or share the national title in two polls (such as the AP and UPI); Michigan State shared or won in three minor surveys, and Alabama, who ended with all the only undefeated and untied album, won two minor polls.
Notre Dame, which had last won a national championship in 1964 (non consensus), rated No. 1 both AP and Coaches’ polls. Defending National Champion Michigan State, who’d finished the 1965 year No. 1 at the UPI Coaches’ survey, 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 before was snuffed out by USC, were hungry, while the Spartans had background and home-field advantage in their side. This was the very first time in 20 years that a school football matchup was awarded the”Game of the Century” tag 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 this AP poll the No. 1 team played the No. 2 team. The Spartans had conquered Notre Dame the previous year 12–3 holding Notre Dame to minus-12 yards rushing.
A fortuitous quirk in scheduling attracted these two teams together late in the season. They weren’t even supposed to meet when the 1966 schedules were drawn up. Michigan State had just nine games scheduled (although they were permitted to have ten) while Notre Dame was initially scheduled to play Iowa that week, as had been the custom since 1945. But in 1960, the Hawkeyes abruptly dropped the Irish from their schedule, from 1964 onward. Michigan State was accessible and agreed to return to Notre Dame’s schedule in 1965–66.
The game was not shown live on nationwide TV. Each team has been allotted one national television appearance and also two regional television appearances every year. Notre Dame had used their national TV slot in the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives didn’t want to demonstrate the match anywhere but the regional place, but pressure from 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 match in 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 also to U.S. troops in Vietnam.  The official attendance was announced at 80,011 (111% capacity) and was the most attended game 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.
Much of the first 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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