The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game is regarded as one of the most significant 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 competition 9–0 ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and ranked No. 1. Notre Dame elected to not try for a score over the last series the match ended at a 10–10 tie. Notre Dame went on to acquire or share the national title in two polls (such as the AP and UPI); Michigan State shared or won in three small polls, and Alabama, who finished with the only undefeated and untied album, won 2 minor surveys.
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’d completed the 1965 year 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 decades before had been snuffed out by USC, were hungry, while the Spartans had background and home-field edge in their side. This was the very first time in 20 years a college football matchup was given the”Game of the Century” label by the national press, and ABC had the country’s viewers in its clasp, with equal portions Notre Dame lovers and Michigan State fans. It was the tenth time in the 30-year history of this AP poll the No. 1 group played with 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 brought these two teams together late in the season. When the 1966 schedules were drawn up, they were not even supposed to fulfill. Michigan State had only nine games scheduled (even though they had been allowed to have ten) while Notre Dame was initially scheduled to play with 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 return to Notre Dame’s program in 1965–66.
The match was not shown on nationwide TV. Each team was allotted one national television appearance and also two regional television appearances every year. 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 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 out the Michigan State-Notre Dame game in two states (reportedly North Dakota and South Dakota), therefore 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 to U.S. troops in Vietnam.  The official attendance was announced at 80,011 (111% potential ) and has been 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.
Much of the 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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