Notre Dame announces 2023 NBC kickoff times, led by Ohio State and USC in prime time
Notre Dame will host two preseason top-25 teams, possibly both top-10 teams, in back-to-back home games in prime time in 2023, the Irish and NBC announced Wednesday afternoon. Ohio State’s Sept. 23 visit and USC’s Oct. 14 arrival will both kick off at 7:30 ET.
Coming off a College Football Playoff appearance and third in the last four years, the Buckeyes look poised to again contend for the Big Ten title and a possible Playoff bid. Not to be too blunt, but the trip to Notre Dame will be Ohio State’s first genuine challenge of 2023, opening the season at Indiana before welcoming FCS-level Youngstown State and then Western Kentucky.
Notre Dame will have already played four games, including a trip abroad and a trip to North Carolina State.
That season-opening venture to Dublin will feature a later kickoff than may have been anticipated. Announced on Tuesday as a sellout, Notre Dame will kick off at 2:30 ET on NBC against Navy, much later than the 9 a.m. kickoff in 2012, the last time the Irish and the Midshipmen played in Ireland. This year’s trip is somewhat a make-up from having to scrap the planned trip in 2020, hence the unusual occurrence of Notre Dame playing a home game away from South Bend in this annual series.
After the dalliance across the Atlantic, the Irish will face an FCS-level program for the first time in history, Tennessee State and head coach Eddie George visiting on Sept. 2 at 3:30 ET. Logically, as soon as Notre Dame agreed to move its date with Navy to Dublin, meeting an FCS opponent became inevitable, either that or shoehorn in an early off week.
Instead, the Trojans will arrive in South Bend just before the first Irish off week, also kicking off at 7:30 ET on Oct. 14. With Heisman-winner, Heisman-frontrunner and contender to be the No. 1 pick quarterback Caleb Williams leading it, USC will also be a trendy Playoff contender in 2023. Competitively, the Trojans will be coming off a rather pedestrian early-season stretch.
Looking at ESPN’s SP+ rankings to gauge the first half of USC’s schedule sheds light on how likely it is the Trojans will be undefeated in mid-October. None of their first six opponents rank in the top 60 in the country, and three of them are in the bottom 30. Again leaning into the SP+ numbers, USC should be favored by three possessions in every one of those games, with the first three of those looking like edges well north of 30 points and two more being around four touchdowns.
At some point we should discuss USC's pre-ND slate.— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) May 24, 2023
Using @ESPN_BillC's SP+ rankings and quick math for spreads:
vs No. 103 San Jose St (+37.5)
vs No. 107 Nevada (+39.5)
vs No. 102 Stanford (+37.5)
at No. 63 Az. St. (+17.5)
at No. 94 Colorado (+28.5)
vs No. 78 Az. (+30.5)
Thus, Notre Dame and NBC should welcome multiple unbeaten top-10 teams in primetime this year.
The 33rd year of Notre Dame on NBC will feature six games aired on both NBC and Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, as well as one game exclusively available on Peacock, the Sept. 16 tilt with Central Michigan at 2:30 ET.
The Irish home slate will conclude with a Senior Day showing from Wake Forest at 3:30 ET on Nov. 18, new Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman’s previous team.
NOTRE DAME on NBC 2023 SCHEDULE
Aug. 26: vs. Navy in Dublin at 2:30 ETSept. 2: vs. Tennessee State at 3:30 ETSept. 16: vs. Central Michigan at 2:30 ET on PeacockSept. 23: vs. Ohio State at 7:30 ETOct. 14: vs. USC at 7:30 ETOct. 28: vs. Pittsburgh at 3:30 ETNov. 18: vs. Wake Forest at 3:30 ET