Penn State, UCF To Play In Ireland In 2014: Alabama, Boston College And Notre Dame Possibly Involved In Future Games

Barry Cronin

Alabama, Boston College and Notre Dame are reportedly in the mix for a pair of American college football games in Dublin, Ireland.

Penn State and Central Florida have reached an agreement to move their 2014 football game from Orlando to Ireland, according to The Irish Times. An official announcement is expected on Sunday.

Croke Park is to host an American football colleges fixture in the autumn of next year.

Details are expected in the next few days of the meeting of Penn State and the University of Central Florida.

The Penn State-UCF game would be the fifth college football game played on the Emerald Isle and first since last season's Navy-Notre Dame game. Notre Dame won 50-10. Croke Park is home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, focused on promoting Gaelic games such as hurling, Gaelic football and handball.

The 2014 UCF-Penn State game isn't the only American college football game reportedly set for Dublin's Croke Park in future years. TheScore.ie is reporting that the park is looking to host additional games in 2016 and 2018, with Alabama, Notre Dame and Boston College all in the mix.

With regards the other games, while last weekend's Sunday Times reported that Notre Dame - who played Navy in 2012's Emerald Isle Classic - were being lined up for a return in 2016, TheScore.ie understands that no team has been officially approached for either the 2016 or 2018 dates.

However, given their links with this country, the Fighting Irish, as well as the likes of Alabama and Boston College, are all being considered.

As part of Notre Dame's five game ACC scheduling rotation, the Eagles are set to host the Fighting Irish in either 2017, 2018 or 2019. It will be interesting to see if BC will be involved in another Ireland game. If so, would the event organizers stage a Boston College vs. Notre Dame game across the pond, or, given the school's ties to Ireland, pair BC up against another marquee opponent like Alabama?

My stance on a possible Boston College game in Ireland remains the same. If BC gets a game vs. Notre Dame outside of the existing Notre Dame-ACC scheduling rotation and/or against a program like Alabama, I'm all for it. If, however, BC has to give up a home game vs. Notre Dame -- the first in five-to-seven seasons and only over a 14-season span -- for an Ireland BC-ND game, it's a pass for me.

HT: fbschedules.com

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