Is South Bend the epicenter of the sports universe this weekend?

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 7:25 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - We’re just one day away from what many consider to be the biggest game in college football this weekend.

It’s a top 10 matchup between the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the visiting No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes haven’t played in South Bend since 1996, so the hype surrounding Saturday night’s game makes sense.

I came up with a hypothesis that South Bend is the epicenter of the sports universe this weekend, and I tried that hypothesis out in search of endorsements.

One endorsement of my hypothesis came from none other than Jonnie Graham, the mother of standout Notre Dame cornerback turned business sensation Tracy Graham. She’s been a second mother to everyone from Jerome Bettis to Bobby Taylor.

“It’s been so long ago. They used to come to my house. I was living in Chicago, and they would come to my house and I would fix a big pot of chili,” she said.

A few blocks from that upbeat exchange, I got another opinion from California Buckeye Debbie Killman.

“Columbus, Ohio, is the epicenter. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she told me. “We’re Buckeyes for life in our family.”

Kyrah Walker is with me and says her fellow Holy Cross students are, too.

“We’re always out tailgating,” she said. “We support Notre Dame, so we’re always out trying to include ourselves in the tri-campus — Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, all that.”

And if we’re not the epicenter of the sports universe, would ESPN’s “College GameDay” be here? Host Rece Davis thinks he’s in the right place.

“I know we want to talk football, but the number one thing we’ve got to do… we’ve got to get more flights into South Bend and out of South Bend,” he said. “This is a major, major problem because nobody wants to take that drive.

So, there you have it. We are the epicenter of the sports universe… and as such, we need a few more flights.

Kickoff for Saturday’s top 10 showdown at Notre Dame Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT. If you’re not going to the game, you can watch it right here on WNDU!