Finishing 12-0 in the regular season, the Fighting Irish have punched their golden ticket to the College Football Playoff as they prepare to face Clemson in the Cotton Bowl. A spotless resume with wins over teams from six different conferences - including ranked opponents Michigan, Syracuse and Northwestern - while criss-crossing the country has delivered Notre Dame a well-deserved No. 3 seed. Every opponent gave it their best shot but, with determination and teamwork, the Fighting Irish triumphed time and again, reminiscent of great Notre Dame teams of the past.
The “Rush 4 Gold” mantra is inspired by the ubiquity of gold across the University of Notre Dame campus, with nothing more representative than the Golden Dome – the heartbeat of the campus.
Added to the Main Building at the center of campus in 1882, it’s adorned with gold leaf, and sitting up top is a 19-foot-tall, 4,000-pound statue of Mary, the namesake of The University of Notre Dame du Lac (The University of Our Lady of the Lake). The Main Building and its Golden Dome were added to the national register of historic places in 1976.
The football team wears their iconic gold helmets as an homage to this international symbol. A mixture of lacquer and gold dust collected from the Golden Dome when it was re-gilded makes up the second coat of paint on the team's helmets.
The gold doesn’t stop at the helmets - it will run prominently throughout Notre Dame’s playoff uniform.
The jersey features gold trimming on the numbers, the "Notre Dame" monogram on the shoulder and the "Cotton Bowl" patch on the chest. “Rush 4 Gold” and “God, Country, Notre Dame”— in gold text, of course — are embroidered into the jersey.
The team’s UA Spotlight cleats also include a gold plate, highlighting the eye-catching upper of the footwear. The Irish will be wearing the suede UA Spotlight cleats in Kelly Green, marking the first time a suede version of the UA Spotlight cleat will hit the football field. The team will also be wearing Kelly Green UA gloves.
In the program’s illustrious history, Notre Dame football has won eleven national championships; they will be playing in the Cotton Bowl for the eighth time. Each of the previous seven appearances came between 1969 and 1993. The Irish are 5-2 in those games.
Irish fans looking to support the team’s fight for a sixth Cotton Bowl victory and their chance to play for a twelfth national championship can head to UA.com and Notre Dame bookstores for special Notre Dame College Football Playoff gear.