Notre Dame and Michigan will resume their football rivalry, with games set for 2018 and 2019. The universities jointly announced the news, with the Irish hosting the Wolverines on September 1st to open the 2018 season and Notre Dame visiting Ann Arbor on October 26, 2019.
The two winningest programs in college football history will return to battle for the first time since Notre Dame’s 31-0 victory over Michigan in 2014.
“Today is a great day for Notre Dame, Michigan and college football fans across the country,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in the statement. “Shortly after Warde Manuel was hired as Michigan’s athletic director, he and I began working to make this renewal of the series possible. That we could get games on the schedule as soon as ’18 and ’19 required a lot of work by our staffs and some great cooperation by the Big Ten, ACC and other schools that were on our future schedules.
Manuel, a former Michigan football player who took over the athletic director job after a successful run at UConn released the following statement.
“This is a game that holds great significance for the student-athletes and coaches who compete on the field,” Manuel said. “A great deal of credit goes to Coach Harbaugh and Coach Kelly for initiating the discussion of scheduling this series. This rivalry is also important for the fans of both programs, and we look forward to renewing one of college football’s great rivalries.”
Both head coaches also expressed excitement about the addition of a high-profile matchup.
“I’m excited to see Notre Dame and Michigan, two brand-name programs, get back together on the football field,” Kelly said. “Both programs have a long and storied history of success. We’re talking about the two winningest programs in all of college football.
“We’ve wanted to make this happen for quite some time. We wouldn’t be able to make today’s announcement without the work from Jack (Swarbrick) and other members of our administration. This is a win for everyone involved, not just those at either institution, but both fan bases and fans across the entire college football landscape.”
Harbaugh was credited with the following statement.
“The competition between Michigan and Notre Dame has created a fair, healthy and productive rivalry over time, and it brings out the best in both programs,” Harbaugh said. “We look forward to facing Coach Brian Kelly and the Irish in the coming years.”
The contract is a two-game agreement. Both Swarbrick and Manuel will get to work finding a practical solution to keep the rivalry going, while also balancing their other scheduling commitments.