With Notre Dame’s scheduling alliance with the ACC beginning next season, we’ll see a new collection of rivalries begin in earnest. But it doesn’t appear that athletic director Jack Swarbrick is done adding new opponents.
CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler is reporting that a home-and-home series between Notre Dame and Georgia looks close to being finalized for the 2018-19 seasons. It’ll be the first regular season game the Irish have played against an SEC opponent since beating Tennessee 41-21 in 2005.
While neither school has spoken on the record about the matchup, Fowler’s report finds some smoke beginning to form in Athens.
When reached Tuesday, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity acknowledged verbal communication with Notre Dame about a potential series but stressed there’s no agreement in writing and, thus, no reason to get too excited.
McGarity added Georgia is always talking with schools about scheduling.
When asked about the 2018-19 dates, McGarity said meetings for later this decade have been discussed.
“I think it’d be great for the University of Georgia if we were able to make it happen,” McGarity said.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly sparked interest in August when he called Georgia a natural matchup for the Irish.
Both Swarbrick and Kelly have acknowledged that scheduling SEC opponents was a future priority. And Kelly’s interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution earlier this year was a hint that perhaps something was brewing.
While playing “like-minded institutions” has been part of the scheduling paradigm, taking on Georgia, another traditional power program, is a much more noteworthy game than rebooting the SEC scheduling with Vanderbilt.
Georgia and Notre Dame have met once, in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, when Herschel Walker ran for 150 yards and the unbeaten Bulldogs defeated the Irish 17-10.