ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Tonight will not be the end of Notre Dame and Michigan, after all. The two schools announced a home-and-home series in 2033 and 2034, further down the road than anyone would like, but better late than never.
The expectation entering tonight’s primetime, top-20 matchup (7:30 ET; ABC) was the series would go dormant for a while, this latest two-year revival the only taste since the Irish ended the meetings in 2014 with a three-year notice delivered in 2012. Instead, albeit a decade down the line, a couple more meetings await.
“I want to thank [Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel] and coach (Jim) Harbaugh for helping us to secure the future of the series and for continuing to work with us as we look for additional dates when Notre Dame and Michigan might play,” Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “College football is at its best when its top programs square off.”
ESPN’s “College GameDay” slipped the announcement in before a commercial break Saturday morning. The Athletic‘s Matt Fortuna reported the dates and locations of the two games, both season openers.
Breaks in the series have been common. Michigan leads it 25-18-1 overall, the two schools meeting every year between 1978-82, 1985-94, 1997-99 and 2002-14. Current Irish head coach Brian Kelly is 3-3 against Michigan. One way or another, he will not end up with a .500 record after tonight, and rest assured he would insist he will not still be coaching in 14 years.