Confirmed: Michigan and Notre Dame to resume series in 2018

It's official. Notre Dame is back on the schedule.

It's official. Notre Dame is back on the schedule.

Via Mgoblue:
The Irish will host the Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium in the season opener on Sept. 1, 2018, with a return trip to Michigan Stadium scheduled for Oct. 26, 2019.

“This is a game that holds great significance for the student-athletes and coaches who compete on the field,” said Warde Manuel, U-M’s Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “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.”

“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,” said Jim Harbaugh, U-M’s J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. “We look forward to facing Coach Brian Kelly and the Irish in the coming years.”
So in 2018, Michigan will travel to South Bend, East Lansing and Columbus all in the same season. Clearly, this is sub-optimal on many fronts, but does create a 2019 schedule where all 3 rivals appear on the home schedule. This is a by-product of the gutless Brandon era...which is how we ended up with the series disappearing in the first place.

Michigan must do anything and everything they can to get the Michigan State home game back on even years ASAP.

“We are having on-going discussions regarding extending the series with Notre Dame but nothing is finalized,” commented Manuel. “I look forward to working with Jack (Swarbrick) to try to accomplish this common goal while striving to achieve a balance of seven home games each season. Scheduling is a fluid process and we need to be strategic in the way we schedule out into the future.”

To make room for the return of the rivalry with the Irish, the Wolverines have come to an agreement with the University of Arkansas to cancel the series and will fulfill the obligations set forth in the contract. The Big Ten Conference home game against Rutgers, currently scheduled for Oct. 26, will move to the open date on Sept. 28, 2019.

Manuel added, “While it’s never easy to change football schedules, I appreciate Arkansas’ Jeff Long understanding of the need for this change, as well as Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Ash for agreeing to change the date of our conference game so we could bring this Notre Dame rivalry back to the field.”
So the first paragraph of the Manuel quote pertains to why Michigan did what they did in terms of scheduling the home/away aspect of this. Michigan clearly favors 7 home games a year. 2019 already has 5 away games on the schedule. And even though flipping it gives Michigan 14 home games between both 2018-19 seasons either way...I think from a season ticket sales perspective, the 7 home-game threshold is a deal breaker.

Odd to have the Irish so late on the 2019 schedule. But I assume this was unavoidable to a certain degree.

No comments

Post a Comment