SOUTH BEND – The University of Notre Dame and University of Michigan athletic departments announced jointly on Thursday a two-year, home-and-home football series beginning in 2018.
Notre Dame and Michigan will play September 1, 2018, at Notre Dame Stadium, and October 26, 2019, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
“Today is a great day for Notre Dame, Michigan and college football fans across the country,” says Notre Dame vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “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.
“While the schedule commitments of both Notre Dame and Michigan make an annual series impractical, we’re optimistic that additional games can be scheduled in the future.”
The Irish and Wolverines rank No. 1 and No. 2 all-time in Division I winning percentage, victories and television appearances. The Notre Dame-Michigan meetings in 2011 and 2013 each set an NCAA regular-season attendance record. The Irish and Wolverines also rank fourth and second, respectively, in AP poll appearances.
“I’m excited to see Notre Dame and Michigan, two brand-name programs, get back together on the football field,” says Irish head coach Brian Kelly. “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.”
Michigan leads the all-time series, 24-17-1, with the Irish claiming the most recent meeting, 31-0, on September 6, 2014, at Notre Dame Stadium. The series is tied, 15-15-1, over the last 31 meetings dating back to 1978.
The rivalry dates back to 1887. After playing nine times between 1887 and 1909, the series went on hiatus before the teams split a pair of games in 1942 and 1943. The teams would not face one another again until 1978, since which time they have played every year except nine, taking two-year breaks in 1983-84, 1995-96 and 2000-01, as well as a three-year break in 2015-17.
To open up the schedules, Michigan paid the University of Arkansas $2 million to buy out games in 2018 and 2019. Michigan also had to restructure its Big Ten games with Rutgers in 2019.