Presumably, Michigan will score on Notre Dame again. Maybe sooner than expected.
According to a report by Ryan Krasnoo of Sports Illustrated, the schools are set to officially restart one of college football’s best rivalries just four years after it seemingly died in a 31-0 blowout of the Wolverines in South Bend.
The report said Michigan would drop its season-opener against Arkansas in 2018 to help make room for Notre Dame, a schedule change that would cost the Wolverines $2 million. Krasnoo reported an official announcement is expected later today.
Both Brian Kelly and Jim Harbaugh have publicly advocated for a restart of the series, although the fact both schools would play again may be just part of the story.
Notre Dame will pause the Shamrock Series after facing Army in San Antonio this fall and doesn’t have an opponent set for 2018. Athletics director Jack Swarbrick told Irish Illustrated in May that brand name opposition would drive decision-making in Notre Dame’s off-site games more than in the past.
“When the opponent and the venue and the place all contribute to the story, that’s when it works the best,” Swarbrick told Irish Illustrated. “I still want to maintain that. The difference will be that many more of them now will be led by the opponent.
“Now it can be, ‘I got this opponent.’ Now where can we go with them that works with what we’re trying to do?”
Swarbrick also told Irish Illustrated that Notre Dame was working on two international games in the coming years. But if that’s a Shamrock Series game, it wouldn’t come in 2018. He also said unless the international venue was Canada or Mexico, those international games would be limited to the first or last games of the season.
If Michigan drops Arkansas in 2018 for Notre Dame, it would mean the Irish and Wolverines could play the first week of that season. Michigan has an open date the second week of the 2018 while Notre Dame is scheduled to host Ball State.