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The Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry should be renewed

Should the Wolverines and Fighting Irish rehash this iconic rivalry before 2033?



Oct 26, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins (25) leaps over Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years, we have seen some incredible rivalry matchups between the Michigan Wolverines and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Since 2014, however, the rivalry has died out for the most part, and we must now wait over 10 years to see the two teams play again. The Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry is one of the most iconic in the sport, and needs to be renewed.

Notre Dame canceled series in 2014

In 2014, following Notre Dame’s 31-0 victory over Brady Hoke’s final Michigan football team, the Fighting Irish decided that it was best to discontinue the series. The addition of more ACC opponents has been cited as a driving factor, though it’s not like the Irish play to many top-ranked opponents in a year.

Since then, the two teams have played twice and are 1-1 in these games. In 2018, Notre Dame bested the Wolverines in South Bend, 24-17. A season later, in 2019, Michigan returned the favor with a 45-14 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame in the Big House. Since Michigan’s 31-point win, there seems to be little interest in renewing the rivalry until 2033-34, when the two are scheduled to play a home-and-home series.

Series history

The Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry originated over 130 years ago in 1887 — Michigan football downed the Fighting Irish 8-0 in the first ever UM-ND matchup, which was played in South Bend, IN. Since then, the two schools have played 42 more times, primarily throughout the 1980s and 1990s. From 1910-1977 the Wolverines and Fighting Irish played twice; both games came in the mid-1940s. In 1978 the series was renewed, and from then until 2014, the two played one another nearly every single season.

Michigan football holds the all-time series record against Notre Dame, 25-17-1. The one tie came in 1992, when the Wolverines and Fighting Irish tied 17-17 in South Bend. Over the past 20 years, Michigan football leads Notre Dame 8-6 in head-to-head matchups; additionally, the Wolverines hold a massive victory in the most recent matchup (2019) as I touched on earlier.

The rivalry should be renewed sooner than 2033

I understand that scheduling in college football can be tough, especially with conference realignment beginning in 2024 — USC and UCLA will be joining the Big Ten, and Texas and Oklahoma will move to the SEC. While it may take some work, rehashing the traditional rivalry should be a priority for the Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish — it is one of the oldest and most-respected rivalry matchups in the sport.

As of right now, the 2033-34 series is the next time that the Irish and Wolverines are set to face off; however, this does not mean the two cannot play sooner than that. Both programs still have some availability on their nonconference schedules before the 2033 season — though this would require Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame to come to an agreement with Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines.

As TV deals and conference realignment continue to change the landscape of the sport, nothing is set in stone, though we would love to see Michigan and Notre Dame rehash this iconic rivalry.

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