Michigan AD ‘open’ to renewing football series with Notre Dame – CBSSports.com
7 months ago Comments Off on Michigan AD ‘open’ to renewing football series with Notre Dame – CBSSports.com
The 2015 season was the first in which Michigan and Notre Dame didn’t play football against one another since 2001 (only the sixth season without one since 1979). Still, even though the rivalry has only taken a year off, there’s been no shortage of talk about rekindling it. Last September, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the idea of bringing it back was “trending up,” and now it’s the new athletic director at Michigan’s turn to address the notion.
“If there are opportunities in the future to bring the rivalry on the football field back, obviously I’d be open to having that conversation,” Warde Manuel told ESPN.com. “It’s not only great for Michigan and Notre Dame football, I think it’s great for college football for that rivalry to continue at some point in the future, so we’ll see where that goes.”
Of course, the question is where each school can fit the other one in.
Looking at Michigan’s future schedules, the Wolverines have open non-conference dates as soon as 2018 and 2019, but with a game scheduled against Arkansas in each of those seasons, it’s not clear whether or not they’d want to add a game with Notre Dame as well. They also have an opening in 2021 but already have two nonconference games against Virginia Tech and Washington. Playing those two games, as well as a game against Notre Dame and a nine-game conference schedule (the Big Ten moves to a nine-game schedule in 2016) probably isn’t the most desired scenario for the Wolverines.
Then there’s Notre Dame.
The Irish originally dropped the series with Michigan because they needed to make room on the schedule after an agreement with the ACC. Notre Dame is now required to play five games a season against ACC teams to go along with its traditional rivalries with Stanford, USC and Navy. Mix in some games with Michigan State, Texas and Georgia in the near future, and I’m not sure where Notre Dame wants to slide Michigan in.
Sure, Michigan could sacrifice a MAC opponent, and Notre Dame could ditch somebody as well, but do they really want to? Should they really want to?
That’s the biggest question, but I hope it’s one both schools solve at some point soon. September’s always a little better when Michigan and Notre Dame are playing.