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Michigan AD Discusses Future Of Notre Dame Rivalry

Michigan running back Mike Hart runs the football.

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Mike Hart #20 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to escape the tackle of Tom Zbikowski #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Stadium September 15, 2007 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Michigan and Notre Dame football share a ton of history and a natural rivalry. Last year, the two teams played in Week 1, in a game that really helped kick the 2018 season into gear.

The Wolverines and Fighting Irish square off in a rematch of that convincing Notre Dame win this fall. On Oct. 26, the two sides will play in Ann Arbor, with extremely high expectations on both sides.

After that, the future of the series is very much up in the air. Both teams have pretty full schedules over the next few years.

The two sides had originally come to an agreement for what was set to be a 25 year deal, and faced off every season between 2002 and 2014. Things changed with Notre Dame's scheduling agreement with the ACC, which cuts down the number of games available each year. That has also impacted rivalries with Purdue and Michigan State, among others.

Still, it sounds like they'd like to find some solution that would allow the rivalry to continue forward.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel says that he's had discussions with his Notre Dame counterpart Jack Swarbrick.

There is no deal in place, but there have at least been discussions, which is good.

Michigan and Notre Dame both have schedules filled out through the 2021 season, but nonconference games can be cancelled. The Wolverines paid $2 million to nix a series with Arkansas for the latest two-year deal with Fighting Irish. Just when Michigan and Notre Dame will meet again after this year remains uncertain.

“I’ve been working on some other scheduling things and so has (Swarbrick),” Manuel said. “We both have the interest to do it in the future, just not sure when.”

In 2020, Michigan has its three non-conference games booked against Washington, Ball State, and Arkansas State, and the Wolverines will face Western Michigan, Washington, and Northern Illinois in 2020. 2021 has a spot open, but UCLA is on the schedule, as are future Power Five games against Texas and Oklahoma.

Outside of the ACC agreement and annual Navy, Stanford, and USC games, Notre Dame has future games booked against Arkansas, Wisconsin, Purdue, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Michigan State, and Alabama. It appears that 2022 is the next season with available spots, though they do have the Buckeyes that season.