(UHND.com) – In a joint announcement, Notre Dame and Michigan announcement Monday that the two college football giants will extend the current series for an additional 20 years through the year 2031. The announcement comes a week after reports surfaced that there would be at least a two year break in the series in 2012.
The Notre Dame schedule has been a hot topic across the internet the past few weeks with reports of Nick Saban wanting Alabama to schedule a series with the Irish, news that the Michigan State series would be taking break, and a report of a potential home and home series with Oklahoma in 2012 and 2013 – a series which could now be in question.
The Oklahoma series was never 100% set in stone, but a deal was in place according to various media outlets late last week. The series was supposed to take the place of the Michigan game in ’12 and ’13, but the status of that is now unclear.
What’s not unclear is that the two teams who rank 1st and 2nd all time in wins and winning percentage will continue to play each other for at least the next 25 seasons.
The annual Notre Dame-Michigan game has become one of the most highly anticipated early season matchups in all of college football. It is also a matchup that both fan bases look forward to on a yearly basis.
The two schools have squared off 34 times since first meeting in 1887 with the Wolverines having the edge 19-14-1. After starting the series with a 1-8 record against Michigan from 1887-1909, however, Notre Dame has held a 13-11-1 advantage upon resuming the series in 1942.
What this news means for other potential matchups such as the Oklahoma series remains to be seen, but it’s not out of the question that a matchup with the Sooners could still take place. With the extension of the Michigan series, such a matchup would need to be carefully worked into a schedule which has notoriously front loaded in recent years.
A schedule featuring marquee matchups against the likes of Oklahoma, Michigan, and long time rival USC all in the same season certainly would create a daunting schedule for the Irish. It would also create some tricky planning for Kevin White and the Notre Dame athletic department so as not to schedule the Irish out of title contention by cramming too many marquee matchups next to each other.
Regardless of what happens with Oklahoma or any other potential future opponent, continuing this series is great news for both Michigan and Notre Dame as well as college football.