One of the more intriguing matchups lost in 2020 due to scheduling changes that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic was Notre Dame and Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. While the two squads will still face off this year at Soldier Field, the Lambeau game was not officially back on the books until last night when the two schools announced that they will open the 2026 facing each other in Green Bay.
Barry Alvarez said in early May the game had been rescheduled, but just not yet announced. Now we know the game will take place on September 5, 2026.
Notre Dame now has ten games officially lined up for 2026 with two more spots to fill. Adding Wisconsin to the schedule gave Notre Dame a much needed boost to their current strength of schedule for the 2026 season. The five ACC foes the Irish face include: North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia, Louisville, and Syracuse. The only other games scheduled outside of its ACC obligations and Notre Dame’s own “conference schedule” (USC, Navy) are Michigan State and Purdue. After not having many Big 10 foes on the schedule in recent years, that gives the Irish three in 2026 alone.
While two spots are open, it’s likely one gets filled by Stanford if/when the two schools extend their current contract which only runs through 2024 at the moment.
Rescheduling this game has been a priority for Notre Dame and Wisconsin even though there are large swaths of both fan bases that would have preferred both of the games scheduled between the two schools to be played in their home stadiums as opposed to NFL venues. Personally, I love the idea of the game being played in Lambeau (more so than Soldier Field) but I can see both sides of the argument. Notre Dame and Wisconsin probably wouldn’t have needed Lambeau – or any outside venue – to add to the hype of the game, but at the same time, it’s hard to imagine ESPN being anywhere other than Lambeau Field that weekend to start the 2026 season.
Just like the game being played at Lambeau, a good portion of the fanbase probably won’t care if the game is the ESPN Gameday venue given their feelings towards ESPN, but a three-hour infomercial for Notre Dame is never a bad thing.