Notre Dame added another SEC program to its future schedules on Thursday in a joint announcement with Arkansas. The Fighting Irish and Razorbacks will face each other for the first time in 2020 in Notre Dame Stadium with the Irish traveling to Arkansas in 2025.
“This two-game series will provide our program with another opportunity to play a top-caliber foe from the Southeastern Conference,” said Brian Kelly in a statement released by Notre Dame on Thursday.
Adding Notre Dame to the Arkansas schedule has been a long time in the making for Razorback head coach Brett Bielema. ““Ever since I became a head coach I’ve wanted to get Notre Dame on the schedule and when it became a possibility we were 100 percent in on getting a home-and-home done,” he said in a statement released by Arkansas.
The first game will come on September 12, 2020 when Arkansas makes their first appearance in Notre Dame Stadium with the second coming five years later on October 4, 2025. Notre Dame will make their first appearance in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The long lapse in between contests was due to future scheduling conflicts for Arkansas that made 2025 the first season in which they could host the Irish.
While the two schools have never met on the gridiron, they are linking by one common bond – Lou Holtz. The Notre Dame legend coached at Arkansas for seven years before taking over at Minnesota and then eventually getting the Notre Dame job in 1986. Holtz compiled a record of 60-21-2 with Arkansas including a record of 3-2-1 in bowl games. In 1977 Holtz lead the Razorbacks to a #3 finish following an 11-1 campaign topped with a win in the Orange Bowl over Oklahoma.
Notre Dame has now added three SEC teams to its future schedules with Arkansas joining Georgia (2017, 2018) and Texas A&M (2024, 2025).
With the addition of Arkansas to the 2020 schedule, the Irish slate is almost full with 11 games committed. On top of home games with Clemson, Duke, and Louisville and a road trip to Pittsburgh all of which have dates to TBD as part of the ACC agreement, Notre Dame has the following games committed for 2020.
- September 5, 2020 – @ Navy (Metlife Stadium)
- September 12, 2020 – vs. Arkansas
- September 19, 2020 – @ Purdue
- September 26, 2020 – @ Wake Forest
- October 12, 2020 – vs. Stanford
- November 14, 2020 – @ Georgia Tech
- November 28, 2020 – @ USC
Ummm that doesn’t looks that good on paper right now, but a lot can and will change in the next few years. One game will still be added and with the games already on the books, I wouldn’t expect that to be a marquee opponent.
There is also only one game left to be added for 2025 now that Notre Dame will travel to Arkansas on October 2, 2025. Notre Dame will host Purdue, Texas A&M, Navy, USC, NC State, and Syracuse with road games at Arkansas, Stanford, Miami, Boston College, and Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame has played every SEC school at least once other than Arkansas, Kentucky, Auburn, and Mississippi State. IN total Notre Dame has played 45 games against SEC schools with nearly a quarter of them coming against LSU.