ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The winningest programs in college football history, the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame, announced on Thursday the renewal of their storied rivalry with a home-and-home series during the 2018-19 seasons.
The Irish will host the Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium in the season opener on Sept. 1, 2018, with a return trip to Michigan Stadium scheduled for Oct. 26, 2019.
"This is a game that holds great significance for the student-athletes and coaches who compete on the field," said Warde Manuel, U-M Director of Athletics. "A great deal of credit goes to Coach Harbaugh and Coach Kelly for initiating the discussion of scheduling this series. This rivalry is also important for the fans of both programs, and we look forward to renewing one of college football's great rivalries."
"The competition between Michigan and Notre Dame has created a fair, healthy and productive rivalry over time, and it brings out the best in both programs," said Jim Harbaugh, U-M head football coach. "We look forward to facing Coach Brian Kelly and the Irish in the coming years."
Michigan leads the all-time series with Notre Dame, 24-17-1. The Irish hold a 10-9-1 advantage in games played in South Bend and the Wolverines hold a 14-7 record in Ann Arbor. U-M defeated ND in the only neutral site game played between the two schools, a 23-0 victory during the 1902 season in Toledo, Ohio.
"We are having on-going discussions regarding extending the series with Notre Dame but nothing is finalized," commented Manuel. "I look forward to working with Jack Swarbrick to try to accomplish this common goal while striving to achieve a balance of seven home games each season. Scheduling is a fluid process and we need to be strategic in the way we schedule out into the future."
To make room for the return of the rivalry with the Irish, the Wolverines have come to an agreement with the University of Arkansas to cancel the series and will fulfill the obligations set forth in the contract. The Big Ten Conference home game against Rutgers, currently scheduled for Oct. 26, will move to the open date on Sept. 28, 2019.
Manuel added, "While it's never easy to change football schedules, I appreciate Arkansas' Jeff Long understanding of the need for this change, as well as Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Ash for agreeing to change the date of our conference game so we could bring this Notre Dame rivalry back to the field."