Hail the return of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry
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What are your thoughts on the Wolverines opening up at South Bend? — Peach Pagano via Facebook
Michigan vs. Notre Dame is one of the great rivalries in college football. It’s one of those games that should be played every year. The rivalry renews in 2018 after a three-year hiatus. The season opener for both teams is Sept. 1 at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
I’m all for these kinds of nonconference rivalry games. There is big money in showcase games at neutral sites, such as the games the Wolverines have played in the past with Alabama (2012) and Florida (2017), but nothing beats games played on campus. Whether this game is played in Ann Arbor or South Bend, it belongs on campus where the atmosphere will be as intense as possible.
The teams will play again on Oct. 26, 2019, at Michigan Stadium.
The schools have done a good job of making sure the series is played on a regular basis. The three-year absence of Michigan-Notre Dame on the schedule is the longest the Wolverines and Irish have gone without facing each other since the series resumed in 1978. They played 10 times between the first game in 1887 and 1943 (the Wolverines won eight of those games) but then didn’t meet for another 35 years. Feuds involving Michigan coach Fielding Yost, Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne and others on both sides contributed to the teams not playing, but Michigan athletic director Don Canham and Notre Dame AD Moose Krause got the teams back together.
Michigan won the first game of the renewed series, 28-14, as quarterback Rick Leach ran for one touchdown and threw for three more to beat Joe Montana and the reigning national champs in South Bend.
The Wolverines lead the all-time series 24-17-1 but that advantage is only 16-15-1 since 1978. Notre Dame won the last game 31-0 in 2014.
Sept. 1 should be fun.
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