Notre Dame won’t play Michigan again anytime soon after Saturday’s game.
The Irish found future space on their schedule, however, for the Wolverines’ archrival: Ohio State.
Notre Dame will face Ohio State in a two-year, home-and-home series in 2022 and 2023, the schools announced Thursday.
On Sept. 3, 2022, the Irish will travel to Columbus, Ohio, and the Buckeyes will come to South Bend on Sept. 23, 2023.
Any time you talk about Notre Dame and Ohio State meeting in a football game, that event automatically is going to have huge national significance, Irish coach Brian Kelly said in a statement issued by the team. For fans and alumni of the two schools, not to mention college football fans in general, these games will be great attractions.
The schools have met five times, with Notre Dame going 2-3, but not since 2006, when Ohio State pulled out a 34-20 win over then-coach Charlie Weis in the Fiesta Bowl.
With the advent this year of the College Football Playoff, which stresses the importance of playing quality opponents, Notre Dame continues to line up traditionally strong teams while operating as an independent program.
The Irish previously announced agreements with Texas and Georgia.
I am excited we are able once again to bring these two programs together on the football field, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in the statement. Football games between Notre Dame and Ohio State make great sense from a strength-of-schedule standpoint.
Two other factors perhaps made fertile ground for the sides to come together.
Swarbrick pointed to a pair of interesting ties between current Ohio State personnel and the Irish program.
With (Ohio State athletic director) Gene Smith having both played and coached football at Notre Dame, and with (Buckeyes coach) Urban Meyer having served as an assistant football coach at Notre Dame, there are some obvious, high-profile connections between our two institutions, Swarbrick said.
Also, the universities share in a scholarship fund that benefits students from Ohio who attend either Notre Dame or Ohio State.
The Joyce Scholars program, which dates to 1961, provides four-year full scholarships to students from 115 central Ohio high schools in seven counties.
This football partnership is a long time coming, though.
The teams haven’t played a regular-season series since 1995 and 1996.
Meyer was on Lou Holtz’s staff for the Irish in the 1996 game.
Notes: Kelly said Holtz will offer a motivational speech to the team today. Kelly said there was no update on the five players under academic review. He said he doesn’t think they have had hearings yet and are unlikely to play Saturday. He said he keeps in contact with them by text messages. Kelly said there were no new injuries in practice this week.