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Posted on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

Who fills Notre Dame's spot on 2018-19 Michigan football schedules? AD Dave Brandon says 'stay tuned'

By Nick Baumgardner

Related story: Michigan football won't play Notre Dame in 2018-19, announces future games with Utah, Colorado, Oregon State, UNLV

As planned, the Michigan football program will take a two-year break from its long-time series with Notre Dame.

Michigan reaffirmed Wednesday that it will take a two-year hiatus from playing the Fighting Irish in 2018 and 2019, and fully intends to renew the series in 2020.

But what does Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon intend to do with those two open dates on the schedule?

"Stay tuned," he told by phone on Wednesday.

In 2010, Brandon explained how the two schools had never actually signed a previously drawn-up, 20-year contract that would have made Michigan-Notre Dame an annual event through the 2030 campaign.


Michigan fans won't see the Notre Dame leprechaun in 2018 or 2019. Athletic director Dave Brandon said Wednesday the university will "try to take those two years and make them special for our fans, and do something unique." file photo

Instead, he spoke about the plan to keep Notre Dame on Michigan's schedule through 2017 before taking a two-year hiatus in 2018-19.

During that time, Michigan will be free to do just about anything in terms of high-level scheduling.

The Wolverines could schedule a home-and-home series against an elite-level opponent or, perhaps, tinker with another idea similar to this year's "Cowboys Classic" season-opener against Alabama in Arlington, Texas.

"We're always looking at opportunities," Brandon said. "We don't have anything to announce.

"(But) we're working on it."

As for Notre Dame, Brandon says Michigan will continue to operate under the same agreement it's been under since he took over as Michigan's athletic director.

Once the two-year hiatus ends, Michigan and Notre Dame still fully intend to maintain a football rivalry.

"The plan always was to do the hiatus for '18 and '19 and then resume the rivalry," Brandon said. "That's our plan."

Michigan and Notre Dame took two-year breaks in annual scheduling in 1983-84, 1995-96 and 2000-01.

Brandon says he has no issue with continuing to take periodic breaks from the Notre Dame series down the road, even if he might miss seeing the Fighting Irish on the schedule.

"I think some people will miss the rivalry, and I will, too, because it's such a great game," he said. "But on the other hand, we've done this before. And this gives us an opportunity to look at some other scheduling flexibilities that we wouldn't otherwise be able to look at.

"I'm fine with holding to the spirit of the agreement that was struck before I arrived and we'll try to take those two years and make them special for our fans, and do something unique."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Thu, Jul 5, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

I like these breaks from ND, I'd like to see a break from ohio for 1-2 years. There are lots of possibilities like West Virginia, Arkansas, Stanford, TCU etc and of course there are the more recognizable teams like USC, LSU etc.


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

A break from playing them Columbine boys at OHIO would be a welcome change. Two years without having to listen to their boasting and bragging would be great! It's not easy preparing for such horrible nonsense every year! They are a disgrace to all that is good.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 8:45 a.m.

We should wait and see what happens with Bama before we go asking for another Powerhouse. to win would be an incredible boost, a tight game would not be a negative, but there's the chance of being beat by 40 points on the national stage that keeps me up at night. My only hope is that win or lose, Denard comes back from Dallas in one piece.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

Nope however the bama game turns out win or lose, blow out or not we must keep scheduling the major powerhouse teams for our out of conference games. Play the best, beat the best, be the best. Prove it on the field. We're Michigan Fergodssakes!

Blue Marker

Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

Wow! Okay, 'Bama's good but they're not that good. They lose 18 of 22 starters. You must be thinking of the "other" Greg D-Coordinator Michigan had. I don't think you have to worry about a powerhouse being schedule. Brandon will instead find two meh teams that will both come to Michigan Stadium; he won't do a home-n-home. That's my guess.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

New England Patriots.

Captain Dave

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

Will miss the rivalry game with ND. Please make the 2 game break meaningful by scheduling another national powerhouse like LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, or Texas


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 5:32 a.m.

I dislike the dancing leprechaun kid.

Lifetime AA ND Fan

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

I love our leprechaun! He just needs to bring us some more luck!


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:43 a.m.

I would rather see these inter-conference games after the conference games ....


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

More importantly...This new playoff system will never feature Michigan and Ohio st in it at the same time since after this year I am sure they are going to be playing 2 times every year. Get rid of the Conference Championship games. it was a terrible idea to start with.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

It statically possible for both Ohio and Michigan to finish the season with one loss, only to each other. Depending on the strength of schedule, and other head to heads, both could make the playoffs. There is the notion that SEC will retain the image of being a level above other conferences. That notion will change as recruiting levels off between conferences and coaches move between conferences. Parity of is coming, and the playoffs start three seasons from now. The SEC pushes the four best rule because they believe they'll have a strong shot at getting two teams in the playoffs. By 2015 that is going to prove untrue most seasons. It will be equally untrue for the other conferences for the same reasons.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

It won't be Slippery Rock or a MAC team. Our friends down the road are making a name for themselves with games on ships with POTUS, outdoor hockey, Boise State, and international games. We will follow suit and do something just as memorable.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 8:40 a.m.

@Ted Aarox learned a new word today and was dying to fit it into a sentence, even if it doesnt make a terrible amount of sense. I do believe he is referring to Michigan State playing BASKETBALL on a ship this year while being watched by the [P]resident [O]f [T]he [U]nited [S]tates. how that figures into this conversation i do not know.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:42 a.m.

What do you mean playing POTUS on a ship ? They are playing a football game on a ship ?


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

Washington. Please. I'll be there (in Seattle) decked out in my maize n' blue.

Blue Marker

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 11:22 a.m.

Guys, Michigan has already signed up to play Pac-12 teams, I doubt that's the conference DB goes to. I'll make you a'll be disappointed in whoever DB signs on with. The reason? He'll look for two teams both willing to come to Michigan Stadium instead of doing a home-n-home with one elite opponent. DB is a dollars (not sure about the "sense") sort of guy. He can't stand the idea of leaving that big stadium empty, even if that means scheduling a lesser game for us to pay $95.00 a "seat" to watch. Watch for Boston College and Vandy is those two spots.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 2:11 a.m.

they already dissed the Huskies once about a decade ago.. How 'bout we give the Wolverines a chance to lick the Beavers?


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

Boy, I see some great possibilities here. Maybe some teams like the above mentioned Alabama or LSU or some of the other SEC schools. Or some of the other powerhouses like Texas or Boise State. Or, dare we dream, how about....wait for it....Slippery Rock


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Oh no, another MAC school on the schedule!q