When Notre Dame opted out of their contract with Michigan for a series of football games, there were some bitter feelings on both sides of the historic college football rivalry.

It seems that is all water under the bridge, as the two winningest college football programs in history are reportedly set to renew their rivalry in 2018.

Ryan Krasnoo of Sports Illustrated reported (via Twitter) on Wednesday night the two schools have reached an agreement to renew the series in 2018, with an official announcement coming as soon as today.

This news is not all that surprising given the nuggets coming from both sides about the possibility of reviving the series, which was last played in 2014. Michiagn head coach Jim Harbaugh and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly have each spoken out in some degree of favor of bringing the series back, and with Michigan hiring a new permanent athletics director in Warde Manuel, it appears this was one of the first items on the to-do list. His predecessor, Dave Brandon, suggested it would be a long time before Michigan ever scheduled Notre Dame again. So much for that.

Notre Dame opted out of its contract with Michigan the previous year the week the two schools played as it transitioned into the ACC in non-football sports and agreed to a scheduling arrangement with the ACC. The two schools previously signed a 20-year extension of their contract in 2011. At the time, Notre Dame proclaimed Michigan was nice, but the Irish had other rivalries they held higher on their schedule; USC, Stanford and Navy. Keeping those three series going was a priority and the guaranteed five games each season against ACC opponents started to eat up the scheduling possibilities for the Irish. Michigan rolled off the schedule, as did Michigan State. Coincidentally, if not in spite, Notre Dame later added a future series against Michigan’s chief rival, Ohio State, to its future schedule.

It is worth reminding you the Big Ten has a new scheduling policy to adhere to for non-conference games. The Big Ten mandates each member must schedule one game per season against another power conference opponent. Notre Dame satisfies that requirement for the Wolverines in whatever year or years Notre Dame appears on the schedule. Michigan was previously scheduled to host Arkansas in 2018, but that game has apparently been scrapped (perhaps to make room for the Irish).

As of now, Michigan is still scheduled for a road game at Arkansas in 2019, although the status for the series overall remains in question at the moment. The Wolverines also have future home-and-home deals in place with Virginia Tech, Washington, UCLA, Texas and Oklahoma. And now Notre Dame, it appears.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.