Notre Dame Resumption Official

Submitted by Brian on July 7th, 2016 at 12:07 PM


[Eric Upchurch]

Per MGoBlue:

The Michigan-Notre Dame football series will resume on Sept. 1, 2018, when the Irish host the Wolverines in the season opener before a Oct. 26, 2019, date at Michigan Stadium.

As the previous post notes I'm surprised that it's at ND in 2018, from the perspective of both teams. I'd rather have ND on the schedule than Arkansas no matter which team gets a home date. Meanwhile having the ND game 2019 in the meat of the conference schedule is odd. Michigan has Penn State before that game and Maryland after.


Trader Jack

July 7th, 2016 at 12:24 PM ^

This is unbelievable. What is Manuel doing? The last game was in South Bend, but we're cancelling a different home and home (Arkansas) just to play ND on the road in 2018 for the second time in a row? This isn't that hard; MSU/OSU/ND should never all be road games in the same year. Warde really screwed this up with terrible schedule construction.

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July 7th, 2016 at 12:37 PM ^

is coming from a place of being "afraid" of Notre Dame.  This is just a matter of a "pro" list vs. a "con" list when you look at it.  Playing Notre Dame is cool.  Losing this badly in terms of the logistics and pragmatics of the deal is not a good look at all.


July 7th, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

I guess I should be kinda grateful that OH GOD WE GOTTA PLAY IN SOUTH BEND IN 2018 EVERYBODY PANIC is, like, the worst thing to happen to the program in over a year.

Toasted Yosties

July 7th, 2016 at 12:40 PM ^

Very pathetic. I mean, yes, it's not the best situation, but the world is not ending. It's a tough schedule in 2018, but if we lose one and win the rest, finish 11-1, we're playoff bound. If anything, I bet Harbaugh is loving this. This will motivate players. It seems imaginable that we will have a top SOS...time to leverage that into a playoff spot. And few things top beating ND in South Bend.


July 7th, 2016 at 12:25 PM ^

Not a fan of having ND in the heart of our B1G schedule. Not sure why they can't play it on Sept. 7?? Both teams have an opening that week...

Also, here are your 2018 Home Games:







I guess it'd be a decent slate if it was 1999...

Kermits Blue Key

July 7th, 2016 at 12:31 PM ^

Not to mention we just had a recruit (can't remember which one) make some comment about how he wanted to officially visit for the MSU or OSU game, but both were on the road. Here we had a chance to somewhat mitigate that problem by adding ND, yet seemingly made it worse. This is just dumb from so many angles.

Hail Harbo

July 7th, 2016 at 1:40 PM ^

For one thing ND plays Lousiville on 9/2, so no way they'll agree to another game five days later.  For another, evidently Michigan is to play Army on 9/7.  So there's that.  However, Michigan does have an open date on 9/14, Manuel should have told ND to make their date with New Mexico go away so that they would also have an open date on 9/14.  Seems only fair, that if Michigan is making the Arkansas games go away, ND should make at least some pretense of sacrifice.


July 7th, 2016 at 12:36 PM ^

It should be interesting to break in a new QB on the road in 2018. Also, it's amazing that they could make a decision that leaves 90+% of fans going WTF. It doesn't make sense competitively and it doesn't make sense for the season ticket holders.

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July 7th, 2016 at 12:27 PM ^

this series REALLY needs to be an every-other-year thing to

!. keep the rivalry alive

2.  allow for other top team scheduling

3. balance the schedule

4.  keep ND from bending us over (oops too late)


July 7th, 2016 at 12:27 PM ^

Playing Arkansas at home in 2018, Michigan would have had up to eight home games that year (five BIG home games).  Playing Arkansas away in 2019, Michigan would have had at most six home games that year (four BIG home games).

Playing at South Bend in 2018 (i.e. switching the 2018 Arkansas home game with a Notre Dame away game) could be a means for smoothing out the home/away breakdown for those two years (i.e. seven home games in both 2018 and 2019 vs. the eight and six setup).

Fandom-wise, it’s sub-optimal for Michigan to play at Columbus, East Lansing, and South Bend in the same year.  Nobody is debating this.  Revenue-wise, it could be that playing in South Bend in 2018 is better overall for the AD’s year-to-year cash management.  Regardless of how many home games there are in a given year, the AD will always have fixed working capital requirements and debt-service payments relating to prior financing on capex (i.e. stadium upgrades, Crisler Center, other capital projects, etc.).  Without having the numbers in front of me, it is a possibility that the extra revenue generated from premium games such as OSU and MSU aren’t enough to offset not having a seventh game (which would be the case in 2019).  It could also be that the discounted opportunity cost of not having the seventh home game in 2019 exceeds the lost revenue of removing a premium home game in 2018.

I have a pretty neutral opinion of Manuel (to me, he’s “just a guy”), but a lot of people seem to want to jump the gun on him.  Scheduling Notre Dame away in 2018 doesn’t necessarily make him stupid or a bad AD.  His hands are absolutely tied.  Having both OSU and MSU at home during four BIG home game years is the absolute worst-case scenario for Michigan (I’m actually trying to figure out why Brandon would agree to box himself into a six home game year (even if OSU and MSU are at home)).  Short of convincing the rest of the BIG to revamp the 2018 and 2019 conference schedule by allowing us to split OSU and MSU home games into different years (or moving the OSU/MSU home years to the years where Michigan has five BIG home games), I’m not sure Manuel had a good option either way.

Whatever, hopefully the next time the schedule is made (or there is realignment), Manuel won’t have been such a d*ck that the other ADs allegedly go out of their way to screw Michigan.


July 7th, 2016 at 3:03 PM ^

Fair point.  "Hands are absolutely tied" was probably not the best statement.

My point is that there is a distinct possiblity that the home and home with Arkansas was going to get moved/reversed/changed regardless.  Otherwise, to squeeze seven games of revenue into six games, the AD would have to raise prices for football (by at least 17% total over the entire season).  Not sure the fanbase would like kindly upon this.

All three rivals away in the same year is a bad thing.  No doubt about it.

I do, however, like that Manuel fixed the six-home-game issue in '19.  Also, I would rather see Michigan play Notre Dame than Arkansas.  Obviously, there are disagreements on the relative merits and drawbacks of the arrangement, but this is just my opinion.

The FannMan

July 7th, 2016 at 6:56 PM ^

If you improve the schedule by adding balance and good programs I will gladly pay 17% more. Getting bent over by ND, adding the inevitable game against EMU to fill the hole and having to pay for shitty games every other year to keep my seats does not qualify.

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July 7th, 2016 at 3:10 PM ^

True, Michigan could have asked Arkansas to flip the '18/'19 schedule.  If I'm Jeff Long, I probably would have asked Michigan for $2MM to do this :)

The issue then is that Michigan is still playing Arkansas instead of Notre Dame.  Just my opinion, but I see that as the worse option.

I don't see a problem with killing two birds with one stone.  Manuel was able to get Notre Dame back on the schedule and able to get those '18/'19 home/away games fixed.


July 7th, 2016 at 2:57 PM ^

I thought we were done doing everything for the last marginal dollar at the expense of everything else.

This decision makes no sense other than $$.

Even then, it does not make much sense with a $2M buyout and the fact that we would have gotten the extra home game anyway.

So, I got nothing.  This decision makes no sense other than ND made us sell out just to put them on the schedule.

Should have been the other way around if you ask me.


July 7th, 2016 at 4:03 PM ^

There is a difference between "doing everything for the last marginal dollar at the expense of everything else" and making decisions based on financial considerations.

Brandon was the king of the marginal dollar (e.g. banning seat cushions, banning water bottles, putting a giant noodle outside Michigan Stadium, etc.).  This was unnecessary as the harm in fanbase goodwill greatly outweighed whatever extra revenue (of which I assume was probably minimal considering how dumb those ideas were) was generated.

There are very prudent reasons, however, for why an athletic department would want to smooth out revenues.  The AD's bills don't magically decrease simply because the football team only had six home games that year.  Consistent revenues are preferable from a budgeting standpoint and a capital planning standpoint (things that theoretically should benefit the student-athletes and the fans).

Just because an athletic department makes financial decisions doesn't necessarily mean that it is nickle-and-diming its fanbase.  Running a major Power 5 football program (which also basically supports 20+ other varsity sports) sometimes requires agreeing to shitty things to benefit the overall organization.

The extra game (revenue) in '18 has no bearing on fixing the decrease in '19 cash flows.  Sure, the AD could hold proceeds from the extra home game in '18 in reserve (not likely though).  Yes, the $2MM buyout changes the equation and it sucks.  I obviously don't have the AD's budget forecasts so I have no idea where that fits.  Maybe you're right and it messes up the entire analysis.

It could be true that Manuel is a complete dipshit who just got owned by Swarbrick.  I would imagine that a lot of thought was put into this, and in my view, I can at least see some logical rationale behind the whole thing.


July 7th, 2016 at 12:28 PM ^

Warde's fumbling of this scheduling might benefit me personally in the end: season ticket holders might not find value in paying for a decent schedule every other year and abandon ship, resorting to online vendors for individual games, thus lowering the price for season tickets at about the same time I anticipate having the financial means to allow me to buy said tickets.


Now I play the waiting game....

Hardware Sushi

July 7th, 2016 at 2:04 PM ^

If given the choice, I'd rather not play Notre Dame than have this shit.

I'm not sure which part I'm more pissed about - the fact that the 2018 schedule looks terrible (as of now) and we start the season at ND or that we're playing them in the middle of the Big Ten schedule in 2019.

PLAY CUPCAKES IN THE FIRST GAME AND MIDDLE OF THE CONFERENCE SEASON. Don't schedule ND at the beginning of the season or right in between a couple of divisional matchups.

Unless MSU is switched in 2018, this is a colossal fuck up on our AD's part. I still won't very happy about it. And if we lose Texas, Washington, Oklahoma and UCLA because we're playing ND, I don't know what I'll do (honestly, I'll probably do nothing and just be pissed because what am I really going to do anyway?).


July 7th, 2016 at 12:40 PM ^

"Michigan Man" disease seems to be alive and well with the Warde hiring in retrospect. Oh well. Harbadger don't care bout poisonous snakes or imbalanced schedules.

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July 7th, 2016 at 12:45 PM ^

I'm hoping Warde has OSU or MSU flipping back so that this will make sense. If not, I just don't see how this can be viewed any other way than that ND bent Warde over


July 7th, 2016 at 12:47 PM ^

Why are we starting there??? Didn't we play the last game there? We have an open home date in 2018? All three rivalry games on the road in the same year?

Warde fucked this up.

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July 7th, 2016 at 12:49 PM ^

Everyone in the comments sections so far has been criticizing Warde Manuel, but why is none directed at Jim Harbaugh?

Harbaugh's contract states that he has input into scheduling and it's been clear for some time now that he wanted to put Notre Dame back on the schedule as soon as possible.  Were his devout Catholic beliefs a motivator for doing it?  I think that's a question worth asking

Well, he (and Manuel) genuflected in the direction of South Bend and now U-M has a couple of schedules in 2018/9 that have gone from good enough to quality for the four-team playoff with the home-and-homes against Arkansas to open each season to one that's been made markedly more difficult (including a game against ND in the midst of the 2019 conference schedule).  

We also see a revisit of what happened in 2012/3 when Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State were all home or road games, expect the 2018/9 versions include ND, OSU and Michigan State.  OTOH, it also now means the 2018 and 2019 seasons with both have seven home games (instead of the current six and eight).

So what next regarding Notre Dame and the post-2019 non-conference schedules?  Do one or both of Washington and Virginia Tech get axed in 2020/1?  What about UCLA in 2022/3?  Michigan has two blue chip programs in Texas (2024/7) and Oklahoma (2025/6) on the schedule--do those games get set aside so that Harbaugh gets anotehr couple games with Notre Dame?


9/1 at Notre Dame 
9/8 TBA (Home Game) 
9/15 SMU 
9/22 Nebraska 
9/29 at Northwestern 
10/6 Maryland 
10/13 Wisconsin 
10/20 at Michigan State 
10/27 Open 
11/3 Penn State 
11/10 at Rutgers 
11/17 Indiana 
11/24 at Ohio State 


8/31 TBA (Home Game) or Open 
9/7 Army 
9/14 TBA (Home Game) or Open 
9/21 at Wisconsin 
9/28 Rutgers (moved from 10/26) 
10/5 Iowa 
10/12 at Illinois 
10/19 at Penn State 
10/26 Notre Dame 
11/2 at Maryland 
11/9 Open 
11/16 Michigan State 
11/23 at Indiana 
11/30 Ohio State 

Hardware Sushi

July 7th, 2016 at 2:11 PM ^

Because Manual is AD - he is still the boss. It's his job to think like an AD. He is allowed to tell Jim "We can't do ND that year." if what you're describing indeed happened.

Jim Harbaugh is head coach. He thinks like a head coach. Harbaugh might want to play Notre Dame and two other blue bloods every year because he's that type of person. He just came from the NFL where it's a grind every week. That doesn't mean it's a good idea.

That also doesn't mean Manual just goes "A-OK coach. I'll get right on that." It's his job to use his brain. Shit, why doesn't Harbaugh just run everything football related if Manual is just going to say yes to everything Harbaugh wants?