Notre Dame's goal was to get an SEC opponent on its future schedule.
It's a goal that's now completed.
Notre Dame announced a two-game home-and-home series with Georgia on Wednesday, with the Irish hosting the Bulldogs in South Bend on Sept. 9, 2017 and traveling to Athens on Sept. 21, 2019. Notre Dame hasn't played an SEC opponent in the regular season since facing Tennessee in South Bend in 2005.
“As our football schedules evolved with the start of our Atlantic Coast Conference competition in 2014, we had future games slated with top-drawer opponents in virtually all the major conferences,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. “One exception was the Southeastern Conference, so we are pleased now to be able to check that box. These will be two contests that will have great national appeal, in part because our only previous matchup came in a bowl game.”
That previous matchup came in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, which Georgia won 17-10.
Notre Dame has road games scheduled against Michigan State in 2017 and Texas in 2019, meaning they'll face four opponents from four power conferences each of those years (with the ACC and Pac-12 as permanent fixtures). The hope, Swarbrick said in December, is to give the College Football Playoff selection committee a measuring stick for how well Notre Dame matches up against big-time opponents -- which certainly will be accomplished by scheduling a series with a powerful school from college football's most powerful conference.
“These are two very attractive football games against a Georgia program that also has impressive history and tradition," coach Brian Kelly said. "(Georgia coach) Mark Richt has done an excellent job keeping that program at the forefront, both in the SEC and nationally."