Two days before Notre Dame's final scheduled meeting with Michigan, the school announced a home-and-home series with the Wolverines' biggest rival.
Notre Dame will play Ohio State Sept. 3, 2022 in Columbus and Sept. 23, 2023 in South Bend as part of the two-game series. Notre Dame and Ohio State have only played five times in their respective histories, with the last meeting in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, which Ohio State won, 34-20. The first meeting between the two schools came in 1935, a contest billed as a "Game of the Century."
“I am excited we are able once again to bring these two programs together on the football field,” Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick said. “Football games between Notre Dame and Ohio State make great sense from a strength-of-schedule standpoint. In addition, with (Ohio State athletics director) Gene Smith having both played and coached football at Notre Dame — and with (Ohio State head coach) Urban Meyer having served as an assistant football coach at Notre Dame — there are some obvious, high-profile connections between our two institutions.”
When Swarbrick announced Notre Dame's 2014-2016 schedule in December, he said the goal for the future schedules would be to provide "markers" for the College Football Playoff selection committee to grade the Irish against other conferences. Notre Dame has built into its future schedules five games against ACC teams and two against Pac-12 sides (Stanford and USC). Over the next decade, Notre Dame has home-and-home series against strong programs from the Big Ten (Michigan State in 2016 and 2017, Ohio State in 2022 and 2023), Big 12 (Texas in 2015 and 2016; and for now 2019 and 2020) and SEC (Georgia in 2017 and 2019).
Those are the kind of strength-of-schedule reference points Swarbrick and coach Brian Kelly have worked to give the Irish while maintaining football independence. At the least, Michigan coach Brady Hoke probably can't call out Notre Dame for "chickening out" of playing top Big Ten opponents anymore.
“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,” coach Brian Kelly said. “For fans and alumni of the two schools, not to mention college football fans in general, these games will be great attractions.”