Football

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Notre Dame, Alabama Reach Agreement for Football Games in 2028 and 2029

April 19, 2018

NOTRE DAME, Indiana - The University of Notre Dame and University of Alabama, featuring two of the most storied traditions in college football, have agreed to a two-year, home-and-home football series beginning in 2028.

“This series speaks to Notre Dame's commitment to play against the best that college football has to offer,” said Notre Dame vice president and James E. Rohr director of athletics Jack Swarbrick. “With the addition of Alabama, 12 different programs that have participated in New Year's Six bowl games since the inception of the College Football Playoff in 2014-15 have appeared or will appear on Notre Dame’s schedule, including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State and Michigan State — all of which have earned a berth to the CFP semifinals. College football and our fans benefit when the sport's best programs play each other. We are thrilled to join Alabama in making sure that continues to happen.”

“Notre Dame and Alabama. That alone will get people excited, but we’re also opening the season against each other, playing on campus and the Irish will make their first-ever trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium,” said Brian Kelly, Dick Corbett Head Football Coach at the University of Notre Dame. “It’s just a really cool matchup and will be a great experience for everyone involved.”

The Irish and Crimson Tide will play Sept. 2, 2028, at Notre Dame Stadium, and Sept. 1, 2029, at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. These two contests will mark the first regular-season meetings between Notre Dame and Alabama since a two-game series in 1986 and 1987.

The Irish and Crimson Tide rank No. 2 and No. 1 all-time in national championships in the Associated Press poll era (since 1936), No. 4 and No. 2 all-time in AP poll No. 1 appearances, No. 4 and No. 5 all-time in AP poll appearances, No. 6 and No. 5 all-time in Division I victories and No. 4 and No. 5 all-time in Division I winning percentage.

 

 

The Irish will make their first appearance in Tuscaloosa. The previous road meetings were both played in Birmingham (Legion Field in 1980 and 1986). The Crimson Tide will make their third trip to Notre Dame Stadium (1976 and 1987).

Notre Dame and Alabama have played on six previous occasions, with the Irish leading the series 5-1. Notre Dame defeated Alabama 21-18 in 1976 in Notre Dame Stadium, 7-0 in 1980 at Birmingham’s Legion Field and 37-6 in 1987 in Notre Dame Stadium. Alabama’s only win over Notre Dame came in 1986 (Lou Holtz's first season at Notre Dame) in a 28-10 victory at Legion Field in Birmingham.

Notre Dame and Alabama played for the national championship in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Second-ranked and unbeaten Notre Dame knocked off top-ranked and unbeaten Alabama, 24-23, at old Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

Notre Dame knocked off another undefeated, this time second-ranked, Alabama squad 13-11 in the 1975 Orange Bowl in Ara Parseghian’s final game as Irish head coach.

The Irish have played Southeastern Conference members on 46 previous occasions and hold an all-time record of 28-18. The most prominent opponents for Notre Dame has been LSU (12 games), Tennessee (eight) and Alabama (six). The Irish 12 times have faced a current SEC member in a postseason bowl game — four times against LSU, three times versus Texas A&M (the A&M games came when the Aggies played in the Southwest Conference), twice versus Alabama and one each against Georgia and Florida.

The Notre Dame-Alabama games are the latest in a series of two-year, home-and-home scheduling agreements for the Irish — following previous announcements of games against Texas (2015 and 2016), Georgia (2017 and 2019), Michigan (2018 and 2019), Ohio State (2022 and 2023), Texas A&M (2024 and 2025) and Arkansas (2020 and 2025).

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