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November 6, 2012When Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick informed the Michigan athletic department that the rivalry between the two would end after the 2014 season, the Wolverines had some scheduling to do.
And schedule, they have.
The Michigan athletic department announced it has completed its 2015 and 2016 schedules, finding replacement games for the Fighting Irish's absence with some intriguing matchups.
The Wolverines also announced a home-and-home series with Arkansas, which will take place in 2018 and 2019.
BYU will take Notre Dame's place on the 2015 schedule, Sept. 26. The Wolverines and Cougars have met just once before, a 24-17 BYU win in the 1984 Holiday Bowl.
That season, Michigan finished a disappointing 6-6, the worst record of legendary coach Bo Schembechler's career. BYU's win capped a perfect 13-0 season, and the Cougars were named 1984 National Champions.
Michigan has already announced three nonconference games for the 2015 season: at Utah (Sept. 3, a Thursday), vs. Oregon State (Sept. 12) and vs. UNLV (Sept. 19).
Three games have been announced for the 2016 season, all at home: vs. Hawaii (Sept. 3), vs. Miami (Ohio) (Sept. 10) and vs. Ball State. A game vs. Colorado (Sept. 17) was previously announced.
The Wolverines have played the Warriors twice, both times at Hawaii for the last game of the regular season. In 1986, they beat Hawaii 27-10. In 1998, they beat Hawaii 48-17.
Michigan has a perfect 5-0 record against the RedHawks. The two teams met most recently in 2008, a 16-6 Michigan win. The two teams will also meet in 2014.
The Wolverines have played Ball State just once, in 2006, when now-Michigan coach Brady Hoke was the Cardinals' head honcho. Hoke and Ball State nearly pulled off the upset, falling 34-26.
When Michigan thought the Notre Dame rivalry would be a longstanding affair, the athletic department requested a two-year hiatus with the Fighting Irish in 2018 and 2019 to schedule a big-name home-and-home series.
It appears as though the games against the Razorbacks will be those games. Michigan will host Arkansas on Sept. 1, 2018, the season opener. The return trip the following year will also be the season opener (Aug 31, 2019).
The two teams have met just once before, in the 1999 Citrus Bowl. The Wolverines came from behind to win 45-31.