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Michigan football exploring various options to replace Notre Dame on schedule

With Notre Dame matchups off the schedule starting in 2015, the Michigan Wolverines are shopping around for other opponents to fill that void.

Jonathan Daniel

The Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are scheduled to play in 2013 and 2014, Michigan has open spots on the schedule in the three seasons after that due to ND exercising its three-year opt out to effectively end the annual rivalry series in 2015.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has not announced a timetable for replacing those games with new opponents, but he is actively searching for top competition, according to

"The key thing for us is to try and make sure we're playing in a venue that gives our fans access, and economically, provides us the best opportunity that justifies going on the road.

"We put 110 or 112,000 people every game in our venue, it's hard to go play in front of 35,000 people."

Brandon added that the new matchup will be designed to create a buzz and get people excited even in the wake of losing a top rival: "We want to try to create a 'wow' game that will really excite our fans and give our players something to really get jazzed up about."

Notre Dame is headed to the ACC, and it's hard to see a regular series with the school sticking in the future. As far as storied rivalries go, it's hard to do better than Michigan vs. Notre Dame, as the two programs rank first and second in all-time in winning percentage.