College football practice has started all over the country, getting ready for some big games as the season shakes itself out. No game will be bigger than the renewed rivalry between Michigan and Notre Dame.
Mark September 1 on your calendar.
While most everyone else will play a non-league, cupcake opponent opening weekend, two Titans in the sport will renew one of the most storied rivalries in all of sport.
The two teams, and their coaches, couldn’t be more different.
Jim Harbaugh, who leads his alma mater, has Michigan thinking big after a disappointing 2018. The Wolverines struggled on offense, especially getting quality production out of their quarterback position. That should change with the transfer of Ole Miss standout Shea Patterson. Patterson is experienced, savvy, athletic, and is not afraid. He lit up the SEC last season.
Notre Dame, led by Brian Kelly, is the polar opposite of Michigan. While both defenses will be very good, the Irish will run more of a spread formation on offense, using Brandon Wimbush at QB. The Irish are coming off an impressive Citrus Bowl victory against LSU, so they hope to carry that end-of-the-year momentum from 2017 right into the 2018 season.
Tough scheduling puts these two teams on the slate first week of the year. The winner immediately gets themselves in contention for the College Football Playoff, while the losing faces an uphill battle the rest of the season.