Alabama, Notre Dame finalize future home-and-home series

Alabama and Notre Dame have not played since the 2013 BCS National Championship. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Mark your calendars: two of the premier programs in college football announced a future home-and-home series.

Well, by the time they play calendars may have been phased out.

Anywho, as previously reported, Alabama and Notre Dame will indeed meet on the gridiron with the Crimson Tide traveling to South Bend to kick off the 2028 season and the Fighting Irish making the return trip to Tuscaloosa to open the 2029 campaign.

“It doesn’t get more tradition-rich than Alabama and Notre Dame when it comes to college football,” said Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne. “What a great opportunity this is for our program and for our fans to kick off the 2028 and 2029 seasons.”

Added Alabama head coach Nick Saban: “We are excited to be able to add a home-and-home series with a team like Notre Dame. Alabama and Notre Dame represent two of the most storied programs in college football history. What a great opportunity for our team and our fans to be able to witness these teams play in two of the sport’s most iconic venues in Tuscaloosa and South Bend.”

Non-conference scheduling has gotten better in college football in recent years, but almost all of the marquee games are held at neutral sites, so it’s refreshing to see a series at two iconic venues — Notre Dame Stadium and Bryant-Denny Stadium — come to fruition, even if the games are a decade down the road.

Alabama has not played a non-conference home-and-home series since it had Penn State on the schedule in 2010 and 2011. The Tide swept those two games and has a 49-6 record against opponents outside the SEC during Saban’s tenure.

Alabama has future non-conference games scheduled against Louisville (2018, in Orlando), Duke (2019, in Atlanta) and Miami (2021, in Atlanta), but nothing on campus.

In the case of Notre Dame, its status as an independent, coupled with its arrangement with the ACC, means there are many games already penciled into future schedules. The Fighting Irish have ACC opponents locked in through 2037 and have regular opponents like USC, Stanford and Navy locked in. Notre Dame also has games scheduled with Michigan (2018), Vanderbilt (2018), Georgia (2019), Wisconsin (2020 at Lambeau Field), Arkansas (2020), North Carolina (2021), Ohio State (home-and-home: 2022 and 2023) and Texas A&M (home-and-home: 2024 and 2025) on the horizon.

The fact that all of those contracts are already in place probably pushed the Alabama series back at least a few seasons.

The teams have previously played seven times dating back to 1973, with Notre Dame claiming five victories. The most recent meeting was the 2013 BCS title game — a 42-14 Alabama win.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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