Notre Dame football revives rivalry with Michigan State after nearly a decade

Notre Dame football and Michigan State revive their historic rivalry, playing for the first time since 2017, with games set for 2026 and 2027.

College football conference realignment has led to the death of dozens of some of the  best rivalries in the sport. Notre Dame football has been the victim of a few of those and will almost certainly be a victim of a few more in the next couple of years.

That’s why it’s always nice to see a revival of a rivalry, even if it’s only for a couple of games. Earlier this week, the Fighting Irish announced that the series against the Michigan State Spartans is being revived. And the best news of all is that it is being revived relatively soon.

The Notre Dame football team will take on the Spartans for the first time since 2017 in 2026. The two teams will face off again in 2027. In other words, they’ll be playing for the first time in almost a decade. And the weirdest part is that this rivalry is reuniting before the Irish series against the Michigan Wolverines.

Notre Dame football revives hundred-year-old rivalry for first time in a decade

Notre Dame and Michigan State have met 79 times, with the first contest played in 1897. Since 1949, the winner has been presented the Megaphone Trophy, sponsored jointly by the Detroit alumni clubs of both schools. It was announced that trophy will also be part of the two contests, the first in South Bend and the second in East Lansing.

The fall of 2026 will mark the 60th anniversary of the famous "Game of the Century" 10-10 tie between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 19, 1966, in Spartan Stadium.

It should come as no surprise that the Notre Dame football leads the rivalry series by a healthy margin. The Fighting Irish have a 47-29-1 record against the Spartans. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this game is that it will be during a period of time when new MSU head coach Jonathan Smith will have his regime really established.