Notre Dame football releases kickoff times for 2017 season

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

The evolution of Notre Dame football’s relationship with NBC adds a new wrinkle in its 27th season of existence — a 5 p.m. EDT kickoff.

Perhaps more an oddity than a highlight on the 2017 seven-game home schedule released Thursday, the Sept. 30 date with Miami (Ohio) doesn’t quite qualify as a night game. It also won’t be shown by the regular NBC affiliates but rather by cable/satellite sibling NBC Sports Network.

That’s the first time an Irish home game has been bumped to the smaller network, which is unavailable to 29 percent of the nation’s 116.4 television households. The 2015 Shamrock Series game between ND and Boston College at Fenway Park, a TV ratings disaster, also appeared on NBCSN.

The Irish do have two primetime home games, for the third year in a now. This season, that’s the Sept. 9 clash with Georgia — the first regular-season meeting between the Irish and an SEC team since 2005 — and the latest rendition of the USC rivalry on Oct. 21. Both have 7:30 EDT starts.

The other four home games align in the typical 3:30 Eastern Time slot.

All home games except the first football meeting between ND and Miami (Ohio) since 1909 will be on the regular NBC Network.

The grand opening of the Campus Crossroads Project, with a slightly smaller stadium capacity (roughly 78,000 down from 80,795) but lots of bells and whistles, will be a Sept. 2 home date with Temple. Because ND officials wanted to maximize home games in 2017, the Shamrock Series, as was previously announced, will take a hiatus.

The new tweak along those lines is that it isn’t necessarily coming back in 2018. An ND spokesman said the Irish will play a Shamrock Series contest — in essence an off-site home game — in either 2018 or 2019, but not both.

The kickoffs for ND’s five road games have yet to be determined.

That’s also the case for all the games in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, with both of those schedules being released in full for the first time on Thursday.

The Irish open 2018 with a bang, as Michigan comes to town for the Sept. 1 season opener in the first meeting between the FBS’ two winningest programs since 2014.

Ball State, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Pitt, Florida State and Syracuse round out the 2018 home schedule. The Irish in 2019 host New Mexico — in a possible reunion with former Irish head coach Bob Davie — along with Virginia, Bowling Green, USC, Virginia Tech, Navy and Boston College.

That schedule will feature two bye weeks.

The Oct. 12 game with USC that year will match the 1963 meeting as the earliest on the calendar — home or away — since the series started in 1926.

2017 Notre Dame Football Schedule

Home Games in CAPS. All times Eastern.

Sept. 2 TEMPLE 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 9 GEORGIA 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Boston College TBA

Sept. 23 at Michigan State TBA

Sept. 30 MIAMI (OHIO) 5 p.m.

Oct. 7 at North Carolina TBA

Oct. 14 Bye

Oct. 21 USC 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 28 N.C. STATE 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 4 WAKE FOREST 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 11 at Miami (Fla.) TBA

Nov. 18 NAVY 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 25 at Stanford TBA

2018 Notre Dame Football Schedule

Sept. 1 MICHIGAN

Sept. 8 BALL STATE

Sept. 15 VANDERBILT

Sept. 22 at Wake Forest

Sept. 29 STANFORD

Oct. 6 at Virginia Tech

Oct. 13 PITTSBURGH

Oct. 20 Bye

Oct. 27 at Navy (in San Diego)

Nov. 3 at Northwestern

Nov. 10 FLORIDA STATE

Nov. 17 SYRACUSE

Nov. 24 at USC

2019 Notre Dame Football Schedule

Sept. 2 at Louisville

Sept. 7 Bye

Sept. 14 NEW MEXICO

Sept. 21 at Georgia

Sept. 28 VIRGINIA

Oct. 5 BOWLING GREEN

Oct. 12 USC

Oct. 19 Bye

Oct. 26 at Michigan

Nov. 2 VIRGINIA TECH

Nov. 9 at Duke

Nov. 16 NAVY

Nov. 23 BOSTON COLLEGE

Nov. 30 at Stanford

Notre Dame players run into the tunnel after warmups before the Notre Dame-Michigan State game on Monday, Sept. 17, 2016. (Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)