It’s become almost a tradition for the Michigan-Notre Dame game to be a nighttime affair, and it could potentially be happening again this fall.

This week, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel joined the In the Trenches podcast with Jon Jansen and talked about the potential of a night game against Notre Dame. The Wolverines are eligible to host two primetime games this season, one of which has already been scheduled, as they host Middle Tennessee on Saturday, Aug. 31.

“It’s all within the first 10 weeks of the season, counting any byes,” Manuel said on the podcast. “Notre Dame falls into that, but Michigan State does not. So (MSU) will either be a noon or 3:30 start.


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“And if it does after that — because the two ADs have to agree to do it — I’m not interested in playing night games.”

Michigan and Notre Dame have played under the lights each of the last five meetings. Last year’s season opener in South Bend also had a nighttime kickoff.

Six of Michigan’s kickoff times have already been announced, with five being noon starts:

  • Sept. 7: vs. Army — 12 p.m. (FOX)
  • Sept. 21: at Wisconsin — 12 p.m. (FOX)
  • Oct. 5: vs. Iowa — 12 p.m. (TBD)
  • Nov. 2: at Maryland — 12 p.m. (TBD)
  • Nov. 30: vs. Ohio State — 12 p.m. (FOX)

Manuel says he’s more interested in playing games during the day, but admits that a night kickoff against the Fighting Irish could happen.

“It is a possibility,” Manuel said. “In general, I prefer to play during the day time. I understand television is important, in particular financially, to members of our league and to us. There could be another night game. That is certainly true.”