Jim Harbaugh 'open' to renewing Michigan-Notre Dame series

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is open to the possibility of renewing the Notre Dame-Michigan football series. Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly is open to it, too.

But the negotiations won't play out in public, if Harbaugh has anything to do with it.

"I'd probably have a conversation with coach Kelly about that before (I had one with) anyone else, that'd be the best course of action," Harbaugh said, according to MLive. "But I would be open to it, yes."

Kelly told The Rich Eisen Show last week that the possibility of the series renewing is "trending up," but added that he isn't part of the discussions that must be held to make it happen. The 42-game series (Michigan leads 24-17-1) is being interrupted this season. It was played every year from 2001 to 2014, but in 2012, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick gave Michigan a contractually required three-year notice that the Fighting Irish were dropping Michigan from their schedule.

The move was spurred by Notre Dame's agreement to take on five ACC opponents per season, and its insistence on maintaining meetings with other non-conference rivalries, such as USC.

A home-and-home contract between two major college programs can be years, not months, in materializing, so this season isn't going to be the only year the series will have to wait. Michigan already has its three non-conference opponents set for 2016: Hawaii, Central Florida and Buffalo.

They won't play anytime soon, unless it's in a bowl game.

But whenever it happens, a college football schedule that needs as many marquee non-conference matchups as it can get will be better for it.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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