Ball State will travel to Notre Dame for a game in 2018, the school announced Monday. The game will take place on Sept. 8.
The Cardinals are the seventh announced opponent of the Irish for the 2018 season. The Irish had announced their 2014-16 schedules all at once late in 2013, and this past fall they had announced their ACC opponents by year and location through the 2025 season.
There are plenty of connections between Notre Dame and Ball State, most notably in the athletic administration arm: BSU deputy athletic director Brian Hardin moved to Muncie, Indiana, in 2013 after serving as Notre Dame's director of football media relations. And Hardin had worked at BSU under AD Bill Scholl, who had joined the Cardinals after serving as Notre Dame's deputy AD. (Scholl is now Marquette's AD.)
Credit to the Irish for taking care of their own, something they have done in the past when it comes to scheduling: This fall Notre Dame will play UMass, which at the time of the game's announcement was coached by former Irish offensive coordinator Charley Molnar. Notre Dame also plays Nevada in 2016, which is led by former Irish special teams coach Brian Polian, who had been the main recruiter of Manti Te'o upon his commitment to the Irish in 2009. Then there is a 2017 meeting with Miami (Ohio), which is coached by former Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin.
With Ball State in the fold for 2018, here are the announced dates for the Irish that fall:
Sept. 8: Ball State
Sept. 22: Syracuse
Oct. 13: at Virginia Tech
Oct. 20: Pitt
Nov. 3: at Northwestern
Nov. 10: Florida State
Nov. 17: at Wake Forest