April 27, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis announced on Monday (April 27) that the Spartans have signed contracts for home-and-home football series with West Virginia (2014-15) and Alabama (2016-17). In addition, Hollis announced that Michigan State has signed a letter of intent to extend its series with Notre Dame through the 2025 season, with two-year breaks in 2014-15 and 2020-21.
"First, we're excited about continuing our long-standing relationship with Notre Dame," Hollis said. "It's one of the nation's oldest rivalries, and it's so important from a historical perspective for Michigan State.
"With the first two-year break in the MSU-Notre Dame series, we felt strongly about identifying a non-conference opponent with national appeal, and West Virginia certainly fills that void on our football schedule.
"It's also special to add a tradition-rich program like Alabama to our future schedule," Hollis continued. "Michigan State and Alabama haven't met on the football field yet, but historically there are some strong ties, dating back to the special relationship that Duffy Daugherty and `Bear' Bryant forged more than 50 years ago. That bond between the programs continues today, as Mark Dantonio previously served as an assistant coach under Nick Saban here at Michigan State.
"With both Notre Dame and Alabama on the 2016 and 2017 schedules, there won't be a team in the country that plays a tougher non-conference slate."
The Spartans will kickoff their home-and-home series with West Virginia on Sept. 13, 2014, in the 60,000-seat Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. The Mountaineers will make the return trip to East Lansing. Mich., on Sept. 19, 2015. Michigan State leads the all-time series against West Virginia, 4-0, but the two teams haven't met since the 1942 season.
The first-ever meeting between Michigan State and Alabama is scheduled for Sept. 3, 2016, in the 92,138-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide makes its first appearance in Spartan Stadium on Sept. 2, 2017. Michigan State has posted a 5-7-1 record (.423) against current members of the Southeastern Conference (0-1 vs. Auburn, 1-0 vs. Florida, 0-2 vs. Georgia, 2-2 vs. Kentucky, 0-1 vs. LSU and 2-1-1 vs. Mississippi State). The Spartans haven't played a regular-season game against an SEC opponent since playing both Mississippi State and Kentucky in 1947.
After the current contract with Notre Dame expires after the 2011 game, the Spartans and Irish will meet 10 times over the next 14 seasons. The Michigan State-Notre Dame series began in 1897 and ranks as one of the oldest rivalries in college football. The Irish lead the all-time series 44-27-1; however, the Spartans have won nine of the last 12 meetings. With 27 wins, Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Notre Dame, trailing only USC (32).