2018 was a season to remember in South Bend, as the Fighting Irish ran the table in the regular season to secure their first College Football Playoff birth. And as we look ahead to next season, 2019 has the potential to be just as memorable - with a slate full of incredible match-ups standing between Notre Dame and a second straight trip to the postseason. But if you're getting ready to plan your game day getaway... which of these huge games should you choose?
Here are three biggest match-ups we've circled on our calendar...
Notre Dame at Georgia - Saturday, September 21 (Athens, GA)
We talked about the last time these two programs met in our list of the 5 best college football games in 2019, but come September, it'll be all about setting the tone for the present.
For the Irish, two winnable games against Louisville and New Mexico should provide a glimpse into a growing offense and a revamped defense, but their trip down to Athens will be their first - and perhaps biggest - test of the regular season.
The Bulldogs were just one quarter away from upsetting Alabama in the SEC Championship game, and with plenty of returning talent in 2019, they figure to be, once again, near the top of the country.
But with Florida, Kentucky, and plenty of other SEC East challengers threatening to catch up to the Dawgs' dominance, they'll no doubt view this game as an opportunity to show Notre Dame, the SEC, and the entire country... that Kirby Smart's program isn't going anywhere.
Notre Dame vs. USC - Saturday, October 12
One of the most storied rivalries in college football continues to capture the country's imagination year after year, and 2019 promises to deliver once again.
Yes, it has been a bit one-sided in recent years, and yes, any USC fan will tell you that there's plenty of work to be done to bring the slightly slumping program back to the top of college football.
But QB JT Daniels showed flashes of brilliance in his freshman campaign, and with the Irish losing Julian Love in the secondary, Daniels' experience could prove difficult to deal with for the Irish defense.
Plus, with lots of experience on the defensive side of the ball as well as emerging offensive stars like Vavae Malepeai and Amon-Ra St. Brown, this is hardly a game Notre Dame can walk through.
Notre Dame at Michigan - Saturday, October 26 (Ann Arbor, MI)
Speaking of rivalry games... there's no need for hyperbole when hyping this one up; Michigan vs. Notre Dame is another match-up that promises to be one of the best college football games of the year. Period.
Following last year's match-up in South Bend, Michigan went on an absolute tear - rattling off 10 straight wins before disappointments against Ohio State and Florida left their season feeling a bit incomplete.
So when the Wolverines return to the gridiron in 2019, they'll do so with the intention of both proving that their meteoric rise back to the top wasn't a fluke - and getting revenge on the Irish for their loss at Notre Dame Stadium in 2018.
And that sentiment won't just be lip service, with breakout star Shea Patterson expected to be near the top of many preseason awards list and a defense that's always among the best in the country.
It'll be a game to remember in The Big House, with CFP implications sure to be on the line.
Ready to get on your way to game day?
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