Since CBSsports.com's Jeremy Fowler reported in April that Notre Dame and Georgia were close to finalizing a home-and-home series, the announcement Wednesday that the two college football giants have officially agreed to play in 2017 and 2019 doesn't come as a surprise -- but it does come as a welcome jolt of excitement for both teams' future nonconference slates.
The Fighting Irish will host the Bulldogs on Sept. 9, 2017, with Notre Dame visiting Sanford Stadium on Sept. 21, 2019.
"Playing Notre Dame will be an honor and a great challenge for us," Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "I have a lot of respect for the job Coach [Brian] Kelly is doing there and I'm sure college football fans across the country will enjoy watching our two teams compete."
"As our football schedules evolved with the start of our Atlantic Coast Conference competition in 2014, we had future games slated with top-drawer opponents in virtually all the major conferences," Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement.
"One exception was the Southeastern Conference, so we are pleased now to be able to check that box. These will be two contests that will have great national appeal, in part because our only previous matchup came in a bowl game."
Notre Dame has not played an SEC team in a regular season game since defeating Tennessee 41-21 in 2005. The Irish and Bulldogs have never played in the regular season and last met in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, when top-ranked Georgia finished off a national championship season by defeating the Irish 17-10.
"This series will generate an overwhelming level of excitement for our student-athletes and supporters," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for Notre Dame and look forward to the start of this memorable experience."