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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish suffered through a brutal 2016 season that caused many whispers to begin surrounding the future of head coach Brian Kelly. However, the Irish do have quite a bit of talent returning and there are, as always, high hopes in South Bend for an improved campaign in 2017.

If you look toward the extended future, though, there are also reasons to be excited. Notre Dame recently announced a home-and-home series with Arkansas that should bring intrigue from both fan bases and, according to Irish AD Jack Swarbrick, the Irish may not be done swinging for the fences with future opponents.

Swarbrick sat down with Laken Litman of the Indianapolis Star and revealed the following about the possibility of playing against Alabama, Auburn and others in the future.

“Alabama is one of those opponents we would love to play. I hope we do get that done. It was interesting to see the list of teams we’ve never played (from the SEC, which include Mississippi State, Auburn and Kentucky). I frankly didn’t know it. I have a great relationship with the Auburn athletic director (Jay Jacobs), and I’d love to figure out how to do that. There’s something to be said for ticking off everyone on that list until you can say you’ve done it over the history of this program.”

The Irish facing off with Alabama is something we saw fairly recently in lopsided fashion for the national title but, in the grand scheme, it would be awesome to prepare for a matchup between two of college football’s flagship programs down the line. Throw Auburn and even Mississippi State and Kentucky into the mix and let the fireworks fly.

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