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Notre Dame Football: 2017 Schedule Released, 2016 Home Game Start Times Announced

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We are getting closer to football.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

First let's start with the more immediate news as Notre Dame has released the kickoff times for all of the upcoming homes games this fall. There will be two night games slated for 7:30 PM ET against Michigan State and Stanford.

The games against Nevada, Duke, Miami, Army, and Virginia Tech will all begin at 3:30 PM ET. This includes the 2016 Shamrock Series game in San Antonio against Army. Also, every home game will be broadcast live on NBC.

Notre Dame also announced the full 2017 schedule today:

Sept. 2nd vs. Temple

Sept. 9th vs. Georgia

Sept. 16th @Boston College

Sept. 23rd @Michigan State

Sept. 30th vs. Miami (Ohio)

Oct. 7th @North Carolina

Oct. 14th BYE WEEK

Oct. 21st vs. USC

Oct. 28th vs. NC State

Nov. 4th vs. Wake Forest

Nov. 11th @Miami

Nov. 18th vs. Navy

Nov. 25th @Stanford

The first thing that jumps out to me is the balance. Is this the best constructed Notre Dame schedule in recent memory in terms of balancing the varying degrees of difficult opponents? Almost the entire schedule alternates on a weaker to stronger back to weaker basis. Very well laid out.

The Irish are going to have a long, long time to get ready for USC. If the team can start 6-0 that's going to be a mega large recruiting weekend. It might be despite the team record.

I don't love the slotting of Navy at the end of the year sandwiched in between what could be two of the toughest games of the season. That's just asking for trouble from the Middies.

You will note that there will be no neutral site Shamrock Series game for 2017. The program has decided to skip it for this year at least and will play an extra home game inside the newly renovated Crossroads Project within Notre Dame Stadium set to open next fall.