Michigan vs. Notre Dame is an intriguing matchup hidden among a handful of others featuring Top 25 teams Saturday, as the rivals meet in South Bend to see which squad is closer to returning to the glory days.
Higher profile games dot the college football landscape Saturday, beginning with Miami at Ohio State and Florida State at Oklahoma during the afternoon, all leading up to the evening's marquee match-up between Penn State and top-ranked Alabama.
But the Michigan-Notre Dame game shouldn't get lost in the shuffle. It's an intriguing battle between a pair of teams seeking a return to the Top 25 themselves, and though many believe Michigan is closer to that quest, a Notre Dame win on Saturday could go a long way toward convincing people otherwise.
Rich Rodgriguez of Michigan and Brian Kelly of Notre Dame have tall tasks ahead of them in rebuilding franchises that have stumbled of late. Many believe Rodriguez needs to produce this season or face the hot seat, while Kelly is enjoying his first campaign on the Notre Dame sidelines after building Cincinnati into a contender.
Both opened with victories a week ago, and Saturday marks a critical early season showdown for both. The winner is on the fast track to turning in a resurgent year.
So while it doesn't feature teams in the Top 25, don't overlook the Michigan vs. Notre Dame battle Saturday. It could have significant impact on plenty of future Top 25 polls.