Notre Dame and Michigan to call it quits after 2014

One of college football’s historic rivalries is about to come to an end, well at least for three seasons. This week, the athletic department at the University of Notre Dame announced that after the 2014 season, the ND/Michigan rivalry will at least be put on hold.

The plan is to at least suspend the annual September series from 2015-2017. There could be a chance that the series could resume in 2018, but that is the furthest thing from the minds of the officials at Notre Dame for the time being.

It has been widely speculated that the reason for this is because of Notre Dame’s future commitment to the Atlantic Coast Conference which I mentioned in my last report:

All Notre Dame sports currently competing in the Big East Conference will move to the ACC full-time. Fighting Irish Football will still compete as an independent but will play five ACC teams annually in it’s future schedules.

The exact date for this transition still has not been announced. But once the move does happen, the ACC will potentially have 15 teams. Aside from Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh will also join the ACC in the near future.

Notre Dame football does have a rivalry with Pittsburgh and with the move to the ACC, these two teams will play each other often.

But putting the Michigan rivalry aside is significant for college football lore. Notre Dame and Michigan have played each other annually since 1978.

The football series between these two schools began back in 1887. Michigan leads the all-time series 23-16-1, with Notre Dame winning the most recent game last weekend by a score of 13-6.

Saturday’s win broke the Irish’s three game losing streak to the Wolverines dating back to 2009. National championships, heisman trophy winners, and NFL draft picks have come out of this rivalry.

With Notre Dame pushing Michigan aside between 2015-2017, I wonder how this will effect the rivalries with Michigan State and Purdue.

Once the partnership with the ACC begins, Notre Dame will only have six or seven open dates on their schedule { This depends on whether or not they play an 11 game season or a 12 game season.}

Notre Dame has already said that the rivalries with USC, Stanford, and Navy will remain intact. So in turn this actually means that the Irish will only have between three and four open dates on their schedule.

Whatever the case may be, I am disappointed by the university’s decision. I am hopeful that they will choose to continue this historic series in 2018.

Michigan is also disappointed in this announcement and I can’t say that I blame them. Playing Notre Dame every year guarantees a nationally televised game.

ABC carries the game when Michigan is the home team, and NBC carries the game when Notre Dame is the home team. The national audience is not only good for the school, but it also puts Ann Arbor, Michigan on the map every year.

It also gives Michigan’s NFL prospects the chance to showcase their talents on the national stage which is sure to attract NFL scouts.

Not to mention the big money that this game has drawn over the years. Advertising, tickets, merchandise, and tourism sales get a big boost from these two teams every year.

It’ll be interesting to see how both schools will make up for this potential revenue loss. In the 21st century, college football is an ever changing landscape.

I don’t see this trend stopping any time soon.

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