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Notre Dame opts out Michigan series; last game in ’14?

Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

Notre Dame’s move to the ACC in most Olympic sports and a tandem football scheduling agreement has cost college football one of its most notable rivalries of the past couple of decades, at least in the short-term.

The Irish, the Detroit Free Press writes, “has notified Michigan it is exercising a three-year out in their contract, meaning their last scheduled game against each other will come in 2014.”

The paper obtained a letter from ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick to his counterpart at UM, David Brandon, of the school’s intent to not play the games scheduled for 2015-17.  Swarbrick had previously stated that he would like to keep annual games with Navy, Stanford and USC when the Irish embark on its five-games-a-year ACC slate that will begin no later than 2014

Whether the ND-UM rivalry will resume at some point in the future remains to be seen — the teams are still scheduled to play annually between 2020 and 2031 on a contract that was announced in 2007 — although Michigan has made it clear that, one, it was the Irish’s idea to cancel and, two, they’d like to see it renewed.

“The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame’s and not ours,” Brandon said in a statement posted on the program’s Twitter account. “We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series.

“This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries.”

The news comes three days after the Irish beat the Wolverines for the first time since 2008.  The final two games of the series will take place Sept. 7, 2013, in Ann Arbor and Sept. 6, 2014, in South Bend.  Still to be decided is whether future games other Big Ten schools (Michigan State, Purdue) will become casualties of the alignment with the ACC as well.

Thanks to the last two-plus years of conference roulette, the game has been stripped of rivalries such as Oklahoma-Nebraska, Texas-Texas A&M, BYU-Utah and now Michigan-Notre Dame, among others.  Your mileage may vary as to whether such developments are good for the long-term health of the sport.

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33 Responses to “Notre Dame opts out Michigan series; last game in ’14?”
  1. chicagoirish23 says: Sep 25, 2012 12:00 PM

    Oh well

  2. texasbornlsufan says: Sep 25, 2012 12:02 PM

    I sure would like to see LSU jump at the opportunity to have a home and home series with Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. southernpatriots says: Sep 25, 2012 12:21 PM


    Taking a few minutes to rest and check CFT. Can’t believe I am seeing this. What an opportunity.

    My family and I have been working for years now, writing, going by the ADs office in Baton Rouge, telephoning, etc. “putting a bug in the ear” of the Senior Associate Athletic Director at LSU. He has tried in the past, I hope he will now receive some positive response from Michigan. Call his office or email the department at LSU and I hope Michigan fans will do the same. Now is the time to do it. This may just work out!

    It would also give a few more years for Michigan to work out its QB problem, etc. and hopefully we have a QB at that time as well…ha.

  4. texasbornlsufan says: Sep 25, 2012 12:30 PM

    Yes it would be a great series and would be so much better than scheduling Towson State!!!!!

    I really enjoyed the schedule last year and it tested our team to the limit. Playing these powderpuffs is a waste of our money and the players energy. If we are going to play a school like this I wish we would keep our money in-state.

    Not only would it be good for the state but it would be better competition!

  5. southernpatriots says: Sep 25, 2012 12:43 PM

    Just a few moments left before I have to return to cooking lunch for the evacuees and relief workers for the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. Like some other storms, the tragedy continues.

    It is my understanding that many of these teams that LSU plays, Miles has a personal relationship with the current head coach (one of his former assistants, etc.) and he wants to support the smaller schools and teams which are really hurting financially and cannot continue their programs unless they receive the big money from major programs to play them.

    Then the SEC school or Florida State is greatly criticized for scheduling them. It is really a problem. I know the AAD at LSU worked hard and was able to get Oregon last year, TCU coming up, Oklahoma later out, but I hope some encouragement from fans such as you will help get Michigan, USC, Stanford, and others.

  6. dkhhuey says: Sep 25, 2012 12:51 PM

    They needed to clear the schedule for powerhouses like South Carolina Sea Shell Academy and the like!

  7. thraiderskin says: Sep 25, 2012 1:13 PM

    This is a damn shame…

  8. foreverlsu says: Sep 25, 2012 2:26 PM

    Notre Dame still plays Michigan?

    Oh I see, ND is all about tradition. It makes much more sense for them to play NC State or Duke instead.

  9. chicagoirish23 says: Sep 25, 2012 2:58 PM

    foreverlsu – “Oh I see, ND is all about tradition. It makes much more sense for them to play NC State or Duke instead.”

    Actually, if you understand NDs tradition, in 125 years of playing football, they only played Michigan 40 times. The true tradition of the Notre Dame rivarly is Notre Dame beating Michigan in 1909 and Fielding Yost canceled the 1910 game and blackballed ND, blocking them from the conference that became the Big10.

    ND/MU played in 42 & 43. MU won in 42, ND won in 43. MU decided not to play ND after the lost in 43 again. The teams didn’t play again until 1978. So the true tradition is ND beating Michigan and Michigan not wanting to play ND anymore.

    Now nobody is saying these two teams will not play again. ND has to play NC State and Duke as you mentioned, but also FSU, Miami, & VaTech. but it’s not in NDs “tradition” to play MU every year.

  10. jgater1981 says: Sep 25, 2012 3:12 PM

    Hey Chicago, don’t let the facts get in the way of the trolls. I love this. The past is coming back to bite Michigan in their butts. Good riddance.

  11. foreverlsu says: Sep 25, 2012 3:37 PM

    chicagoirish23 says: ND has to play NC State and Duke as you mentioned, but also FSU, Miami, & VaTech.

    Oh my gosh, sounds like murderor’s row! You think ND will play them all in the same season(s)?

  12. lonespeed says: Sep 25, 2012 3:46 PM

    @ foreverlsu

    If Notre Dame comes to Lane Stadium for a night game, then it pretty much is murderor’s row.

    LSU came to Lane in 2002 and got thumped 26-8.

  13. mhalt99 says: Sep 25, 2012 3:46 PM

    if tradition mattered so would Rutgers*

    *tip of the hat for last weeks game

  14. chicagoirish23 says: Sep 25, 2012 3:50 PM

    foreverlsu – Sure should be better than the last three games ND just played and went undefeated in. You know, Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan.

  15. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 25, 2012 4:03 PM

    lonespeed: It is funny how you skip over the latest meeting with VA Tech when they came south to the hardest place to play in college football, Death Valley, Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge. There your team on Sep. 8 2007 lost 48-7 and to make the 7, LSU put in the 4th string and waterboys.

    Reminds me of the story why the AD at Notre Dame no longer wanted home and home meetings with LSU after they lost to LSU in 1971 28-8 and then when a new AD for the Irish came on he resumed the home and home schedule about 10 years later.

    My community and family has ND alums and fans. I hope ND does well, it would be a good change. I hate that they have cancelled the games with Michigan but agree with southernpatriots that hopefully this opens the opportunity for Death Valley and The Big House games.

  16. takingbovadasmoney says: Sep 25, 2012 4:11 PM

    LSU, or Georgia and Michigan would be fun game by then. All 3 schools should be strong by ’15. As for ND – Michigan game, good riddance to “old man football.”. Love to see a good Michigan team v. a good SEC team.

  17. foreverlsu says: Sep 25, 2012 4:12 PM

    lonespeed says:Sep 25, 2012 3:46 PM

    @ foreverlsu

    If Notre Dame comes to Lane Stadium for a night game, then it pretty much is murderor’s row.

    LSU came to Lane in 2002 and got thumped 26-8.

    short memory, lonespeed?

    I guess you don’t recall the times when the Hokies were armadillos on the road. Do you recall the results when No. 3 Va. Tech came to Tiger Stadium in 2007? 48-7, Tigers (just so you know). Life in the ACC simply does not compare to life in the SEC, Big 12, or even Pac-12.

    Bottom line is that Notre Dame is playing each ACC team once every three years so it’s doubtful they will play all of the big three (FSU, Miami, Va. Tech) …or even Clemson in the same seasons.

  18. takingbovadasmoney says: Sep 25, 2012 4:13 PM

    chicago- agree wholeheartedly! The last 3 ND games have been horrible to watch. Can’t believe they are in the top 15 after those games.

  19. WingT says: Sep 25, 2012 9:52 PM

    Notree Dame sucks

    Harvey Updyke

  20. djeg07 says: Sep 25, 2012 10:22 PM

    dump the series before um rebuilds and nd goes back to sucking good call! see you in a decade

  21. vincentbojackson says: Sep 25, 2012 10:25 PM

    In related news, Ohio State will continue to play all of its non-conference games at home against mid-majors.

  22. trick321 says: Sep 25, 2012 10:37 PM

    This sucks. This game is everything that is right about college football. IMHO, no game matches the pageantry on display between these two teams, not even ND-USC.

    Also, Clemson did better against Auburn at a neutral location than LSU did at home. FSU looks ready to challenge the top dogs in the SEC. It’s true that until it’s demonstrated on the field, the SEC is still supreme, but that wasn’t always the case, and it won’t always be. The reign of terror will come to an end soon… USC will come up again, FSU or Miami, Texas… the SEC fans sure are living it up for the time being though, so props to them while it lasts, but it will be over soon enough. An SEC fan being bored by defensive struggles is a bit ironic though, don’t you think.

    ND has the #3 class and can get California and Florida speed to go along with midwest bulk. It won’t be long till they’re number 1. Hopefully we’ll see them play Michigan in the playoffs instead of the regular season a few times.

  23. tigersgeaux says: Sep 25, 2012 10:46 PM


    To dream … the impossible dream …
    To fight … the unbeatable foe …

    To reach … the unreachable star …

    Keep dreaming.

  24. trick321 says: Sep 25, 2012 11:15 PM

    lol, fair enough… to be honest I’d never heard this song before now, but my life is undeniably better now… epic ballads aside, to put the SEC’s dominance in perspective, teams that make up the current ACC were the AP National Champions 9 times from ’81 to ’01, while the SEC only won 3 during that time… like it or not, the end is coming soon.

    The Notre Dame thing may be a little bit of an impossible dream. Year 3 is magic for Irish coaches though, so sit back, relax, and watch the fireworks… 2012 – year of destiny.

  25. southernpatriots says: Sep 26, 2012 4:58 AM


    Up for a few minutes to check on the smoker.

    News reporters are that ole Harv Updyke was arrested in Louisiana just recently. I thought he was in jail or mental ward or similar. Apparently, he is out and trying to return a lawnmower to a store (Lowes?) and wanted more for the mower than the store wanted to give him and caused quite a stir. Police were called and he was charged, then released on bond. What is this man doing out and what is he doing in our fair state?

    I am going to call the Duck Dynasty family or the Swamp People…somebody, gotta get that many out of here, we have too many old moss covered trees that have survived 150 years of hurricanes and bad poliicians, but they won’t survive Harv!

  26. southernpatriots says: Sep 26, 2012 5:10 AM

    Michigan fans:

    I have emailed the Senior AAD at LSU about scheduling Michigan when their schedule opens 2015-17 due to the cancellation of the Notre Dame series. Let us press for hopefully home and home, Death Valley LSU and The Big House, night games only, expressly stated in the contract. I also will telephone the LSU AAD later today and speak with him as soon as he has time, to provide further details on my suggestion. He scheduled Oregon the first game last season, TCU the first game next season, Oklahoma in two outyears, so I think he will be willing to try again to schedule Michigan.

    Now, you do your end with Michigan. Telephone or email your AAD who schedules games and make your suggestions. This is an opportunity that makes it possible and convenient to do this.

  27. WingT says: Sep 26, 2012 6:48 AM

    Yes, I read where Harvey was now living in Louisana and not happy with lawn mower values that lowes assigns- thank you for taking him, lol.

  28. midwestmd says: Oct 2, 2012 8:11 AM

    Thanks for the history lesson dating back to the turn of the century and going all the way up to 70 years ago. Here is an up to date one for ND: losing record against Michigan, #2 in wins and winning % (Michigan #1 on both). Michigan is NDs biggest revenue game. We’ll keep the money you can have the ACC. Handing the letter right before kickoff to prevent any discussion was a classless act by Swarbrick rivaling anything by the point-a-minute Yost. You failed to mention the reason Yost cancelled the series with ND was that they were playing ineligible non-student players.

  29. southernpatriots says: Oct 2, 2012 9:05 AM


    We had monsoon type rains Thursday night, all day on Friday, and almost all day on Saturday. We had sandbags still around our home because we were so busy we could not clear them up. However, everyone else had the sandbags removed from around their homes. Many homes re-flooded. Smaller streams, canals, and bayous are overtopping. Clean up now has to begin anew with those who were moving into their homes, now homeless again. We have our work cut out for us for the next months.


    Thank you for the history. If you have a link or source, please post it. It will help to bring that to some Irish fans who think Michigan was at fault for all things.

  30. midwestmd says: Oct 3, 2012 8:14 AM


    Michigan claimed ND was playing non-student players and of course ND claims the opposite. Michigan was not the only school that “blackballed” Rockne’s Irish though.

  31. southernpatriots says: Oct 3, 2012 11:47 AM


    Thank you. You are such an asset to sanity and reason here on CFT. There are other good posters, but there are some, well, you know.

    We will definitely alert our colleagues and all others to the facts you have presented and article to which you have provided the link.

    We will be in the Mid-West very soon at Cleveland Clinic. One of “our children,” a precious young boy, has cystic fibrosis and is being treated there. We will accompany him to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for what is scheduled to be a double lung transplant, the only remedy (albeit one that just lasts a few years) for the final stages of CF. Volunteers will take my place on the outdoor kitchen to cook hot meals for those still without homes and electricity since Hurricane Isaac, if we need to continue to do this for the next few weeks.

    Thank you again. Have a great day!

  32. midwestmd says: Oct 3, 2012 11:54 PM


    The Clinic is a great facility. Best wishes to you and the young guy. That is a difficult disease, and my thoughts and prayers will go with you.

  33. southernpatriots says: Oct 4, 2012 4:35 AM


    Thank you for your kindness. We appreciate and need your prayers.

    I have seen many illnesses and diseases all my life. I had developed a certain detachment to shield myself under a professional exterior to keep myself be able to function and help others.

    With children with this insidious disease, whether they are from my home area of south Louisiana or Central Appalachia, where we have worked yearly among those of rural areas for over 30 years, or children we bring in from other parts of the world, I cry many tears for them and lose my professionalism oftentimes when I am alone. There is no cure.

    Much research is forthcoming at Cleveland Clinic, Cedars-Sinai, St. Louis Children’s and associated hospitals in St. Louis, Johns Hopkins, and other research hospitals across America. Advancement have been made to give us hope that a cure may be possible within 10 years, especially with gene therapies. But, as of now, we can only give the kids a couple more years with a lung transplant. The quality of life for the children and their families has greatly improved since we started decades ago. Organ and tissue donation is so essential, for with each child, we learn more.

    I get emotional about this and this is one of those times. Must go prepare breakfast for the folks still waiting for electricity and to be able to return to their homes. These hurricanes do not get easier.

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