September 2nd, 2014 at 10:08 AM ^

So glad Hoke called them out for chickening out of the series, which is exactly what they're doing. It's gotten so bad for them that they see the Michgian game on the schedule as an automatic Loss after winning just 1 of the last 5 against us. 

turd ferguson

September 2nd, 2014 at 10:17 AM ^

What's so dumb and sad about this is that it's different from a lot of the other rivalries lost to realignment.  Hoke was right -- this is really just about Notre Dame chickening out.  They looked at their schedule and decided that they're willing to drop their second-biggest rival (right? after USC?) in order to slightly increase their projected win total over the next few years.  It's lame.  They don't have a full conference slate and they're keeping lower-profile Big Ten teams on the schedule, which is pretty clearly because they're making a bet that those games will be more winnable in the long run.  

I get why Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M can't play one another every year now -- they have full schedules.  Notre Dame has plenty of room and just chickened out.  Between this and all of the issues in South Bend over the past few years, my respect for ND has never been so lacking.


September 2nd, 2014 at 10:35 AM ^

The contract allowed ND not only to "chicken out" but to play both the first and last games in the current series at home.  I cannot understand why UM would sign a contract that permitted this.  If one team cancels, the number of games left  in the series left should be determined so that the total number of home/away games in the series is even.

Even IF we did not have a voice in letting the B1G give MSU two home games in a row, but we certainly could have insisted on a better contract with ND.


September 2nd, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

Doug Karsch brought this up on the radio two years ago, Notre Dame conveniently ending the series after getting one more home game in, making it an uneven number of games since the series renewed.  Even though he didn't want to see the series end, he thought we should have dropped the 2014 game.

But if we did that, you're not going to find a decent non-conference opponent to fill that slot in less than two years and we probably would have been stuck with another MAC school. 

Eastside Maize

September 2nd, 2014 at 10:36 AM ^

My worst memory would be us kicking the ball to the "Rocket", after already taking one to the house, then he took another one to the house. My best memory is us going for the win when Grbac connected with a diving Des in the endzone.

SF Wolverine

September 2nd, 2014 at 10:48 AM ^

my best was UTL, for obvious reasons.  Also, we had a Domer just above us giving Section 42 hell for the whole game.  And, again after they went up with 30 seconds left.  Got to hand it to him, though, he took it all back times a thousand, as his girlfriend appeared to wish she could disappear. 


September 2nd, 2014 at 10:59 AM ^

First meeting since Stalingrad (1943). Decisive Michigan win after dubious game start. Rick Leach. Joe Montana. Bo. Devine (most fitting name ever for Notre Dame football team head coach). And Michigan won the game passing: 3 TDs out of the fucking Maryland I formation or out of the wishbone. Don Nehlen was a freaking genius. Wacky ass shit. It was also a very good Irish team, that beat Purdue (3rd place Big ten), Michigan St. (1st place tie BIg ten), Pitt, and barely lost to USC by 2 pts. Michigan was 10-2 that year, beaten only by Sparty 15-24 and a blind line judge at the Rose Bowl.


September 2nd, 2014 at 11:28 AM ^

I'll go on record as sad to see the series go. As an ND fan in Michigan it's the game I look forward to the most every year. But if I'm remembering right, you guys said you wouldn't be renewing the ND contract after it was up to seek "other out of conference options" or something like that. And that was years before we exercised the 3 year opt out.

But like I said, I wish the series would continue. Kinda bummed ND decided to expedite the process but I'm sure the rivalry will continue at some point in the not too distant future. We've taken many breaks before in this series only for it to resume. It wont be nonexistant for too long. Too much history and tradition.

And I, personally, think that if we were going to chicken out against anyone we'd opt not to play Stanford haha...they've been beating our ass lately unlike you guys who usually win a tight game the last 5 or so years. But they're in Cali where we want to maintain our recruiting footprint...which makes sense to me. But at the same time I get why you guys say we're "chickening out"...we'd prolly be saying the same thing if the sides were reversed.


September 2nd, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

Stanford? Sure, Stanford has beaten ND 4 out of the last 5 times with an average margin of victory of 11.6 points compared to Michigan winning 4 of the last 5 with an average margin of victory of 3.2 points. But let's look further.

Notre Dame has lost 4 of the last 5 to Stanford, but has won 8 of the last 12. Whereas Michigan has won 7 of the last 12 against Notre Dame and it's been a game where Notre Dame has won in Michigan 1 time in the past 16 games (8 tries) where Michigan has won 3 times in South Bend in just as many games. 

Notre Dame also went 1-2 against Michigan in the Rich Rod era and Brian Kelly stands at 1-3 against Michigan. 

I feel your post was a little passive aggressive and suggested that perhaps ND wasn't chickening out and even that Michigan was the team that wanted to back out of the series. Trust me when I say that is not the case. And that it's been fun for 4 out of the past 5 years ruining ND's season in week 2. Can't wait to make it 5 out of 6. 



September 2nd, 2014 at 12:52 PM ^

I don't believe either team is or would be "chickening out". But our season hasnt been ruined so to speak. I'd argue that even after the losses (which were fair and square) we've went on to have a better overall season with the exception of 2011. I have nothing against the UM football team or university but I do disagree with the "chicken" thought process. Just look at our schedule and future schedules...that's not a schedule made by chickens lol. I actually kind of respect UM for being a pretty clean program. I'm not here to hate on you guys.


September 2nd, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

I'm not too upset about the change personally.

First, if anyone believes this is a permanent arrangement, then they are smoking doobies. UM vs ND will return and probably soon.

 Today's ACC is made up of a number of former independent and Big East teams (Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, FSU and Georgia Tech), who frequented Notre Dame's schedule at multiple points over the last several decades.  Notre Dame wants to rekindle these instead of keeping Michigan on.  Most reasonable people don't understand that decision, especially when the ND-Michigan game has been a college football staple for so long.

Notre Dame has already played like 160+ games vs. Big Ten teams since 1960, and has an overall winning record vs. BIG10 (.626, 105-63). They've played the Big Ten frequently. It is notable however that 68 of those wins came against MSU or Purdue, who have not been particularly powerful programs over this period. Only 14 of the 105 wins came against Michigan vs. 15 losses to Michigan. Similar stat vs. Northwestern by the way (14-14). 

I have no problem with a hiatus of ND vs. Michigan, because I actually want to see Michigan extend its non-conference horizons too. For example, Michigan has never played LSU or Clemson nor played any of the Florida teams on the road in FL. Games against Georgia, Auburn, Texas, Arizona State, Arizona, USC in home-home series would great too for all fans. I'm pleased with UM recebntly scheduling Oklahoma, SMU and Washington for the future.

In the same way though I I find it a shame that Notre Dame avoided other Big Ten teams like Wisconsin (1964) and Iowa (1968), which have come on in strength since the early 1980s. There's also the issue of Ohio State - 250 miles away - against whom the Irish are 0-3 since 1960.

I agree with other commenters - the decision was a bad one for Notre Dame. We'll just have to wait until both parties course correct.


September 2nd, 2014 at 11:55 PM ^

I agree the series will resume before too long. I say within a couple years of 2020. Both schools know how big this game is...I don't care what Kelly or Swarbrick have said previously and how they've downplayed it. But I don't think it's a mistake by ND either. We were fine the last few times you guys decided to put the series on hold and we'll be fine this time when we decided to put it on hold. I also don't think we'll ever see ND in the Big Ten after getting spurned when we tried to join way back when. We proved after that that we didn't need to be in a conference to be a power and we still dont need a conference seeing as our schedule is consistantly one of the toughest in the country, year in year out. Everybody likes playing ND, it's good exposure and...lately...not an incredibly tough game.

As I've said previously tho, I hate that the series is coming to an end for a bit. I live in Michigan and am an ND fan, with all my closest friends being UM's easily the game I look forward to most all year.

I also believe the reason for joining the ACC was more for other sports since we're a permanent member in those sports and only a partial member in football. Just part of the deal. I bet if the ACC would have been ok with us just staying completely independent in football (like the Big East was) we wouldnt even be having this discussion about the ND-UM series taking a hiatus...but sadly (for me), that's not the case. The ACC was probably the most flexible about our independence of the conferences we could choose from.

I like that we'll both be playing other teams but wish it was done some other way. But if we were to play UM, Texas or Georgia (both future meetings we have scheduled), FSU, USC, Stanford, Clemson, VaTech one year, we'd be asking for a few losses no matter how good we might be. That's a brutal schedule and would be completely stupid on our part. I'm all for a tough schedule but there's a limit if you want to win titles.


September 2nd, 2014 at 8:18 PM ^

I don't think the seek "other out of conference options" narrative is correct.

In a May 2010 article, the then new Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon indicated that the contract announced in 2007 for the two teams to through to 2031 had never been signed.  Two months earlier, UM put out a press release announcing (1) the first night game in 2011, (2) the continuation of the series annually through 2017 with a two-year break to play other teams (for Michigan, this would be the home-and-home with Arkansas), and (3) the rivalry would resume in 2020.  See…

In the Michigan press release dated 25 September 2012, UM AD David Brandon announced the end of the series and the cancellation of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 games.  Here's his quote from the press release:

"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours," said Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "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."


Perhaps that's where you got your quote about "seeking out other conference options".    The press release above also stated that the future of the games "scheduled to be played in 2020 and beyond has yet to be determined".  So at that time, at least, Michigan officially hadn't announced any cancellations for the ND series beyond the three years discussed above.

In a September 2013 article, the following was reported:

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Wednesday that he is currently having zero discussions with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick about any type of rivalry rebirth after next season. And, unless something strange happens, these two schools are done playing for a long, long time. “No, our schedule is booked going out into the early (2020s), and my understanding is, there’s is as well,” Brandon said. “The only way we’re going to play Notre Dame after next year would be if we run into (them) in a bowl game, or if our schedules allowed us to have some sort of neutral-site one-off game.”


If all the quotes don't convince you, then keep in mind that the two largest attendance games in Michigan's history were the 2011 and 2013 night games against Notre Dame (UTL I and UTL II).  For lack of a better way to describe it, those contests were marketing gold for both universities and for the television networks.  This was not a series that Michigan wanted to give up, but with that said, it's clear that UM and ND are moving on in terms of non-conference scheduling.

For 2015, Michigan replaced Notre Dame with Brigham Young (at Utah and Oregon State are two of the other non-conference games along with UNLV).  Since the Big Ten went to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, UM didn't need to replace ND with another program since the Wolverines already had three other teams on the schedule (Hawaii, UCF, Colorado).  In 2017, Michigan replaces what would have been a home game with ND with a neutral site game against Florida in Dallas (the two other non-conference games are Cincinnati and Air Force).

As I mentioned above, there was a scheduled hiatus in the series for 2018/9 when Michigan opted to play Arkansas in a home-and-home series.  Razorback AD Jeff Long has major ties to the UM athleti department, which accounts for why those two games were scheduled.

In 2020/1, Michigan will have home-and-home series with two Power 5 Conference teams--Washington and Virginia Tech.  UCLA is on the schedule for 2022/3 and another home-and-home series was recently announced with Oklahoma in 2025/6.

ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg discusses in his post today at…


September 3rd, 2014 at 12:40 AM ^

Yea, I didnt say UM wanted a permanent end to the series but they did say they wouldnt be renewing the contract. The article I read was from The Ann Arbor News, I think...I'll try to find it.

But my main issue is with the "chickening out" stance UM and a lot of UM fans have taken (which I get, it's funny and it's a jab at a rival...just isn't true IMO). If we could have avoided the series being put on hiatus I bet almost anything we would have. Our future matchups with Purdue and MSU are also up in the air. The whole deal with the Big East fading away pretty much created this whole hiatus. If we could have remained in the Big East and remained completely independent in football the series would still be on, IMO. But since the Big East went bye bye we had to look at other options for our other sports and it seems like the ACC was our best, most flexible option to remain (mostly) independent in football but be total members in all other sports. If the ACC would have let us get away with total independence like the Big East did then I doubt we're having this discussion...buuut we have the 5 games per year deal to fulfill with the ACC.

Oh and I believe the following link is the article I read.…


September 2nd, 2014 at 1:10 PM ^

If Nuss/Hoke want to play Peppers on offense for a play or two, is there any issue w/ him and Hayes having the same number? Obviously they couldn't be on the field at the same time, but say Hayes goes in as the 3rd down back 3 or 4 times before Peppers comes in. Can we just sneak Peppers in there to catch a pass out of the backfield and hope ND doesn't notice the name on the jersey? Or do we have to somehow declare that a different #5 has entered the game on offense?


September 2nd, 2014 at 7:46 PM ^

I feel pretty confident about this game.

ND has a defensive line that's young and inexperienced enough that it might not be too much of a problem for our O-line, and while their defense is also planning to play more aggressively against the pass, there were some substantial defensive breakdowns this past weekend against Rice. I think they also had a bit of trouble with the mobile QB.

Further, we're now running an inside zone scheme unlike most that ND will prepare for or see this year, and it's one that's nothing like the offense they practice against.

On balance, I think we have a tangible offensive edge, and our defense should be able to outplay theirs as well.

Certainly the game will be hard-fought, but I think we have a good chance of rolling them at their house in this final matchup.