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Notre Dame Football: Rivalry with Michgan Dead After ACC Deal

The Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry will end after the 2014 season.
The Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry will end after the 2014 season.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

The arrangement between the University of Notre Dame and the Atlantic Coast Conference has claimed its first victim—the rivalry with Michigan.

Reports today from ESPN.com indicate the Irish have notified Michigan that they intend to exercise the three-year out clause in the contract between the schools, and will end the rivalry after the 2014 game between the schools.

The schools had recently extended their contract for games with each other, but each side was given an opportunity to opt-out if they provided three years notice to the other university. 

Michigan athletic director David Brandon says his school is disappointed at the decision but hopes to use it to establish new rivalries.

"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours," Brandon said in a press release.

"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 Fighting Irish recently announced they would leave the Big East Conference in all sports but football, where they will remain independent, to join the ACC. The football program will affiliate with the ACC and will schedule five annual games against opponents from the conference.

This necessitated the chopping of a traditional rivalry with Michigan in order to accommodate these new scheduling realities. 

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick also stated that Michigan was chosen to be dropped because he felt rivalries with Navy, Stanford and USC were more important for his school's football program.

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