Brady Hoke has been keen on rivalries since making his way back to Ann Arbor, something his predecessor in Rich Rodriguez was never one to do.
Unfortunately though for Hoke and the Wolverines one of their storied rivalries in Notre Dame has chosen to dissolve the rivalry, at least for the time being which has left Hoke a little agitated…
“The Notre Dame game, that rivalry, which they’re chickening out of,” Hoke said Monday during the West Michigan Sports Commission Annual Luncheon at the J.W. Marriott in Grand Rapids.
The remark drew thunderous applause from the crowd.
“They’re still gonna play Michigan State, they’re gonna play Purdue, but they don’t want to play Michigan,” Hoke continued. “I don’t know how they made that decision … I really do … But anyway, that’s a great national rivalry game. It’s a great game.”
Since making a scheduling alliance with the ACC, the Irish chose to stop games with the Wolverines between 2015 and 2019 which runs into a previously scheduled break in the schedule in 2018 and 2019. Previously the two teams have played each other 40 times including every year since the 2002 season.
Currently, Big Ten counterparts Michigan State and Purdue will continue their rivalry games with Notre Dame. However as Kyle Meinke of AnnArbor.com points out, Notre Dame’s ACC ties and the Big Ten moving to a nine game conference schedule with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland those games with the Irish could become harder to play out.