2014 marks the final matchup between Michigan and Notre Dame for the foreseeable future as the Irish’s agreement with the ACC is scheduled to begin the following season. In fact 2015 will be the first time since 2001 and only the fourth time since 1984 that the two teams wouldn’t meet during the regular season.
It was everything you could ask for when it came to an out of conference rivalry. Consistent, close and bitter.
But don’t tell Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly that.
Kelly, who appears to still be bitter over being passed up for the Michigan job years ago (believe me U-M paid their dues with Rich Rod) doesn’t believe the rivalry was historic or traditional according to the Chicago Tribune (via CBS Sports).
“I really haven’t seen it as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries,” Kelly said on a Sunday conference call, per the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve seen it as just one of those great football games that Notre Dame has played.”
But it’s not like Notre Dame is severing ties with each of their traditional B1G opponents, the Irish are keeping their yearly rivalries with Purdue and Michigan State. A move which had Michigan head coach Brady Hoke refer to Notre Dame’s actions as chickening out when it came to them playing the Wolverines.
“Everybody knows the challenges we have as an independent when it comes to scheduling,” Kelly said. “We’re a team that a lot of people want to play, including Michigan, obviously, or Brady wouldn’t comment in that regard.”
If teams were lining up to play Notre Dame, like Kelly seems to think why sign a deal with the ACC? Is Wake Forrest, Duke or North Carolina one of those teams that you’re going to develop a historical rivalry with or you Mr. Kelly hoping to find the cheap way into the top of the standings?
Maybe Hoke was right…