Dienhart: Game loses another great rivalry

The plug is being pulled on one of college football’s best rivalries with news today that Notre Dame was exercising an option to end its series with Michigan.

According to the AP, the last scheduled meeting will be in 2014, as Irish A.D. Jack Swarbrick has sent a letter to Notre Dame A.D. David Brandon notifying him of cancellation of the games that were slated for 2015-17.

This is sad news, as college football became a bit poorer today. The sport already has seen some great rivalries end because of conference expansion. Some of the top casualties include Texas-Texas A&M; Nebraska-Oklahoma; Missouri-Kansas.

Now, ND-Michigan is over—save for a possible bowl meeting. The schools met last Saturday, with ND taking a 13-6 win at South Bend.

Notre Dame and Michigan were set to meet the next five seasons before taking 2018-19 off. The schools, which had played each season since 2002 and regularly since 1978, hoped to resume the series after that. But now, it’s off with this news today.

Notre Dame recently announced it will join the ACC for all sports but football beginning in 2014. As part of the agreement, the Irish will play five football games a season vs. ACC foes. That leaves just seven other games for the Irish to schedule each season, with two dates seemingly slated for Navy and USC.

Notre Dame also has annual series with Purdue slated to run through 2021. What will happen to that game? And Michigan State has an agreement to play the Irish four years in a row; take two years off, etc. The schools aren’t slated to meet in 2014-15. Will the series be ended?

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Show Comments (4 Comments)
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Larry H on 9/25/2012 @ 1:05pm EDT Said:

The formation of the Big12 ended the annual Oklahoma nebraska game. So it has been over for 14 years. as a Nebraska fan we did not consider playing Oklahoma every other year a rivalry game. I’m pretty certain if the annual OU/NU thanksgiving day game had continued there is a likelyhood we would still be in the Big 12 where we traditionaly belong. I for one just can not get excited with Big ten competition. NU changed for the dollars and there is no other truthful reason they did it outside of jealousy and hate of Texas. Right now the Big Ten represents the part of the country it resides in the rust belt liberalized part of America a conference on the downward football wise.

huskerred on 9/25/2012 @ 1:57pm EDT Said:

Easy on Neb not only did Neb disapprove of UT but many others that did not have brands as big as Neb didn’t like UT bullying their way in and monopolizing the conference. TO said this to the big 8 before it ever happened and his predictions panned out to be true and correct; henceforth, why we all seen A&M and Mizzou exit this year. As far as OU it is clear to see that they are UT patsies and are their $&@^%!

As far as the B1G I agree they have too much fascination with the Rose Bowl and should redirect their efforts of being the prominent force they once was. At the same time I respect TO and Neb athletics for standing on high moral principles and saying enough is enough. Bottom line is at least B1G shares it monies equally with all the schools and Neb will soon share those rewards when they move from the probationary period. Let’s be honest when you say, “Big Ten represents the part of the country it resides in the rust belt liberalized part of America a conference on the downward football wise,” because of yet Neb has failed to a dominating force within this conference.

Jake on 9/26/2012 @ 12:33am EDT Said:

Nebraska hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since the late 90s. With that said, how can you critique the B1G when your own school is sucking on the football field? IMO, Nebraska fits perfectly since the B1G is looking more and more like the Has Been conference. Division names should be washed up and overrated. Perhaps Notre Dame should have joined, they would of fit right in.

Aaron on 9/29/2012 @ 10:11am EDT Said:

Notre Dame would not dare join the Big 10. They would get killed. They were handed the win over Michigan, by Michigan. 6 turnovers, final score 13-6. I think most people can figure that out. Now add in Ohio St.,Nebraska,Wisconsin,Iowa,Michigan St. Good luck with that. The Irish are clowns, and just made another clown move by dropping the school that taught them how to play football.(Look it up).

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