Notre Dame Chooses to End Rivalry Matchup with Michigan

Alex KayCorrespondent ISeptember 25, 2012

Sep 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan Wolverines line up at the line of scrimmage in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Notre Dame and Michigan have a college football rivalry stemming back to 1887, but after 2014, it will sadly go on hiatus.

According to Larry Lage of the Associated Press, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick has notified David Brandon, Michigan’s AD, that they will be cancelling their scheduled games from 2015 through 2017.

A letter from ND AD Swarbrick to UM AD Brandon cancelling games in 2015-17 was obtained by AP through a Freedom of Information Act request

—Larry Lage (@LarryLage) September 25, 2012

CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman noted that the Fighting Irish are exercising a three-year opt-out clause in their contract, which would make their scheduled 2014 contest against the Wolverines the last meeting between these historic powerhouses for the foreseeable future.

MT @larrylage ND has notified #Michigan it is exercising a 3-yr out in their contract, meaning last scheduled game will be in 2014

—Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 25, 2012

Brandon has made it abundantly clear that U-M is not the party that wants this rivalry to end and has expressed that via the official Twitter account of the Wolverines football program.

"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours." - Dave Brandon

— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 25, 2012

Considering that Michigan and Notre Dame are respectively No. 1 and 2 in all-time winning percentage and No. 1 and 3 in all-time wins, it’s an absolute travesty for fans of college football everywhere.

The Irish took home a victory in the most recent contest, using defense to beat the Wolverines 13-6. However, Michigan holds the edge in the all-time series against Notre Dame, leading 23-16-1.

As Lage noted in his write-up (via The Detroit Free Press), the programs have met regularly since 1978 and played every year since 2002. It's been consistently one of the most hyped matchups of the season and the outcome has often had serious BCS and Top 25 implications.

Notre Dame recently joined the ACC in all sports except hockey and football—opting to maintain their traditional football status as an independent—but still have a contractual obligation to face five opponents from that conference per season.

While the two rivals "were scheduled to take a hiatus during the 2018-19 seasons," it now remains to be seen when they will next meet one another on the gridiron (per Lage's report).

Brandon has made no guarantees that another agreement can be worked out in the future to continue this important rivalry.

"We value our annual rivarly with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series." - Dave Brandon

— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 25, 2012

Keep it tuned here on B/R for the latest news, information, updates, opinions and analysis on Notre Dame’s decision to opt-out of their future games against Michigan.