Brian Kelly Doesn't See Michigan as a Historic Rival of Notre Dame

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIISeptember 1, 2013

SOUTH BEND, IN - AUGUST 31:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches as his team takes on the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium on August 31, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Temple 28-6.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Notre Dame has more rivals than any other team in college football, but according to Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly, Michigan isn't one of them.

In a conference call Sunday, Kelly remarked that he doesn't view the Wolverines as one of Notre Dame's historic, traditional rivals, as reported by Tom Coyne of the Associated Press (via Yahoo!)

I really haven't seen it as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries. I've seen it as just one of those great football games that Notre Dame has played. For me, I've been in Michigan a long time, I've always felt the Notre Dame-Michigan game was a big regional game.

The comments were made in advance of Notre Dame's last trip to the Big House for the foreseeable future, set to take place Saturday.

Upon announcing their commitment to the Atlantic Coast Conference last season, the Irish cancelled their scheduled games with the Wolverines starting in 2015.

After the cancellation was announced, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke claimed that since the Irish continued their rivalries with Purdue and Michigan State, they were "chickening out" of the series against the Wolverines. 

The comments made by Kelly, who did not attend Notre Dame and has only coached the Irish since 2010, now add even more fuel to the fire of the "non-rivalry."

As mentioned by Coyne, the series dates back to 1887, when Michigan students traveled to South Bend to teach Notre Dame students the game of football.

No matter the results of the final two contests between ND and UM, the Wolverines will walk away the leaders of the all-time series. They currently lead 23-16-1.

Notre Dame and Michigan's final kickoff begins at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN. The network's College GameDay preview show will broadcast from Ann Arbor.