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Friendly reminder: Michigan asked to stop ND series first

May 14, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT

090311_SPT_Umich vs WMU_MRM_

It might not fly too well on the handshake circuit, but Brady Hoke‘s dig at Notre Dame for backing out of the Michigan series might not be all that appropriate… considering Michigan asked to take a break first.

Last June news broke that the Irish and Wolverines were going to take a two-year hiatus in ’18 and ’19 created another offseason roar among the two faithful fanbases. And maybe Hoke was too caught up in summer break to remember, but the step away was at Michigan’s request.

Check out this story from last June by the South Bend Tribune’s Eric Hansen:

The announcement Wednesday from Michigan that the Wolverines and ND would be taking a hiatus in 2018 and ’19 only surprised Swarbrick in one respect.

“To tell you the truth, I already thought it had been announced,” the Notre Dame athletic director said. “I was caught off-guard by the fact it was news.

“We got a request from (former Michigan AD) Bill Martin, I want to say three years ago, ‘Would you consider this?’ And I said, ‘Sure, as long we can keep the rivalry going afterwards.’ Checked it off my list and never thought about it again.”

ND and Michigan took a break from each other twice in recent years — in 2000-01 when Texas A&M and Nebraska rolled onto the September schedules, and in 1995-96 when the Irish had a home-and-home with Ohio State.

“(Current Michigan AD) Dave Brandon called to talk about future scheduling,” Swarbrick said, “and the 2018-19 issue sort of surfaced for him for the first time. We had already committed the dates, so hence the announcement.”

Obviously, Notre Dame’s scheduling alliance with the ACC didn’t exist last summer. And the manner that Swarbrick delivered the break-up letter, in a sealed envelope on the field before the Irish and Wolverines were set to do battle is pretty ice cold.

But in case you were wondering, this whole break-up thing was kind of Michigan’s idea, and the strength of this valued rivalry hasn’t exactly been on solid ground for quite some time.

Take for instance this statement from Brandon himself back in 2010:

“We don’t really have a contract right now,” Brandon said in May 2010. “We announced we had kind of reached a meeting of the minds for a 20-year extension with the potential for a two-year hiatus, but that was never codified into a contract. That was what I was handed when I came into the job. So what we’re going to need to do with Notre Dame is sit down and hammer out some specifics.”

Michigan’s official announcement of the 20-year extension back in 2007 said something far different, with then Michigan AD Bill Martin announcing, “We are thrilled that the series between two premier college football programs will continue uninterrupted for the next 25 years.”

What’s it all mean? Who knows. But all of this is just a lovely reminder of how much college football has changed in the last five years.


  1. alsatiannd - May 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    That’s not exactly a smoking gun. But if I were Hoke I’d worry more about how many more players are going to leave Michigan before the fall. Be a shame to cancel this year’s game if he didn’t have enough players.

  2. irishfootball55 - May 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    It’s a break Brady I am sure the Irish and Wolverines will play again. But I seriously doubt Brian Kelly is not trembling with fear because the Irish are too chicken to play the Mighty Michigan Wolverines. The only thing it does is make Michigan’s strength of schedule pathetic.

    • mtflsmitty - May 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Poor punctuation, or unrecognized sarcasm driving the thumbs down here?

  3. mtflsmitty - May 14, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Brady Hoke – – Chris Christie.


    • 4horsemenrideagain - May 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      or Flounder?

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - May 14, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Christie is the smarter brother…..he knew enough to get the lap band surgery. I still don’t know what it is but when Hoke speaks all I hear is farting noises.

    • tony34343434 - May 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Fred Flintstone!!! Yabba Dabba DOOOO!

  4. 9irish - May 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Oh it’s just one of those blowhard moments in front of the faithful (there are, uh, cameras these days, Brady Hoke). It will pass….they’ll play again. Annoys me about how they speak of Michigan “owning” ND up til last year. If I remember right, Michigan should have lost the past 4 games.

    Kind of skeptical about Hoke’s tenure at U of M. Just doesn’t fit the profile. Should be an offensive line coach somewhere.

  5. bernhtp - May 14, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    HLS puts it into perspective here:

    • papadec - May 14, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      bern – thanks for including that post from HLS. Looks like another site I’ll have to check out, more often.

  6. dickasman - May 14, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    He should be pissed. I understand but god forbid we decide to pad our stat for once, geesh. We have the toughest schedule nearly every year. A least we don’t play any I AA teams. With what was accomplished last year, we deserve couple automatic wins this year. FU Hoke, and I don’t mean Fordham University.

    I certainly understand where he’s coming from though…it’s all about $$$, welcome to America Brady.

  7. fw190wuerger - May 15, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Nice selection of a photo, Keith. Hoke appears to be all wet.

  8. takingbovadasmoney - May 15, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Comparing taking a break for a couple of years to ending the series? Troll hard brother!

  9. bernhtp - May 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    For the trolls with opinions, obviously ignorant of history, this is a good summary:

    Many erroneously believe that Swarbrick’s last-minute envelope was a classless move, it was actually the most dignified way a lawyer can tell someone to kiss my ass. My personal view is that it was both warranted in context and brilliant.

    • papadec - May 15, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      bern – thank you. A great read & very informative. It should be “suggested” reading for all ND students & subway alumni. I was under the impression that UM had introduced football to ND, and that it was a friendly rivalry. I guess I’m fortunate in that UM alums I know, granted not many, are nice people.

  10. fnc111 - May 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    What do you expect from scUM?

    If Kelly can beat them this year you won’t see me rip him again.

    • mtflsmitty - May 15, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      Why not just respond to my wager, fnc? You’ve been talking so much trash here for so long. Someone actually gives you the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is and you just ignore it. Come on!

      Five losses or more, I will never post here again.
      Four losses or fewer, you never post here again.


      • papadec - May 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        smitty – your posting life is safe. fnc hasn’t got the guts to take the bet.

  11. harvupdyke - May 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Alabama 41, UM 14.

    Alabama 42, Rudy 14.

    Who really wants to see 2 crappy, extremely overrated programs play anymore? At least both y’all could put up 14 against the greatest football program in history.

    Rudy you can’t have it both ways. You want a network & your own blog, then you have to put up with fans from the greatest football program in history posting their comments too. Deal with it.

    Denard sucks too.

    Roll dam tide.

    • papadec - May 15, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      harv – ignorance is bliss & you’re the happiest troll in all of creation. “greatest football program in history” – NOT! I’ll give you best under Saban – but in history? No way.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - May 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      what did the fish say when it swam into a wall? dam.

      what did harv say when he finally learned to spell? damn.

  12. tlndma - May 16, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Hey Brady, I hope you make the Rose Bowl soon, so we can see if you can keep up the Michigan tradition of getting your ass kicked.

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