It appears football life (almost) in the ACC is starting to come into scheduling focus, as news is starting to trickle out from Big Ten rivals about future dates. While the Michigan series is on hold (likely until 2020), Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced the future of the Irish-Spartans rivalry isn’t going anywhere.
At the Big Ten’s spring meetings, Hollis discussed the plans going forward in the battle for the Megaphone, and it looks as if there’s a creative solution for the long-running, if under-appreciated rivalry. The current agreement between the two programs runs through 2032, with four seasons on, two seasons off, the first break beginning in 2014.
As reported by the Detroit News, Hollis talked about the rivalry and how both schools plan on keeping it alive.
“We want to have the Irish on our schedule because of the rivalry,” Hollis told the Detroit News. “I was talking about the Big Ten being cool and hip and impressing the 14-year-olds at the same time as impressing the 60-year-olds. I think the Notre Dame game is a cool and hip game that builds off tradition and is one that is important to continue. I think we want them (on the schedule), but I’m not sure I would use the term ‘need them’ on the schedule.”
That’s not to say that both schools won’t have issues moving forward. With nonconference agreements set with Alabama, Oregon, Miami and Boise State, there’s not a lot of wiggle room in a schedule that’ll be moving to nine-conference games in 2016.
Still, in a series where the two teams have met 75 times and have played missed playing each other only four times since 1948, keeping the game alive is important to both schools.
“Wherever that ends will be in the best interest of Notre Dame and Michigan State,” Hollis told the Detroit News. “He’s gonna have some bumps in the road with the ACC integration and we obviously have some seasons where you want to make sure (you ensure) the sanity of the coach and the excitement of the fans and balance the home and away (schedule) and keep seven home games. As you go through all the variables you encounter a few seasons where everything doesn’t lineup and you have to make some adjustments.”