Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told the Detroit News that Michigan will miss the rivalry with Notre Dame but said "neither team needs the other."
The game between the Wolverines and Fighting Irish on Saturday is the final scheduled meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick informed Brandon before the teams' 2012 game that Notre Dame was exercising an out clause in the series agreement.
“This is the way life works. They’ve moved on and made decisions, and we respect that. It doesn’t have to be a battle royale or some kind of a situation where there’s a winner or a loser. It’s just change. The folks at Notre Dame, when they joined the ACC, had some decisions to make and created priorities and created a strategy how they wanted to schedule the football team."
The two schools have traded barbs since the news that the series is ending. Last year, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly labeled the rivalry more a "regional" one than a national one. Michigan coach Brady Hoke told a group of alumni that the Fighting Irish were "chickening out" of the rivalry, and the "Chicken Dance" song was played at Michigan Stadium after the Wolverines beat Notre Dame last season.
The athletic director also raised the possibility of playing Notre Dame in a one-off neutral site game at some point over the next decade and a half.
Four of the last five games between the teams have been decided by seven points or less. Michigan beat Notre Dame last season 41-30.
- Ben Estes