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September 05, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-05

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

Friday, September 5, 2014 -- 7

Once again, 'M' and ND bid farewell (or not

By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Managing Sports Editor
Depending on which side
you're approaching it from, Notre.
Dame's decision to suspend its
football rivalry with Michigan is
either an unfortunate necessity
of conference realignment, or, as
coach Brady Hoke has suggested,
a deliberate move by the Irish to
make their schedule alittle easier.
"They're still going to play
Michigan State, they'll play
Purdue, they don't want to play
Mithigan," Hoke told attendees
of the West Michigan Sports
Commission in Grand Rapids
last May.
No matter how you feel about
the drama, remember two things:
Michigan and Notre Dame have
almost always been at odds, and
this isn't the first time the rivalry,
has been put on hold.
Thoughonthe other occasions,
it was Michigan's fault.
Leaders and Learners
In 1887, per Notre Dame's
request, Michigan traveled to
South Bend for a joint training.
session to teach the Irish
football. Not surprising given
the circumstances, Michigan
won the next day's game, 8-0,
an amicable beginning to what
would become a bitter rivalry.
"The Michigan boys, the
champions of the West, came
more to instruct them in the
points of the Rugby game than
to . win fresh laurels," wrote
Scholastic, Notre Dame's student
newspaper. "This occasion has
started an enthusiastic football
boom, and it is hoped that
coming years will witness a
series of these contests."
As the Wolverines departed
SouthBend, Scholasticcontinued,
Rev. President Matthew Walsh
thanked them and assured future
teams of a "cordial reception" on
their campus.
This weekend, you might have
s hard time findingthat.
The Wolverines won the
first -eight games of the series,
conceding just 10 points total
in that span, and the programs
met sporadically until the Irish
claimed their first victory over
Michigan in 1909.

Michigan and Notre Dame have intertwined stories, beginning with the Wolverines teaching the Irish football in 1887. The Daily dives into the history books.

Then, they didn't play again.
until 1942. What happened?
An untimely cancellation
The day of Michigan's game
at Notre Dame in 2012, Notre
Dame Athletic Director Jack
Swarbick delivered a note to
Dave Brandon. Not thinking
much of it, Brandon waited until
after the contest to read it.
Because the envelope had
been received before kickoff,
that night's Irish win counted as
one of the required three games
notice, meaning the series could
end in 2014 rather than 2015.
But last-minute cancellations
are nothing new. In fact,
Michigan did it first, and with
much less warning.
The Wolverines were
scheduled to host Notre Dame
in 1910, but Michigan coach
Fielding H. Yost argued that
two Irish players had exceeded
their eligibility. The team
from South Bend, though, said
otherwise and planned to dress
the athletes in question.
So the day before the game,
Michigan called it off.

.

"It is understood here that
this ends all athletic relations
between Michigan and Notre
Dame," The New York Times.
reported on Nov. 5, 1910.
Some of the animosity
stemmed from Yost's disdain for
Catholics. By the mid-1920s, he
spearheaded a campaign to bar
Notre Dame from joining the
Big Ten or playing conference
opponents.
The Wolverines didn't meet
their nearby rivals again until
1942, after Yost had left his
position as Athletic Director.
Blip in the radar: Two
meetings during World War II
In 1942 and 1943, Michigan
and Notre Dame met in a home-
and-home series, with each team
winning on the road.
But relations between coaches
Fritz Crisler and the Irish's
Frank Leahy were strained.
When Notre Dame invited
Crisler to its postseason banquet
in 1942, the Michigan coach
replied expressing his "deep
disappointment" in having to
decline, according to John Kryk's

book, Natural Enemies.
Later, Crisler told an alumnus
that, "I have my tongue in my
cheek when I say that."
After the 1943 meeting, Notre
Dame sought to schedule more
meetings with the Wolverines.
Crisler revealed Michigan's
position in December, telling
the Associated Press that "we'd
better wait until we know more
about what footballwill be like in
the next few years."
As Kryk's book details,
Crisler also believed that the
Wolverines' affiliation with the
Big Ten complicated efforts
to schedule Notre Dame, and
the coach regularly dismissed
Leahy's requests for future
meetings.
In 1946, Michigan even went
as far as creating an official
policy mandating that. their
three non-conference games be
against a team from the East,
one from the West and Michigan
State - which at the time was
independent - effectively
eliminating the Irish from
schedule consideration.
The series went on hiatus
again until 1978.

A man, a plan, Canham: The
modern era
Hired in 1968, at a time when
Michigan Stadium averaged
fewer than 70,000 fans, former
Athletic Director Don Canham
is the reason Michigan has had
at least 100,000 people crammed
into the Big House in every game
since Nov. 8, 1975.
He's known for slapping
the block 'M' on anything that
would sell in order to promote
Michigan's brand, but he also
recognized the value of big-name
opponents and rivalries.
Notre Dame Athletic Director
Moose Krause approached
Canham at a banquet before
the 1969 season and suggested
their football teams play again.
Canham quickly agreed with
a handshake, and the series
resumed in 1978.
The following year, Michigan
hosted the Irish for the first time
in more than three decades. And
on that afternoon, 105,111 fans
packed the Big House.
The teams have played
regularly since.

This isthe future
There's a reason the
Wolverines and Nbtre Dame
have met just 41 times since the
rivalry's humble roots in 1887.
The majority of the blame
falls on Michigan, which -
for legitimate reasons or not
- has found excuses to avoid
scheduling the program from
South Bend.
Last September, Irish
coach Brian Kelly stirred up
controversy by arguing that
the series isn't a "historic,
traditional" rivalry. At least in
some ways, he's right. Unlike
Michigan-Ohio State or Notre
Dame-USC, this one has almost
always been expendable,
Because of Notre Dame's
new obligation to play five ACC
programs every year, the Irish
had to make some cuts.
The rivalries with- Big Ten
adversaries Michigan State (77
total meetings) and Purdue
(85) survived. The one with
Michigan did not.
But in other ways, Kelly's
comments downplayed the
importance of the series.
Michigan and Notre Dame
are just three hours apart
by car. They possess storied,
intertwined histories (the birth
of the Irish football program, its
status as an FBS independent,
the fierce debate surroundingthe
1947 championship).
The game has served as a
barometer, an early test to
determine which program
deserves the most respect in
the Midwest. After all, Notre
Dame and Michigan boast 1,786
combined wins and are No. 1
and No. 2 in all-time winning
percentage.
That margin is so close the
Wolverines can surpass the Irish
with a victory Saturday, a fitting
bookend to the series as it once
again enters a hiatus.
For a rivalry with so much
history, it has been mired by
controversy, and abandoned
time and again for petty and
political reasons.
But Saturday, just like that day
127 years ago, the Wolverines
will travel to South Bend and
there will be football.

The series' three best games Who gets the last laugh?

By GREG GARNO
Managing Sports Editor
The Daily has been covering
the rivalry since 1920, and we
broke downthethreebestgames
in the storied history.
No. 3: Notre Dame 29 -
Michigan 27 (1980)
The Daily dubbed it a
"seesaw battle" in which the
Fighting Irish's Harry Oliver
nailed a 51-yard field goal as
time expired.
Oliver, who called the kick
"by far the greatest moment of
my life," finished a drive that
began with just 41 seconds to go
in the game.
Michigan, though, had
mounted a comeback after it
fell down 14-0 early in the first
half. It fought back to score 21
unanswered points thanks to
two touchdown passes from
John Wangler.
He threw his third late in the
fourth quarter to Craig Dunaway
to give the Wolverines the lead
for a fleeting moment.
Former coach Bo
Schembechler said then: "It was
a great Michigan effort. We have
nothing to be ashamed of."
The Daily's Stan Bradbury
called it, "Heartache, plain and
simple."
Notre Dame and Michigan
both lost two games that season,
but the Wolverines won the Rose
Bowl that year over Washington.
No. 2: Michigan 26 - Notre
Dame 24(1994)
The Wolverines exacted
revenge after the 1980
heartbreaking loss by delivering
one of their own.
Michigan quarterback Todd
Collins mounted a drive with
46 seconds to go on the 17-yard
line, marching down the field,
escaping what seemed to be an
imminent sack to set up Remy
Hamilton's 42-yard field goal
with seven seconds to go.

H
"C
di.

FILE PHOTO/Daily
Michigan and Notre Dame have regularly been among the country's best

Hamilton kicked three field
goals before that, connecting on
his longest for the game winner.
Until then, Hamilton had made
one field goal in his entire career.
Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz
called a timeout as the play clock
wound down in an attempt to ice
Hamilton, but the added time
gave him a chance toset up.
"(Notre Dame) did us a favor,"
Hamilton said after the game.
"Thanks, Lou."
Wolverine fans swarmed the
field and stormed down South
University in celebration.
"I'm sure I won't appreciate
this until I'm older," Hamilton
said.
Collins, meanwhile, passed
for 224 yards while tailback
Tshimanga Biakabutuka (an
all-time great name) rushed
for 100 yards. Collins shined in
a game overshadowed by star
quarterback Ron Pawlus.
Michael Rosenburg, now with
Sports Illustrated, wrote then:
"I'm telling you it's perfect.
Another chapter in the folklore."
No. 1: Michigan 35 - Notre
Dame 31(2011)
Games like this are tough to

script. The kind that are hyped
up so much and live up to it.
In the program's first-ever
night game, Michigan completed
one of its best finishes. Trailing
24-7, the Wolverines scored
21 unanswered points behind
quarterback Denard Robinson.
Even the Fighting Irish's
touchdown with 30 seconds left
to retake the lead wasn't enough.
Robinson erased three
quarters of ugly football when he
found Jeremy Gallon alone on the
sideline before connecting with
Roy Roundtree in the end zone
with two seconds remaining.
The Daily's Tim Rohan, now
with the New York Times, said
of the game in his column: "The
crowd was roaring, woken up
from its slumber by a team that
needed waking itself. Every
maize pom-pom beat the air in
unison. The event - the first
night game ever, the largest
crowd ever, the anticipation
building because it seemed
everyone who had ever called
Ann Arbor home was back in
town this weekend - felt larger
than life. Under the lights.
"And the game was outshining
the event."

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oke called Irish of a home-and-home series
between Notre Dame and
:hicken;" Kelly Ohio State in 2022 and 2023.
The Fighting Irish said they
smissedrivary didn't have room for the
series with Michigan, and the
By MAX COHEN announcement indicates that
Daily Sports Editor they may view the Wolverines'
chief rival as a better program
has been two years since despite Michigan winning four
igan Athletic Director of the last five games against
Brandon was handedthe Notre Dame.
that said But this week, both coaches
Dame Michigan a have noticeably avoided
pting out creating more drama.
s series Notre Dame Kelly was careful with his
the Matchup: words at his weekly press
erines. Michigan conference Monday to prevent
w, the 1-0; Notre adding any additional fuel to
meeting Dame 1-0 the fire. He was asked if the
here. When: end of the rivalry would be a
day's Saturday good thing for college football
in 7:30 P.M. because of the opportunities
Bend Where: Notre both teams will be able to
be the Dame Stadium pursue in its place. The coach
meeting TV: NBC jumped around the question but
en the still wanted reassurance that he
ams for did well in his response.
reseeable "How did I do with that?
e, ending a historic rivalry. Pretty good?" Kelly asked.
ere has been no shortage of Hoke has been more coy than
oversy and bold statements usual this week, particularly
Brandon received the in regard to his own team. He
. Michigan coach Brady hasn't commented on injuries
called the Fighting Irish since Monday and refused to
kens" for reveal which
g out and offensive
Dame linemen
Brian "They pipe in will play.
deemed The status
rivalry their own music. of freshman
onal" cornerback
e the ... It's right in Jabrill
was bPeppers
d in 2013, backof us. and senior
entiment linebacker
which Desmond
and Morgan, both

At center, redshirt junior
Graham Glasgow has fulfilled
his one-game suspension,
meaning he could possibly
replace redshirt junior Jack
Miller at the position. Fifth-
year senior Joey Burzynski
started at right guard against
Appalachian State but was
replaced by redshirt sophomore
Kyle Kalis in the first half.
Hoke has given no indication
about which players have been
earning the reps in practice or
who will play Saturday.
Hoke has acknowledged that
crowd noise will be a factor
on the road. He has taken to
playing the Notre Dame fight
song in front of his players all
week so it won't faze them.
He predicted Wednesday that
the preparation of his players
will help them overcome the
road environment despite the
difficulties it presents.
"The intensity in the stress
that we can continue to put on
our players so that when you do
go to a great venue and play a
game, a place where it's going to
be loud - they pipe in their own
music, as we all know," Hoke
said. "It's right in back of us."
On the field, Notre Dame
presents its own problems.
Quarterback Everett Golson
looked sharp in his return last
week after missing the 2013
season because of academic
dishonesty. He threw for 295
yards and two touchdowns in
addition to rushing for three
more in Notre Dame's 48-17
drubbing of Rice.
Michigan's pass defense shut
down Appalachian State, but
Golson presents a far greater
challenge, as does the entire
Fighting Irish team.
Michigan lost the last time
it played in South Bend, when
Brandon was handed the letter
that ended the rivalry. Saturday
is the Wolverines' chance to get
the last word.

many fans disagreed. Just
last week, Michigan senior
defensive end Frank Clark said
the conclusion of the rivalry felt
like "a slap in the face."
Another perceived slap in
the face to the Wolverines came
with Thursday's announcement

potential difference-makers, is
uncertain.
The offensive line also comes
into the game with numerous
questions. Hoke has maintained
that he has a plan for the unit
all week, but he hasn't divulged
what exactly it is.

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