Kelly sees possible Michigan-Notre Dame revival
It hasn’t even been gone a full year yet, but there is already hope of a return to one of college football’s most historic rivalries.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was asked about a possible return of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry, which came to an end after last year’s 37-0 rout in South Bend.
The Irish infamously elected not to book any future meetings beyond 2014. But now, Kelly said there might be a return of the 100-year old rivalry.
“I think it’s trending up,” Kelly said during an appearance Wednesday on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “It’s something that we need to get obviously in line to get that going. I think that’s something that everybody wants to get going and get Michigan back on the schedule.
“…I think that sentiment is coming back to the forefront of where college football needs to be. Some of those classic rivalries coming back together. I know we’re going to be working hard to see if we can get that done.”
Former Michigan coach Brady Hoke stirred the pot in 2013 following Notre Dame’s unwillingness to continue the series beyond 2014.
He claimed that Notre Dame was “chickening out.”
“We have unbelievable rivalry games at Michigan,” Hoke said in 2013. “The Notre Dame, that rivalry, which they’re chickening out of … they’re still going to play Michigan State, they’ll play Purdue; they don’t want to play Michigan.”
Notre Dame did beat Michigan in two of Hoke’s final three years with the Wolverines, but Michigan leads the all-time series 24-17-1. This is the first time the historic powerhouses haven’t played since 2001.
Michigan and Notre Dame had breaks in the rivalry. A 35-year break that spanned from 1943-1978 was the longest break between meetings, though the current one doesn’t appear it’ll last that long if Kelly’s comments have any weight.
Kelly didn’t say on the Rich Eisen Show that he had been involved in the planning of the future series, just that he heard talks to reunite the two winningest programs (by percentage) in the history of college football are trending up.
He made a prediction, too.
“I think you’re going to see it happen.”