Notre Dame and Michigan might be the two most storied programs in college football history, as the two schools rank No.1 and No.2 in all-time win percentage. The Wolverines and Fighting Irish have faced each other every year since 2002, and they’ll do so for a final time on Saturday night when they meet in South Bend.
The game takes on more significance than usual, since it’s unknown when the two schools will meet again. After it was agreed that Michigan and Notre Dame would meet yearly through 2031, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick made the decision to end the series. With other Notre Dame sports joining the ACC, the football program agreed to play five ACC teams a year.
“It's really disappointing it's going away,” former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr told CBS Sports. “It speaks to the fact that longtime great traditions -- the greatness of college football -- are in many respects losing out. Now, we have to hope some of the new traditions will take effect. But for the old-timers like me, I'm just disappointed to see those great rivalries end.
The rivalry between Michigan and Notre Dame dates back to 1887 when the two teams played their first game against one another. In recent years, the Wolverines have gotten the better of the series, winning four of the last five head-to-head contests, including a 41-30 victory last year.
Last year’s game between the two rivals set an NCAA record as 115,109 fans were in attendance in Ann Arbor to see Michigan win. The end of the rivalry has created some animosity between the two schools, as Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke once said the Fighting Irish were “chickening out” of their agreement to play Michigan. Following the game last season, the public address system played ‘The Chicken Dance” song at Michigan Stadium.
In 2014, though, Notre Dame is expected to get back on the winning side of the rivalry. They enter the contest considered among the top teams in the sport, ranking 16th in the AP Top 25 and 15th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Michigan could find itself in one of the polls with a win this weekend, but they are currently unranked and head to Notre Dame as underdogs.
Point Spread: Notre Dame by 3.5 points
Over-Under: 56.5 points
Start Time: 7:30 PM Eastern Time
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream Online: NBC Sports Live Extra
Prediction: Michigan 37, Notre Dame 31