Kelly Wants Notre Dame To Play Michigan
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, perhaps responding to an allegation by Michigan coach Brady Hoke that the Irish are "chickening out," told ESPN on Saturday that he'd like the team to resume its series with the Wolverines.
Notre Dame, of course, ended the annual rivalry after shifting to a partial ACC schedule; the schools are not slated to meet again after Sept. 6.
Michigan's non-conference schedule is set through 2017, and the Wolverines will face Arkansas in '18 and '19. The Wolverines confirmed to ESPN that Notre Dame has made no mention to them about resuming the series at any point. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has told reporters that the series will sit on the shelf for a "considerable period of time," suggesting it may be 2022 before the teams could even schedule each other logistically.
In other words, Kelly can say he wants Michigan as many times as he wants, but it's not happening any time soon. It's a strong if transparent public relations move.
"When [athletic director Jack Swarbrick] and I sit down and we start discussing 'what do you want to do?' we don't start or end that without having Michigan or Michigan State part of that conversation, and there's an SEC school involved in that conversation, as well," Kelly said, according to ESPN. "I can assure you that Michigan, Michigan State and an SEC school is involved in those conversations. How that pans out, I'm telling you, it's a very complicated deal."
Meanwhile, Notre Dame and Michigan State, which have played each season since 1997, will play again in '16 and '17. The schools have tentatively agreed to play in '23, '26 and '27, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told the team's beat writers last week.