It was announced today that Notre Dame is not going to renew the contract to play Michigan annually, meaning the last game will be in 2014 in South Bend. It’s tempting to think that ND witnessed the crapfest on the field this last weekend and decided that Touchdown Jesus shouldn’t take it anymore. But the reality is that it has to with money, conference alignments, and probably tweaking schedules to be a little less murderous so that the Irish — who’ve been on the way back for decades — can have a hope of seeing another National Championship.
As much as I loathe the Irish, I will miss the series, which gave us many, many great memories. The Rocket was ridiculous, and (the good) Denard his second coming. If we squinted enough, we could actually convince ourselves that this series is a representation of what college football should be: quality schools, high character kids, ancient rivals with plenty to taunt each other about. Michigan is the all-time winningest school, with the highest winning percentage, and we actually taught ND how to play the game somewhere in the 1800’s. Notre Dame has more Heisman Trophies, their own network, and God.
I remember Desmond’s catch like it was this morning. I was in grad school at UM, and my wife and I were in the student section when Elvis, on fourth down, went for it all, pumping once and delivering the perfect pass to the perfect receiver. We know the rest.
Ultimately money is winning in College Football, and there is too much to hold one’s nose about. Whether it’s athletes getting a tiny fraction of apparel sales, or sleazy over signing perfected by the SEC, we all know what’s going on, and shrug.
But Michigan v. Notre Dame felt right.