Irish head coach Brian Kelly talks with Michigan coach Brady Hoke before their meeting last September.
The long-standing rivalry between Michigan and Notre Dame will go on a two-year hiatus at the end of the current decade, a school spokesman confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
A Michigan press release earlier Wednesday revealed that the two teams would not play one another during the 2018 or 2019 seasons.They have played regularly since 1978 with several other short breaks during that time period. The most recent break occurred in 2000 and 2001. Notre Dame's associate athletic director John Heisler said today's announcement had been in the works for a while and is not connected in any way to conference realignment or yesterday's news of a future college football playoff.
Both schools say they plan to continue the regular series in 2020. Heisler said the decision was a combination of an anticipated busy start to the season in those years and the regular process these two schools have of playing other teams from time to time.
"It's really just a combination of those things," Heisler said.
The two teams have met 39 times since Michigan introduced Notre Dame to college football in 1887. The Wolverines lead the all-time series with a record of 23-15-1.
The Michigan release also announced the official dates for the rivalry game during the 2014-16 seasons. All three will be during the first two weeks of the regular season.
2014 — Sept. 6 at Notre Dame, Ind.
2015 — Sept. 12 at Ann Arbor, Mich.
2016 — Sept. 10 at Notre Dame, Ind.