Aug 31, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly leads his players onto the field before the game against the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 28-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly shrugs off rivalry with Michigan

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly raised some eyebrows on Sunday when he refused to get all sentimental over his team’s upcoming game against the Michigan Wolverines. The teams are only scheduled to meet once more after their game this upcoming Saturday, a move that caused Michigan coach Brady Hoke to accuse the Fighting Irish of “chickening out” of the rivalry.

Said Kelly:

Well I really haven’t seen it as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries. I’ve seen it as just a great football game that Notre Dame has played. For me, I’ve been in Michigan a long time, so I’ve always felt that the Notre Dame-Michigan game was a big regional game. But I think in the Notre Dame history books, this game has [been played], but obviously there’s been some years where it hasn’t been played for a number of years as well (ESPN).

While the rivalry certainly isn’t on the level of USC-Notre Dame, there is a lot of tradition between the two legendary programs, with the Wolverines lead the series 23-16-1. While Kelly’s comments are rather tame as far as “bulletin board” material goes, it will indeed be sad to see the game fall by the wayside for a few years.

[Source: ESPN]

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Tags: Brian Kelly Michigan Wolverines Notre Dame

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