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Notre Dame drops Michigan from football schedule

Notre Dame wide receiver Theo Riddick left defended by Michigan Thomas Gordcatches pass end zone for touchdown during first quarter

Notre Dame wide receiver Theo Riddick, left, defended by Michigan Thomas Gordon, catches a pass in the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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Updated: September 25, 2012 3:38PM

Michigan became the first casualty of Notre Dame’s new scheduling agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said on Tuesday that the Irish have cancelled the scheduled football games between the two traditional powerhouses from 2015-17, effectively ending the series after the 2014 edition. The schools already had planned to take a break in the series for 2018 and 2019, so the earliest the teams could play again is 2020.

“The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame’s and not ours,” Brandon said. “We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries.”

Beginning in 2014, the Irish will be playing five games a year against ACC opponents. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick has already said that Navy, USC and Stanford will stay on the schedule. That put

traditional rivalries such as Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan in jeopardy.

“Our contract with Michigan has an automatic rollover provision — with a year being added each time a game is played,” Notre Dame senior associate athletic director John Heisler said. “We needed to avoid the

automatic addition of additional games until we can get a better understanding of our available inventory in those years — an understanding that will develop as we implement our five-game scheduling commitment to the Atlantic Coast Conference.”

The Michigan rivalry, while one of the more high-profile ones on the schedule, is actually quite young compared with MSU and Purdue. Notre Dame has played Michigan State 76 times and Purdue 84 times. The Irish

have played Michigan 40 times.

Brandon told SiriusXM radio on Tuesday afternoon that he received the letter regarding Notre Dame’s decision an hour before kickoff on Saturday.

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