First the bad, awful, miserable news. Michigan and Notre Dame will cease their rivalry after 35 years straight. M v ND was always a big deal whilst growing up in my Catholic house where two great Uncles went to Michigan. So it’s #16 ND versus unranked M. ND pulled the plug on the rivalry because they want more ACC games like FSU and Miami…but then again, it was Michigan who blocked ND’s membership to the Big 10…
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The greatest challenge for Michigan and No. 16 Notre Dame on Saturday might be finding a fitting finale to an on-again, off-again rivalry that repeatedly has produced some finishes.
There have been three last-minute victories in the past five seasons alone, all won by the Wolverines. Freshman Tate Forcier threw a five-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left in a 38-24 victory in 2009. A year later, Denard Robinson scored on a 2-yard run with 27 seconds to go. The teams found a way to top those games in 2011 when they traded leads three times in the final 72 seconds, with the Wolverines winning when on a 16-yard TD pass by Robinson with 2 seconds left,
The Irish have their share of thrilling victories in the series, including linebacker Bob Crable stepping on the back of Michigan center Mike Trgovac and leaping to block a 42-yard field goal with 1 second left to preserve a 12-10 win in 1979.
The game Saturday will mark the 42nd meeting in the series that started in 1887. Michigan leads the series 24-16-1, but holds just a 15-14-1 edge since the series resumed in 1978. Half of the past 24 games have been decided by five points or less.
The schools 150 miles apart rank 1-2 in winning percentage, with Notre Dame holding the lead. But the Wolverines would reclaim the title with a win Saturday. The game features two of the nation’s most recognizable fight songs, but had a new tune added to the rivalry last year when Michigan played the ”Chicken Dance” after a 41-30 victory. That came in the wake of Michigan coach Brady Hoke saying the Irish were ”chickening out” of the series.
Chickening out? No, playing higher caliber teams…yes. Michigan has stunk the joint up recently; they aren’t the Michigan of Olde.
The Ranking after week 1
|1||Florida State (46)||1-0||1456|
|9||Texas A&M (2)||1-0||978|
And, the interesting games this week:
3:30 PMNo. 14 USC at No. 13 Stanford. USC is getting 3 points at The Cardinal. After Week 1, USC ranks No. 4 in the country in total offense (701 yards) and Stanford ranks No. 5 in total defense (115). This doesn’t mean much, they played cupcakes last week. I’m taking USC to win this, and I think they will cover. Look for another exciting ending.
6:30 PMNo. 7 Michigan State at No. 3 Oregon. MSU is getting 13 on the road at the Ducks. Oregon will fade again at the end of the season, Speed is great, but toughness and smarts win in the long run. In the short run, O blows MSU off the field and covers.