Thursday, September 5, 2013

Plenty of Bulletin Board Material Thanks to Brian Kelly and Brady Hoke

As Notre Dame and Michigan prepare for their last meeting at the Big House, much of the talk has been about comments made by the two head coaches. I am not sure how much of a difference it really makes and perhaps the media overplays it a bit, but there is definitely bulletin board material in both locker rooms thanks to Brian Kelly and Brady Hoke.

First Hoke made a comment last summer in Grand Rapids that Notre Dame was chickening out on the rivalry. That was obviously a ridiculous comment because we know why Notre Dame is withdrawing from the series. They have an agreement with the ACC to play 5 games with them starting in two years. There are only 12 games in a schedule and they have to get rid of some games. They won't cancel USC, Stanford, or Navy. So what are they supposed to do.

Then Kelly made the statement that you don't take 35 years off a series and call it a great rivalry. There are two problems with that. First, tell any Notre Dame fan that Notre Dame and Miami are not still big rivals. These two haven't played regularly in 20 years but in two recent meetings, it definitely felt like a big rival.

Second, to suggest that this isn't a huge rivalry is just absurd. The two schools are linked by history as it was Michigan who taught Notre Dame the game of football. But more importantly these two teams both generally have national title hopes each year. The win is a huge boost for the winner and definitely a setback for the loser. This year is no different from that.

Kelly did recant later and said it is a great rivalry, but it doesn't matter. I am not sure how much it will matter on Saturday but Hoke and Kelly both provided bulletin board material for their opponents.

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