Friday, September 5, 2014

College Football's Oldest Rivalry Ends on Saturday

There was nobody more excited to hear about Notre Dame's agreement with the ACC two years ago. The idea of playing teams like Florida State, Viriginia Tech, Clemson periodically as well as occasionally renewing an old rivalry with Miami was awesome news. But with that news, the Fighting Irish knew they would have to give something up. They couldn't not play Navy. That honors the WWII veterans. There was no way they were giving up USC. And since Stanford is kind of the team that alternates with USC, the Cardinal was going nowhere.

So that left Notre Dame no choice but to get rid of their Big Ten rivals. That left Michigan as the odd team out. As happy as I am that we have that agreement with the ACC, it is hard for me to imagine not playing Michigan. When I think of this game, I remember being a kid in a small Michigan town with a family full of people yelling "Go Blue!" This was the game opened the season every year. There was no tune up game. But while my family was all rooting for Michigan, I remember Notre Dame blowing them out every year. So I told them that I like the team in the gold helmets better.

Now here we are at the last time these two natural enemies will face. As with all of Notre Dame's rivals, there is so much history in this rivalry. It was Michigan who actually taught Notre Dame the game of football.

So what will happen in this last game? It will be exciting to see. Last year Devin Gardner exploded for a great game. You know that the Irish defense will be out for revenge. Two years Everett Golson was pulled for Tommy Rees and now he has one shot for redemption. Of course, neither side will want to end this with a loss.

So that would lead you to believe that the game will be really competitive. However, it is really still early to gauge how good either team is. Both teams blew out their opponents last week. I would think that Rice is a little tougher opponent than Appalachian State based on the fact that they are at least in an FBS conference and are the defending champs in Conference USA. Having said that, you can never tell after one game who is better. This is a tough one to predict so I will go with the home team. GO IRISH!

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