Another harsh reminder about the pitfalls of conference realignment was delivered as Notre Dame exercised its three-year out clause in its deal with Michigan, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The last scheduled meeting between the two programs will be in 2014. Notre Dame’s recent deal to join the ACC was the prime motivator in this decision. The Fighting Irish agreed to join the ACC in all sports except football, but will play at least five ACC teams on the gridiron per season.
"While this move is a necessary precaution as we begin the process of meeting our new scheduling commitment to the ACC," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick wrote in his letter to Michigan AD Dave Brandon, which was obtained by the Associated Press. “Please know that Notre Dame very much values its relationship with Michigan and we look forward to working with you to ensure that our great football rivalry can continue."
This isn’t the first historic rival to go away and it won’t be the last. The Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry was discontinued after the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten. Florida eliminated its series with Miami after the SEC extended its conference schedule from seven to eight games.
The Oklahoma-Texas rivalry was in jeopardy last year, but was saved as both programs opted to stay in the Big 12. Texas A&M put the breaks on its rivalries with Texas and Texas Tech after leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.
Many traditional rivalries in the Northeast have also been put on hiatus due to conference realignments. Unfortunately for college football purists, there is much more movement to come.