Is Saturday the start of an end of an era? Could the days of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry be numbered?
Notre Dame has the cache of being an independent football program, but when the school joins the ACC in all sports except football and men's hockey, it will still be tied to a commitment to play five ACC football teams each season.
Michigan has the Irish on its schedule until 2017, but that could change once Notre Dame officially joins the ACC -- and may be forced to replace its traditional rivalry games against Purdue, Michigan State, and Michigan.
Representatives from Notre Dame and Michigan have said there's no written contract between the two schools in regards to the football rivalry -- in essence, they're operating under a gentlemen's agreement.
What's the cardinal rule of entering an agreement? Put it down on paper.
As a result of conference realignment, traditional rivalries in college football are now being forsaken for more money and a higher profile, as well as stronger conference security. If you're in South Bend this weekend, enjoy it now. Unless you're looking forward to watching Notre Dame-Wake Forest football in the near future. Unless a cocktail napkin with a written agreement to continue the ND-UM series turns up somewhere.
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