Dear Notre Dame - We Will Miss You. Love, Michigan State

Dear Notre Dame - We Will Miss You. Love, Michigan State

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Dear Notre Dame - We Will Miss You. Love, Michigan State

Spartans and Irish won’t square off again until 2026. Too bad for State – Notre Dame has been close to a gimme for years….

Contact @crowleysullivan

It’s fair for Spartans to feel sympathy for the University of Notre Dame.

It’s hard for a school like Notre Dame to constantly wrestle with the identity crisis it’s faced for decades.

When you consider that the football program remains responsible for the death of a student videographer due to a tragic and completely unnecessary show of malfeasance, you have a school that struggles with more than just identity.

But let’s look at how Michigan State factors into Notre Dame’s ongoing existential crisis.

Notre Dame is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Kind of.

Sort of.

In a way, depending on how you look at it.

On July 1st, 2013, after a hard-to-quantify period in which Notre Dame competed in the Big East (kind of), the Fighting Irish joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Sort of.

The “joining” of the ACC included the university competing against ACC schools across “many” sports.

Most American sports fans know that Notre Dame butters its bread on the gridiron.

Football is what makes Notre Dame something other than Loras College.

But the University of Notre Dame chose to only sort of, kind of, maybe somewhat “join” the ACC when it came to its school’s football program.

In “joining” the ACC across “many” sports, Notre Dame agreed to play five ACC teams a year in football (this began in 2014).

This agreement created some challenges regarding Notre Dame’s efforts to maintain some of its traditional approaches to its football schedule (like making sure the United States Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy all remain on the schedule because Notre Dame is very patriotic).

Let’s forget, for the moment, that the “rivalry” Notre Dame and UMAA have gone to great lengths to emphasize consists of a grand total of 42 games.

And let’s forget, for the moment, that Purdue doesn’t matter as a school or a football program.

Michigan State and Notre Dame have played each other 79 times ever since the schools first met in 1897.

The schools have played as many memorable and meaningful games as any other rivalry and might be the sports most underrated rivalry.

Anyone with a pulse knows that the 1966 Game of the Century that ended in the forever-to-be-debated 10-10 tie will forever be regarded as one of the most impactful games in the history of the sport.

But, Spartans can certainly understand how and why the Irish think that it’s more important to square off against Wake Forest each Fall.

The next time the Spartans and Irish will face off will be in 2026.

And as much as Notre Dame wants to hide their eyes from the reality of this rivalry, consider the following:

Since 1997, Michigan State owns an 11-8 edge over the Irish – something SpartansWire is willing to put a hefty wager on that the average Notre Damer doesn’t even realize.

Consider, too, that there is only college football program that has won more football games at Notre Dame Stadium than the Michigan State Spartans and that one program is Notre Dame.

So, on behalf of all Spartans, we wish Notre Dame the best of luck as it continues to try and find itself in this ever-changing landscape when schools jump from conference to conference.

Notre Dame being a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (sort of) makes sense in the way a frying pan is a good utensil to use if you’re trying to make some fresh squeezed lemonade this summer.

The Spartans have replaced Notre Dame with schools such as Arizona State, Miami (FL), Boise State, Brigham Young, Boston College, and Toledo.

Might be good for the Spartans afterall – the cozy contests with Notre Dame could have been softening up Dantonio’s bunch in the early part of the season and a grudge match with Toledo is prone to give the Green & White an edgier mentality that will pay off come November.

 

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