Brady Hoke: Notre Dame series cancellation 'unfortunate,' but Michigan will survive
ANN ARBOR -- Asked last week how he might feel if the Michigan-Notre Dame football series went away, Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said he'd be survive one way or the other.
And after news broke Tuesday that Notre Dame chose to end its annual series with Michigan after the 2014 season, Hoke stuck to a similar sentiment, saying it's sad the Wolverines and Fighting Irish won't be playing year in and year out, but in the end, Michigan will be just fine.
"My reaction is Notre Dame made a decision, it's not our decision," Hoke said Tuesday during the Big Ten coaches teleconference. "(Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon) told me on Sunday what was going to happen.
"It's unfortunate, it's a great rivalry, but they've got to do what they think's best."
The Associated Press reported earlier Tuesday that Notre Dame was exercising a three-year out clause to end the annual series after the 2014 game is played in South Bend, Ind.
Brandon then reaffirmed that the decision was Notre Dame's, and not Michigan's.
Michigan fell 13-6 at Notre Dame on Saturday, snapping a three-game winning streak in the series. All-time, the Wolverines lead the series (which has featured 40 meetings since 1887) 23-15-1.
Michigan is currently No. 1 on college football's all-time wins list with 897, while Notre Dame is No. 3 with 857.
Michigan is moving forward, per Brandon, and the absence of the Fighting Irish on the schedule now creates "a chance to create some new rivalries."
Brandon was able to put Michigan in a national spotlight game earlier this season by playing Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. He's also made creative future scheduling moves by adding Appalachian State and Colorado to Michigan's slate down the road.
The absence of Notre Dame, however, should allow Michigan to seek out a big name non-conference school -- if it wants -- moving forward.
Hoke says he hasn't given any thought to where Michigan might look in terms of future opponents, but he says he's confident the Wolverines will find a suitable replacement for the Fighting Irish.
"In the long run, we knew this might happen," he said. "But I have not really thought out there far enough. I'm sure Dave and I will have conversations and do what's right for Michigan.
"I think we've done a pretty good job here with scheduling. The national rivalry with Notre Dame, when that was on the schedule, your strength of schedule was pretty good. We opened up with Alabama this year and playing Air Force, who is a good Mountain West team, I think that's all part of it."