NOTRE DAME - The oldest rivalry in college football is coming to an end sooner than expected.
According to the Associated Press, Notre Dame has notified Michigan it is exercising a three-year out in their contract, meaning their last scheduled game against each other will come in 2014. The two sides were contracted to play every year through 2017.
A letter from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon canceling games in 2015-2017 was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The Irish beat the Wolverines 13-6 Saturday night. The two sides first played in 1887.
Dropping Michigan from the football schedule comes in conjunction with Notre Dame decided to move it's sports to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Football will remain independent, but agrees to play five games annually with ACC teams beginning in 2015, creating the need for more flexibility on the football schedule.
“Our contract with Michigan has an automatic rollover provision – with a year being added each time a game is played", Notre Dame senior associate athletics director John Heisler said in a statement.
"We needed to avoid the automatic addition of additional games until we can get a better understanding of our available inventory in those years – an understanding that will develop as we implement our five-game scheduling commitment to the Atlantic Coast Conference."
“The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame’s and not ours,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Tuesday in a statement. “We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries.”