Is Notre Dame-Michigan a big rivalry or not? Head coaches disagree

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Brian Kelly and Brady Hoke have different opinions on the importance of Saturday's big matchup.

College GameDay travels to Ann Arbor on Saturday for a showdown between Notre Dame and Michigan, a matchup with a storied history and many hard-fought battles in the past. But is it a rivalry? The head coaches appear to differ.

This all started when Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said the matchup was perhaps not as big of a deal as some of the Irish's other matchups. Via the Chicago Tribune:

"I really haven't seen it as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries," Kelly said on a conference call. "I've seen it as just one of those great football games that Notre Dame has played.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke responded Monday, disputing Kelly's view of the series.

There is some additional history here: Notre Dame took advantage of an out-clause that allowed it to discontinue the series after 2015, causing Hoke to say the Irish were "chickening out of" the game.

The series first began in 1887, and the two teams have met every year since 2002. Michigan leads the all-time series between the two schools, 23-16-1, and the last two games have been split after Michigan won four of the five games from 2006-10.

The Tribune also noted that USC would likely be the rivalry most Irish fans would pick as the most heated for the school. The Irish and Trojans have played against each other 80 times in their history.

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