Michigan's Brady Hoke enjoys Notre Dame series, but won't be heartbroken if it ends
ANN ARBOR -- Brady Hoke has routinely expressed how happy he is to be part of a football program at Michigan that annually plays three rivalry games.
Those games, of course, involve Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Michigan and Notre Dame will meet for the 40th time Saturday in South Bend, Ind. (7:30 p.m., NBC), and will play for the 11th straight season.
Hoke loves playing Notre Dame. But, if for some reason the Fighting Irish aren't on the Wolverines' schedule at some point down the road, Hoke won't exactly be heartbroken.
"They've got to do what they need to do for them," Hoke said Monday. "If (the Michigan-Notre Dame series) continues, it's great.
"If it doesn't, then we'll move forward."
Notre Dame recently announced a move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports but football, where the Fighting Irish remain as an independent.
However, with the move to the ACC as an athletic department, Notre Dame's football team will soon be required to play five ACC opponents each season -- beginning possibly as soon as 2014.
The Fighting Irish are involved in multiple tradition-rich rivalry games, including annual bouts against Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Southern California, to name a few. Notre Dame has also played Navy every year since 1914.
As far as the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry goes, the Wolverines and Fighting Irish are set to continue playing annually until going on a two-year hiatus in 2018 and 2019. The two schools hope to "resume the rivalry in the years following," but nothing is set in stone.
As far as the current state of the rivalry, Hoke puts annual importance on all three of Michigan's main rivalry tilts -- but the latter two (Michigan State and Ohio State) seem to always draw more focus, especially due to their Big Ten title ramifications.
Hoke has placed countdown clocks in Schembechler Hall for both the MSU and OSU games -- but has no such thing for Notre Dame.
And doesn't plan on changing that either.
"We talk about the series and talk about the legacy of it," he said of the rivalry. "But, you know, there's no clock."