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“Obviously we kind of enjoy and cherish the rivalry,” Hoke said Tuesday night. “There’s so much history there.”

No. 10 Notre Dame (4-0) is in the top 10 for the first time since 2006. Michigan (2-2) started the season No. 8 and has dropped out of the poll after losses to No. 1 Alabama and then the Irish. Both teams have a bye this week.

The Wolverines have an NCAA-best .735 winning percentage in football and the Irish (.732) are second. Michigan leads all-time series 23-16-1.

“Michigan has always enjoyed and respected our national rivalry with Notre Dame,” Brandon said. “We understand there have been periods of times that we’ve had a hiatus to take a couple years off to play other teams and that was something we expected along the way.

“It’s unfortunate that it would appear we’re going to go a substantial amount of time between games. But that is a decision Notre Dame has made. Our job is to find opponents that are exciting for our student-athletes as well as our fans to replace Notre Dame.”

Michigan State expects its long series with Notre Dame to continue with matchups in four straight seasons followed by two-year breaks through the 2031 season. If the Irish, or the Spartans, want to get out of the deal they can pay the other school as little as $150,000 with a two-year notice. Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said earlier this month that he doesn’t expect Notre Dame’s ACC affiliation to affect the rivalry.


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