You'll notice that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly this week hasn't trashed the Irish's rivalry with Michigan State. Hasn't downplayed its status the way he did the Notre Dame-Michigan series a couple of weeks ago.
For good reason. Michigan State is the superior rivalry in Notre Dame lore.
Since 1947, the Irish and the Spartans have played every year except four — 1953, 1958, 1995 and 1996. It's a storied series that includes a Game of the Century contender (1966) and seemingly annual thrilling games.
Just in the 2000s, these programs have played games of 31-24, 44-41, 40-37, 33-30 and 34-31. The series is tied 6-6 since 2000, though Notre Dame leads all-time 47-28-1.
“We've played a lot of great games with them over the years,” said Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees.
Alas, the series is contracted to begin a four-years-on, two-years-off rotation, starting with no games in 2014-15. That's due to Notre Dame's impending, part-time ACC schedule.
Those matters are trivial to Oklahoma fans, who are more consumed with what kind of team awaits the Sooners on Sept. 28 in South Bend.