College football: Notre Dame-Michigan State series has produced some strong games

The Fighting Irish warm up for the Sooners with Michigan State. Notre Dame and Michigan State have a storied series that includes a Game of the Century contender (1966) and seemingly annual thrilling games.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 20, 2013

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.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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