Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/18/14

First it was Nebraska-Oklahoma. Then Texas-Texas A&M. And next, The Backyard Brawl, between Pittsburgh and West Virginia. All great rivalries, all ruined by college football realignment.

And on Tuesday morning, another great rivalry was taken away from us, when it was announced that starting in 2015 Notre Dame and Michigan will play no more. The series was already cancelled for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and a Freedom of Information Act request by the AP revealed that Notre Dame used a three-year clause in the contract between the two schools to cancel all games starting in 2015 through 2017 as well.

Now to their credit, Michigan seemed to want none of this decision, with Wolverines AD Dave Brandon releasing a statement this morning which read:

"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours. We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries."

So whether you’re a fan of the Irish, Wolverines or just college football in general, enjoy these last few games between Notre Dame and Michigan in 2013 and 2014. Outside of the postseason, it is the last time you’ll see the two Midwest powers play for a very long time.

And it is almost assuredly because of realignment.

As you may remember, a few weeks ago the Irish announced that outside of football, the school would be taking all their sports and moving from the Big East to the ACC. And while the decision had no direct correlation to what we did on the gridiron (the Irish will remain independent), there was one clause that caught our attention: In exchange for their independence in football, the Irish would commit to playing four ACC games per season.

With long-standing rivalries with Navy, Stanford and USC set in stone and those four new games with the ACC, it meant some games had to go, and at the time it seemed likely that many would involve Midwest rivals like Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan. Apparently at least one of those games is Michigan, a bummer for college football fans everywhere.

Look, no matter how you feel about the state of college football and where Michigan and Notre Dame stand in the national pecking order, it was always fun to see these two teams play in a game which almost always early in the year, and almost always as a make-or-break game for each program. For one school their National Championship dreams would essentially be over by the middle of September, and for the other, they lived on for another day. That wasn’t always the case (especially in recent seasons), but still held true in more years than not.

And playing just this past weekend, we did learn how much people still care about these two teams. On Saturday night this game did a 4.0 overnight rating, which was more than the 3.2 that Florida State and Clemson (two Top 10 teams) did, and more than twice as much as Oklahoma-Kansas State. And the craziest part is that Saturday’s game was that according to SportsMediaWatch.com, it was actually the second rated Michigan-Notre Dame game since 2007. Win or lose, ranked or not, people do still care about this game, and these teams.

Unfortunately, like so many other great rivalries this one will now go the way of the dodo bird, and be nothing but a faint memory to the fans who love these teams and this sport.

We all understand why this stuff happens; reasons like realignment and TV money.

It doesn’t mean we have to like it though.

For all his opinion, analysis and insight on college football, follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.