Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walked into his final Notre Dame-Michigan press conference wearing a blue plaid blazer.
“I did not lose a bet,” Kelly said to open his press conference.
He said he won the blazer during a golf tournament called the Plaid Open that he plays with several coaches from various Michigan schools and that he felt it was fitting to wear on such an occasion.
Michigan and Notre Dame will play for the final time in their current series on Saturday and there are no current plans to renew the series.
However, Kelly’s comments about the series weren’t nearly as loud as his jacket. A year ago, Kelly made national headlines by saying he didn’t consider Michigan-Notre Dame to be a true rivalry. This year, he stuck to the script, talked about the game and kept his feelings about the disappearing series pretty positive.
“I'm not going to go so far as to categorize not playing anymore is a good idea, because that's going to come back to me," Kelly said. "So I'm going to stay away from that. I will say this: Given the complexities of our schedule, in not being able to play Michigan, it opens up so many more exciting opportunities for us.
"The Texas opportunity (and the chance to play Georgia). So, look, we understand the great tradition and the rivalry of the Michigan game, and if it could have worked, it would have worked, but it does open up some pretty exciting games in the future."
The chances of the two sides could possibly working out a future series renewal is slim. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has been adamant that there are no ongoing conversations between the two schools and, with the Big Ten moving to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, there isn’t much room on future schedules to fit Notre Dame in.
But if this series was going to go out, Kelly was going to make sure that — at least in his press conference — he went out in style.
For more Notre Dame news, visit IrishIllustrated.com.
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