ND-Michigan important, but not imperative for success

ND-Michigan important, but not imperative for success
September 7, 2013, 12:45 pm
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — In the course of Notre Dame history, the Michigan game often serves as a measuring stick for success. Granted, the game's only been played 40 times since 1887, and two of Notre Dame's 11 championships have come in years in which Michigan wasn't on the schedule.

[MORE: Door may not be shut on Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry]

But a few statistics from the rivalry history nevertheless jump out:

-- In years in which Notre Dame beats Michigan, the Irish are 144-41-6 (a .754 winning percentage). When losing to Michigan, they're 184-93-6 (a .650 winning percentage).

-- It's worth noting, though, that since 1978 — when Notre Dame/Michigan became a near-annual series — Notre Dame is 92-77-1 (a .541 winning percentage) in years when it loses to Michigan.

-- Of Notre Dame's 11 losing seasons in program history, six came in a year in which Notre Dame lost to Michigan. None came in a year in which Notre Dame beat Michigan.

-- Notre Dame beat Michigan 17-10 to springboard the Irish to a BCS bowl appearance in 2005. A year later, Notre Dame lost 47-21 to Michigan and still managed to reach the Sugar Bowl.

-- The series history is tilted in Michigan's favor (23-16-1), but the Wolverines won the first seven meetings between the two teams from 1887-1908.

-- The only tie in series history came in 1992, when the Irish went 10-1-1.