Michigan AD Brandon: No night games vs. Michigan State

Michigan AD Brandon: No night games vs. Michigan State
September 10, 2013, 10:00 am
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Vinnie Duber

The pending departure of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry has raised plenty of questions, but here's one you might not have thought of.

The last two games between the two schools at Michigan Stadium — including Saturday's 41-30 Wolverines win — have been held at night. That might not sound like that big of a deal, but the Michigan football program makes the Chicago Cubs look like the inventors of the night game. Those two contests with Notre Dame were the first two and so far only two night games ever played at the Big House.

So, without the Notre Dame rivalry on the schedule each season, will night football continue at college football's largest stadium?

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According to a report from the Detroit News, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is OK with the idea, but he said there's one rivalry game that won't be played under the lights: the annual game against in-state and in-conference foe Michigan State.

“We put 115,000 people in the stadium and they’ve been partying all day long,” Brandon told the Detroit News. “I know how many people get arrested, how many get ejected from the stadium and how many get carted off to the hospital.

“If you took the Michigan State game and put it at 8 (p.m.), you could take what we experience now and double or triple it, and I don’t want to do that.”

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Apparently the rivalry draws a bit of a rowdy crowd.

It's not a surprise that people are getting up for the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Ann Arbor and East Lansing are just an hour's drive apart, meaning a lot of road fans to go along with the already raucous home fans. Plus, there's a good deal of history here. The two teams first met in 1898 — a 36-0 Michigan win — and have played a total of 105 times.

And for Michigan State fans, it's the No. 1 game circled on the calendar. The Wolverines' No. 1 foe will always be Ohio State, but now with Notre Dame coming off the schedule, the Spartans move up on Michigan's enemies list. That could mean even more intensity added to this rivalry.