Michigan and Notre Dame are the most storied franchises in the history of College Football, with both teams facing each other since 1887. So much has changed since the late 19th Century, but one thing has not, and that is the fact the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry is one of the best in college football.
I am from Northwest Indiana, and for me, the rivalry means every bit as much as when Michigan squares off against Ohio State. With that in mind, I was able to catch up with Notre Dame’s legendary former quarterback, Brady Quinn.
Quinn was the most prolific passing quarterback in Notre Dame’s history. In his junior and senior seasons, Quinn threw for a combined 64 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. In his tenure, Quinn went 2-1 against Michigan. Needless to say, Quinn knows a thing or two about the rivalry, and it is one he embraces.
“I can’t wait.” Quinn said when I asked him his thoughts on the rivalry being renewed at the start of the 2018 season.
Quinn almost went to Michigan, he was close with the Michigan coaching staff, including head coach Lloyd Carr and quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler. Quinn also noted he loved Michigan’s pre-law program, all factors in considering Michigan. In the end, Quinn decided to head to Notre Dame, and because of almost going to Michigan, he played with a chip on his shoulder when he faced the Wolverines.
When Quinn did arrive at Notre Dame, he was immediately aware of the significance of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry. “I remember getting to Notre Dame and talking about the success of both schools football history. At the time, one of us had that most wins, one of us had the highest winning percentage. It’s something you actually discussed and talked about. This isn’t about just this years game, this years rivalry, this is about history.” Quinn said.
Although Quinn fared well against the Wolverines, the games were a strenuous task for his physicality and will. “It’s the same style of football, it’s hard nosed football. I remember playing back then thinking it’s going to be a physical game. You would go into that game thinking part of my job is to physically be able to withstand the beating you’re going to take and be able to win that fight.” Quinn told me.
The rivalry is back on, one in which Michigan leads 24-16-1. As Quinn said, I can’t wait.