Notre Dame AD explains -- sort of -- why the Michigan series ended

Irish AD Jack Swarbrick on scheduling: 'We are making, and will continue to make, tough choices.' (USATSI)

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Jack Swarbrick didn’t look like he had chickened out.

"You know it’s a slow news day when you guys start telling me stuff that’s said in booster clubs,” the Notre Dame AD said Wednesday at the ACC spring meetings.

That’s essentially what this faux, overblown dust-up over the end of the Notre Dame-Michigan series has become -- the month of May. The offseason. Nothing to see here when comments by Michigan coach Brady Hoke at a Grand Rapids, Mich., booster event carry more weight than they should.

You remember that Hoke said recently Notre Dame “chickened out” when it chose to end the series with the Wolverines.

“We all recognize that stuff you say at a booster club or a pep rally generally [can be like that],” Swarbrick said. “I take no umbrage at what someone says at either of those two functions.”

Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix did take issue with Hoke.

Everybody facing with swords drawn? Calm down. Swarbrick explained the rationale for dropping Michigan.

“The math is pretty simple for us,” he said.

Most BCS conferences operate with an assumption there will be seven home games and five road games. Notre Dame, Swarbrick explained, would have four of those road games spoken for every year. ND hopes to maintain the rivalries with Navy, Stanford and USC. Then factor in the five ACC games the Irish will begin playing in the new scheduling agreement. Two or three of those are going to be on the road each year. 

The four road games are going to look like this:

No. 1 road game, ACC

No. 2, ACC

No. 3, ACC or Navy

No. 4, USC or Stanford

That leaves one game available for a home-and-home opponent. 

“We are making, and will continue to make, tough choices,” Swarbrick said.

It sounds like Notre Dame would have had to make a choice in dropping Navy, USC or Stanford to make room for Michigan. That wasn’t happening. But that still doesn’t answer why Michigan was dropped instead of, say, Purdue or Michigan State from the Big Ten.

Stay tuned to the booster club circuit for more details. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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