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With Big Ten cutting bait, Notre Dame now carries college football torch in Midwest

The college football-mad Midwest is a region that runs roughly from Central Pennsylvania to Western Nebraska and encompasses all the cornfields, factory towns and big cities in between. They’ve been playing the game there since 1879 when the University of Michigan defeated Racine College 1-0 (don’t ask).

Across the ensuing 141 years, the region’s love of the game — and all that goes with it — can be seen in 100,000-seat stadiums, sprawling pregame tailgates and massive marching bands.

This is the Midwest. College football isn’t just popular. It is a way of life.

Just not this fall.