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"We appreciate the efforts made by both UMass and Bowling Green to accept one-year contracts to play at The Big House," Athletic Director Bill Martin said in a statement issued by U-M. "The scheduling landscape is becoming more difficult and we discussed the open dates with a number of institutions and want to thank them for their time and effort during this process."
The Wolverines will welcome UMass to Michigan Stadium Sept. 18, a week after traveling to Notre Dame. U-M will then host Bowling Green Sept. 25 before opening Big Ten play Oct. 2 at Indiana. The Maize and Blue still have yet to fill the final open date (Sept. 4) on their schedule.
As you might remember, UMass was rumored to be the newly-renovated Michigan Stadium opener, but this will not happen. Martin on that date:
"We are working hard to line up an opponent for the opening game in renovated Michigan Stadium," Martin said. "We hope to have an announcement in the near future."
The implication behind Michigan's strenuous denials that UMass would be the opener was that they'd try to find an opponent that was appealing, or at least moderately interesting. We'll see if that comes to pass.
Hopefully we get a team that doesn't blow for the opener.
At least the AD is making money and the football team is getting practice and wins (if all goes well.) The only group that does not like this is us, the fans.
...it's that there are no "nummy nums."
It won't happen, but how great would it be to play an SEC team like LSU for one of our open games early on in the season for some excitement a la the Ohio State fuckeyes-USC matchup?
Uh, I didn't even know UMass had a football team.
I want roast duck for the opener.
Payback is all I want...
Only if you're seeking "sure" wins from ham sandwiches that won't even suggest a return home game. At some point the quest for revenue maximization is going to lessen fan loyalty, and it'll happen a lot sooner than Martin thinks.
he's scared about not selling out the Big House and losing merchandise sales too!
I am upset about not playing quality teams in our out of conference schedule. I don't care about gimme wins or that everyone else does it or the money or the long term ND contract. We're Michigan and we used to play high quality out of conference opponents. I got to see Miami (the Florida one) at home and road tripped to South Carolina when I was in school.
So I see a glimmer of hope in the fact that Bill has not yet filled the new Stadium opening with an unknown team. I don't trust him a bit, but maybe, just maybe, he will do the right thing this one time.
Then we just need to find special events each year to try to get Bill to schedule some quality teams.
The path of least resistance to a BCS bowl game.
I'd be more upset with this if our team wasn't horrible. Up until 2008 we had Oregon, Washington, Utah, UCLA, etc. I think this is truly in response to our team being horrible.
will be) his hiring of RR.
Given what happened last season, (and with some of the grumbling out there) wins against anyone is first and foremost for the next few seasons.
Once RR's position as coach is no longer in jeopardy will an upgrading of the out-of-conference schedule be seriously considered.
As for a memorable opening opponent, maybe the University of Chicago will dust off their old leather helmets and maroon sweaters and take the field one more time.
Tennessee has an open date September 4th, and that could be a fun matchup if Kiffin isn't fired for recruiting violations before hand. They did open @ UCLA this past season so I imagine they'd agree to an early season home and home.
Getting Bill Martin to sign up to it considering his recent track record...
UMass and Bowling Green both blow. I won't even consider going to either of these games. By 2010 I think we will be good enough to a point that we can get a stronger opponent to play and be able to match up respectably. I really like the possibility of playing Tenessee. I don't really care who it is, as long as the team is a hell of a lot better than BGSU and UMass.
Fact is, nobody gets rewarded for play a tough OOC schedule anymore. Until we see a change in the system, I doubt we'll see much change in the schedule.
I vote for a re-match with Appalachian State. It's a game that generates tons of national interest and it's a game that we are still supposed to win. Just don't let them block field goals.
I have been a season ticket holder for five years and my had been before me since 1956. With cost of the PSL equaling the face value cost of each ticket, the UMass and BGSU games are going to be at least $100 per seat. At this rate Bill Martin will have another legacy to look forward to . . . an unprecedented decline in season ticket sales, as well as an unmistakeable sight in the Big House - EMPTY SEATS! This is ridiculous.
It's not about not being able to schedule quality opponents, it's about make sure that every non-conference game, sans ND, is money-maker. Well, Mr. Martin, in this economy, you will lose because less and less people can afford to pay $750-800 for the "priviledge" to buy season tickets. 2009 will probably be my last year as a season ticket holder. There isn't a game on the schedule when you can't find a ticket in AA. I can find better things to do with $1,600 in these trying times than to blow on Delaware St, UMass and BGSU.
I would rather pay for six or seven QUALITY opponents than four good and three to four little school losers. The cupcake schedule didn't do PSU any good last season. This is bad road to start down. This is the kind of crap Miami does.
You all act like this stuff ia new. We've always played a MAC te
am (BGSU) and since we went to the 12 game schedule, there has always been one other easier opponent. Before we see what the opener is, this shouldn't be unexpected to anyone.
NO! THE OOC SCHEDULE SHOULD BE USC, FLORIDA, OKLAHOMA, AND USC AGAIN!
seriously - this is the way things are in college football, and if you think it's going to change you're nuts. quit bitching and live with it.
to the "i won't go to these games" people - good. stay away. i'll take your tickets.
It would be nice to see us play a marque out of conference game but we always play a MAC team and Notre Dame with two other openings. I also don't understand why people are getting mad I would be happy to go to a game at the Big House for any team that we are facing.
Boston College, Pittsburgh, UCLA...
That caliber of team would be nice for the new stadium opening.