How the hell can DB complain about revenue and then give Utah a home game?
Unknown Pac-12 Opponent Probably Utah
According to Chris Balas the Pac-12 team Michigan wants to fill out its 2014 and 2015 schedules with is…
Pac-12 sources: U-M close to home/home deal w/Utah starting 2014. Thurs. night return visit to Salt Lake to open '15 CF season on table #fb
That ESPN article I linked made it clear that at this point options were limited, with Utah, Oregon State, and Colorado the most likely Pac-12 opponents. So… like, okay. It's a reasonable opponent, or at least should be reasonable in a couple years.
Still, it's a little unsatisfying. Michigan got one-off games with the Utes twice in the past decade; now they're giving them a full home and home. Yeah, they're in the Pac-12 but Colorado sucked it up to play a one-off with OSU last year. Meanwhile, non-Pac-12 nonconference options will be extremely limited starting in 2017. It would have been nice to get a series in with someone from another conference. Meh.
I'll be there to support Michigan with my wife, friends, and kids.
Nice to hear from a Wolverine fan in the Intermountain West. I am a University of Utah alum, Utah season ticket holder and SLC resident but I was raised as a Michigan fan by my UM alum father. This will be, by far, the biggest non-conference home game in Utah history and one of the biggest games in Utah history.
I have two neighbors from Ann Arbor, one who flies his "M" flag religiously outside of his home and the other who worked at Michigan Stadium as a youngster. So, while SLC may not be the national hotbed of Wolverine fans, there is definitely a healthy group of Michigan fans here and in the Intermountain West.
Go Utes and Go Blue!
PS Is there a way we can ensure that the Michigan marching band comes to SLC for this game?
I'll be there to support Michigan with my wife, friends, and kids.
I'm just happy Brandon didn't schedule another game with Appalachian State.
Colorado agreed to a one-off with OSU because they are basically a laughingstock compared to what they used to be.
and they really needed the money.
Correct -- needed to soften the blow of the Big12 exit fee they had to pay last year.
Living less than a mile from the stadium in downtown Salt Lake City, I can say I'm quite pleased with this scenario. We should have a good chance to see a competitive Utah team if any of their young QB's pan out. Anyone wanting to make the trip out, it is really a great college football atmosphere with great weather. For the poster wanting it later in the year to ski, I have definitely seen snow on the mountains at the end of August. Not saying that actual resorts will be open, but it will be very interesting to see a Michigan football game in August with snow in the background
I lived in SLC for a few years, and it is definitely a great football atmosphere --- not to mention a gorgeous view of the Wasatch Mountains from Rice-Eccles Stadium. If this matchup does indeed happen, I'll definitely be making the trip from Ann Arbor!
Games against other traditional powers are always more interesting. A home and home with USC generates enormous excitement. Utah, whatever, even if they are good.
Other than the two games against ND, our home nonconference schedule sucks the next four season unless the TBDs come through (unlikely as we need our two cupcakes).
2012- Air Force, UMass
2013- CMU, ND, Akron
2014- App St, Utah, TBD
2015 – ND, TBD, TBD
If anything, I would rather see our 5 neutral/away games (Bama, ND, UConn, ND, Utah) than the 11 games above.
Color me unexcited. The only worse option would have been Oregon State or Washington State.
Utah is a fine program, but its last three bowls have been the Poinsettia, Maaco, and Sun Bowl. Plus, beyond their impressive performance in 2005-2009, there really isn't much history there (a la USC, UCLA or Colorado).
Glad for any Wolverines living out in Utah - I'm sure you'll enjoy going to see the away game.
I share your excitement level, but I would rather have Washington State (we can look back to the 97 Rose Bowl game) or Oregon State (they are the Beavers and there is sooooo many good jokes we could use that week) than Utah. I don't know why, but the mere mention of Utah football puts me to sleep.
It really isn't that bad. It gives us an easier game when our past two recruiting classes should be upperclassmen. I'm a little disappointed, but watching USC slaughter Ohio and Oregon slaughter MSU will be worth it.
At this point, given the rematch with App State and now Utah, Brandon believes if we beat all the teams who beat us during the down years, somehow those losses disappear? Next opponenet announcement: Toledo.
Don't forget about Akron. I believe a certain Senator still has employment with them
You know, I don't think he reaction has anything to do with how good their team will be. It's just not a sexy match-up.
Agreed. It has the least appeal of almost any Pac-12 match up.
The other side of it is a lot of us west coasters were excited for this because we could go to the away game. And there is no Pac-12 team that combines "distance from LA" and "cool place to visit" worse than Utah.
I haven't broken down Utah's roster and how it will play out in 2014, but based on the past decade, it seems likely they'll be a 7 to 8 win team, i.e., a team Michigan could easily lose to if we don't have play a good game.
It's just too bad we couldn't play someone with more history - that's one of the reasons I love Michigan, and really like about college football in general. Even Boise State, because they have been consistently excellent for about a decade now would have been "sexier" (I'm not saying they were necc. an option, just pointing out we don't have to restrict ourselves to teams that we awesome in the 1960s.)
Utah's poised to be one of the better teams in the PAC12 this year and they had a good year last season (they even hung in there against USC). They certainly have laid the foundation to be a dominant PAC12 team.
I may be in the minority, but I'm excited to see us play Utah.
I would not say Utah had a good year last year, unless by "good" you mean 6 out of 10 or so, but they played in a pretty weak conference (they didn't play Oregon or Stanford) and went 4-5 in Pac-12 play. They lost to Colorado and ASU at home and needed OT to beat WSU. Their most impressive win was...Pitt? Oregon State? They were not good.
Yeah, they hung with USC, which is surprising considering the rest of the season for each team, but it was the second game of the year before SC was rolling, and it stayed close because of SC's 3 turnovers.
Look at Utah's recruiting - it hasn't improved with their move to the Pac-12. We will be the far superior team when we play them, meaning we get no credit for winning, and devestation if we lose.
Yeah, that was a different USC at the time. One week after they rocked Minnesota 19-17, at home...
I thought we would get "credit" for beating a power confrence team, no? Would rather beat them than emu.
That said, risk of losing and impact of loss to a lower ranked power conference team seems real here.
Yeah, it's better than playing a MAC team, but not as good as playing almost any other PAC-12 team.
I hope he didn't also promise not to recruit other players at his position (Shallman)
Was hoping to get USC, so we could dump the ND series and move on to SEC/Big12 games. Utah does not give us an out to drop ND, as I was hoping. " The hell with Notre Dame."
I love playing ND. They are always ranked high and extremely overrated.
I want no cupcakes on our schedule ever. Play the best. Beat the best. Be the best. So, knowing nothing about Utah's football program, my question is: will they be a quality opponent in 2014?
The reason I loved the idea of a cross conference schedule was that we'd lose a cupcake and add a quality opponent. I've read that Utah is a program that is on the upswing. There are many contributors here that, while much younger than I, have forgotten more about football than I will ever learn. What do you folks think. By 2014 will this be a quality game?
Well, I doubt it. Utah is one of those teams who does more with less as well as any team in the country, but outside of picking up another Alex Smith, I doubt that happens on the regular. Their 2012 recruiting class (guys who will be juniors in 2014) has as many 2 stars as 4 stars, and the 4 stars are barely there (2 are JUCOs and two are ranked nationally at 228 and 240). Most of their 3 stars are the 5.5 and 5.6 "meh" variety. Their 2011 class (guys who will be seniors) is worse than 2012, and their 2013 class has 4 low 3-stars so far and nothing else.
What does this mean? They'll be at a severe talent disadvantage to us, but their coaching is strong. However, in 2014 and 2015 we'll be stacked, so I think we should crush them.
That said, many Pac-12 teams don't recruit very well, so if we beat up on Utah who then finished 3rd in the Pac-12, that would make us look pretty good.
Considering how many awful programs are in the PAC 12, we could have gotten a much worse opponent so I don't see this as the end of the world. Although when I think of Utah, all I can think of now is the first game of the RichRod era. I went to that game and got to see Nick Sheridan's coming out party in person. Oy.
I'm sorry... did you say two Utes? (games that is)
has been an absolute drought of being able to see my hometown team. I know it's not a sexy opponent, but for all us westerners, this creates a great opportunity to see our favorite team. I support it!!
The problem is, this is only close to people who live in Salt Lake City. For the rest of us who live in the western half of the country, it's still a plane ticket, and I'd rather go to Ann Arbor. If it were either Arizona team or any of the CA teams, I'd certainly go, and I may have gone to Eugene or Seattle, but it's a tough sell to get people to go to SLC, no offense.
You know, I really didn't jump on board with all of the Dave Brandon hate, but if we play a football game on a Thursday that will be it for me.
Moving the OSU game, no playoff home games, uniformz, App State II, mascots, $85 to see EMU, a Big House DJ . . . none of those things moved the needle for you, but a Thursday football game did you in?
Yep. None of those things kept me from being able to see Michigan football games. This likely will.
Not happy about a Thursday night game. Isn't that for the big least, acc, and lesser conferences? I could be wrong, but I thought the purpose of Thursday games was to get more exposure nationally for lesser teams. We don't need that IMHO.
I mean really, in this situation, if we weren't playing USC, Stanford, Oregon, or MAYBE Arizona, this series announcement was going to be a letdown for us.
Now, of course its better than playing EMU, but Brandon's been building this up for weeks. Pretty anti-climactic in the end.
Oh well, this only increases our liklihood of opening against USC in 2017.
Well, I would definitely add Washington, UCLA and Cal into the group of teams that would have been nice to see, and probably ASU as well since we like to recruit the Phoenix area and there would be more M alums going to Tempe than to Salt Lake.
Teams better than Utah, IMO:
Arizona (only for the story line)
Colorado in probably equal, and only Washington State and Oregon State are worse. Denver/Boulder is a pretty cool place to go visit in late summer.
I'd love to drop Notre Dame. Think of the possiblities? We could schedule Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, or Florida State. On the years that we get USC or Oregon we slide in a lesser team to make the schedule easier.
Here's the problem with scheduling Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, or Florida State . . . they have to agree.
The other thing a Thursday night game fucks up is M fans travelling to the game. Outside of the ones who live in SLC (probably not a crazy big contingent) any fan travelling to the game would have to take two days off of work. A normal Saturday game, however, wouldn't require any vacation time if you didn't want.
One of my best friends is a Utah alum so it's cool because I'm sure we'll travel to both games. Aside from that, I give it 3 meh's out of 5
I'm ok with it, as long as it is the season opener.
I think it's a great move. Until the Big Ten Champion is guaranteed a spot in a playoff for a true National Championship, it's stupid to schedule any more games with more than about a twenty percent chance of losing.
Michigan plays Notre Dame, and there are plenty of competitive teams in the Big Ten. Their strength of schedule is fine. I know a lot of people love to complain about the quality of the home schedule, but I want to see more wins and less losses.
Until the playoff is no longer a beauty contest, I would rather see Michigan play as many "auto-wins" as possible in the non-conference portion of their schedule.
When is playing at Utah a guaranteed win?
B O R I N G
for the home and home. Utah has very little juice nationally, regardless of whether that's a fair reflection of their actual competitiveness. Most of the country still regards them as a WAC/Mountain West level of program, whereas USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Oregon State and Washington State are longtime major conference programs. ASU and UA are more recent arrivals, both joining the old PAC 8 in 1978, but that's still over three decades of play in a major conference. I can understand why Oregon and UA might not be scheduled, but I Utah as a program is about the least exciting PAC 12 opponent I can think of.
I think the problem is the goddamn series with ND. We should drop them periodically so we can have a home and home with a program that will give us some exposure in the most fertile recruiting areas of the country, Texas and SEC country. I know this will never happen, at least not as long as Brandon is AD.
But there is a good chance we would lose to them on the road. As long as Brady keeps recruiting like he is for the next several years, no teams will be able stop us in the B1G and we will have a chance to play the more elite teams in the Rose-bowl or the future college football playoff system. There will be plenty national exposure once we start winning our conference again!
It is only a home and away series with Utah. Once we start winning more may be a USC or Texas will want to a home and away series. If the Alabama game turns into one those classic games, may be Alabama or Florida would agree for future home and away series. I'll take Utah over EMU or WMU!!!!!