My bad. You're right about the location. It's the FLA game that's always nuetral.
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
OR A TEAM THAT IS FROM ALABAMA OR BORING
Michigan now has a rather large Interesting Nonconference Game-shaped hole after Notre Dame decided it was really important to play Stanford for some reason and backed out of the Michigan series. Who fills that hole?
Well… probably someone not that interesting. A list of interesting teams follows, ordered by availability. I'm assuming that Michigan wants to go on the road in odd years and be at home in even years, that dates can be moved, and that they'll be looking for a home and home.
Virginia Tech (full schedule including OSU in 2015)
Texas (full schedule w/ ND, Cal)
Oklahoma (full, @ Tenn, ND, OSU in 2016)
Miami (not that they'd be any good anyway)
Stanford (playing ND for some reason)
Florida (full, annual FSU game)
West Virginia (full)
Arizona State (full, LSU and ND on the docket)
Cal. Open dates but already has a home and home with Texas and 9 game conference schedule. Would want a home game in 2015, so that's a positive.
USC. Already lined up with ND and A&M, plus a Texas series the couple years after that. Adding Michigan would be a bit much even for them.
Washington State. Probably does not want to bite off more tough games after putting Wisconsin and Boise State on the docket in the near future.
Tennessee. Already lined up with Oklahoma and a Nebraska series during the time in question.
Kansas State. I'll believe they schedule Michigan when I see it.
LSU. Award since Les Miles and their slate in 2016 is full. They have Arizona State both those years and NC State in 2017. Some chance it could work out but doubtful.
South Carolina. Full in 2015 and has an annual game with Clemson.
Clemson. Has annual game against South Carolina and will be playing a nine game conference schedule in 2015. They've got room, but I doubt they'll go for it. OTOH, they have played Georgia and Auburn in addition to the Gamecocks.
Georgia Tech. See Clemson, replace "South Carolina" with "Georgia," add in "Michigan just got reminded it's a bad idea to schedule an option team."
Florida State. See Clemson, replace "South Carolina" with "Florida," remove bit about how they have played a second interesting team in the past.
Oregon. At Michigan State in 2015, but has nothing for 2016 and just a game at Wyoming in 2017. If a double dip of Michigan in 2015 doesn't work you could still see something working for 2016 and 2017.
Washington. Full in 2015 but could probably cancel Sacramento State or something. Nothing but a Montana game the next couple years.
Alabama. Preferably on an aircraft carrier on the moon. Nothing 2015, just State in 2016 and 2017. May not want to keep beating up on Michigan teams.
Arkansas. Just TCU in 2015 and 2016.
Auburn. Nothing scheduled except Idaho.
Missouri. Nothing but Memphis and Wyoming.
Oklahoma State. Would have to cancel a game in 2015, but those are against Central Arkansas, UT-San Antonio, and at(!) Central Michigan, so I think they'd have little difficulty doing so. They're showing games at UTSA, CMU, and South Alabama the next few years as part of 2-for-1 deals… so this may be a KState/Wisconsin kind of thing where they refuse to schedule anyone credible in the nonconference.
NC State. I know this is the opposite of thrilling, but they've got openings.
Georgia. Annual game against Georgia Tech hurts things but they don't have another real nonconference opponent lined up in 2015 or 2016.
TCU. Normally I'd look at a team playing nine conference games with a real opponent lined up (Arkansas) and say no way but TCU may want to go for it to establish their bonafides, that sort of thing. They would want a home game in 2015, too.
Georgia, as per usual. Oregon would be exciting as well, unless we just get obliterated again. Which we might.
My bad. You're right about the location. It's the FLA game that's always nuetral.
The world's largest outdoor cocktail party!
Here's a fact: Michigan has played one SEC team since 1969. Vandy. Pretty strong historical trend.
A couple other things. Look at those games / teams. Do they fit Michigan's profile? I would argue that all of those games were Georgia big fav / locks when they were scheduled.
Boise State was in the kickoff classic. No return date.
But whatevs. It is my opinion that Georgia is a pipe dream. Would be happy to be proven otherwise.
They've done a much better job of scheduling in their non-conference games. Most of the Big Ten teams don't schedule anything but crap in their non-conference slate.
OSU plays one good team and 3 cupcakes. Wisky barely plays a team with a pulse. Iowa's big non-conference game is Iowa St. PSU just got done with an Alabama home and home but usually they're non-conference schedule isn't anything to write home about.
This is what the SEC has done in recent years and have scheduled in upcoming years:
Georgia: on top of GTech every year, 2013 - @ Clemson, 2014 - Clemson, 2008 - at Arizona St, 2009 - at Oklahoma St, Arizona St, 2010 - not much, Colorado, 2011 - Boise St
Alabama: 2013 - VaTech on neutral field, 2014 - WVU on neutral field, 2008 - Clemson on neutral field, 2009 - VaTech on neutral field, 2010 - PSU, 2011 - at PSU
Arkansas: 2008 - at Texas, 2009 - Texas A&M on neutral field, 2010 - Texas A&M on neutral field, tons of open dates in future schedules
Auburn: 2014 - at Kansas St, 2008 - at WVU, 2009 - WVU, 2010 - Clemson, 2011 - at Clemson
LSU: 2013 - TCU on neutral field, 2015 - Arizona St, 2009 - at Washington, 2010 - UNC on neutral field and WVU, 2011 - Oregon on a neutral field and at WVU
Tennessee: 2013 - at Oregon, 2014 - at Oklahoma, 2015 - Oklahoma, 2008 - UCLA, 2009 - UCLA, 2010 - Oregon, 2011 - Cincy
Florida: on top of FSU every year, 2013 - at Miami, FL, 2008 - Miami, FL
Miss St: poop
Ol Miss: 2013 - at Texas, 2014 - Boise St on neutral field, 2011 - BYU
South Carolina: on top of Clemson every year, 2013 - UNC, 2009 - at NC State
Stanford would be a good contest.
Dame move is very strange. There is more than meets the eye there.
Not strange in the slightest. Notre Dame is going to the ACC for five games. They don't need the Big Ten any more. They have always had a "national" following.
They really don't need this game. They've got their own network and now have better access to bowl bids. They live in their own universe.
forget 'em. They don't matter any longer.
My vote is University of Chicago. Strong alumni following in vicinity and I think we have a winning record.
Fun fact: before UofC abolished football and left the Big Ten, that was actually our biggest rivalry. The Game took center stage partly because we needed a new rival to replace the Maroons.
I would assert that Minnesota was our biggest rival before Chicago dropped football, followed by Ohio State and then Chicago.
Chicago was not even on Michigan's schedule from 1921 to 1929, or in 1935 or 1936, and that is back when a Big Ten team could schedule any 5 or 6 conference games it wanted. You might be able to make the argument that Chicago was Michigan's biggest rival from about 1900 to 1905, but even then the Minnesota and Ohio State games seemed to receive more attention from the local media.
It was my understanding that the Ohio game only eclipsed the Chicago matchup in the late teens. From the formation of the Big Ten in the 90's to WWI the Michigan-Chicago matchup was a huge deal. Speaking as a Chicago alum and Michigan fan, I felt like I saw/read more stuff about the old Michigan games around Hyde Park than any other team. It would have been cool if Chicago and Northwestern had merged (as was talked about during WWII), and made the combined school into a real regional powerhouse.
Hey, with the new admissions strategy in Hyde Park and Stanford showing that you can be an elite academic and athletic powerhouse, maybe its time for U of C to get back on the D1 horse and ride! Once upon a time U of C let the Bears use the midway for practices, I think its only fair they return the favor on Satudays now and UC still has strong ties to the Big Ten!
I was feeling a bit bummed and spurned when I heard the news earlier, but honestly just about all the possible teams above sound more exciting than playing ND. Georgia would be my preference as well.
To hell with Notre Dame.
EDIT: UFR, Oregon would actually be my top choice since there's a good chance I'll be moving there in the future
I left feeling none of them really excite me as much as playing Notre Dame. Some of the less likely ones could match that, but not for awhile.
Let's reup with UConn only this time demand that the return date has to be played at Rucker Park with Funkmaster Flex providing color commentary through a megaphone.
I would donate so much to the Athletic Department to make you the AD.
Will try and leverage the position Michigan finds itself in to their advantage, I'm sure. I'm also not holding my breath on the SEC for a home and away although beating Auburn in their house would be sweet, sweet War Eagle tears.
What leverage position is that? Michigan can do what every other school does when they have an open slot - buy a cupcake.
These arrangements are almost always mutually beneficial. With the exception of a up-and-comer like Boise who needs to take on teams to build it's rep.
My order of preference:
2) Oklahoma State
10) NC State
Auburn or Georgia please! My only wish (which I know won't happen) is that the game be in the middle of B1G season. Georgia at Michigan, 8:00pm kickoff Saturday Oct. 27th, 2015.
That almost never happens. Teams rarely schedule marquee non-conference games in the middle of their conference schedule, unless the game is an established rivalry (e.g., Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, etc).
As an ND Law alum I can tell you that the reason I have always heard for Stanford being important is that ND wants to have a game in California every year. The USC/Stanford games are set up to alternate years (crazy idea, amirite?) so the Irish play in California every year. This is important both for the big local alumni base out there, and for CA/west coast recruiting.
There could certainly be other reasons, but that's the one I hear most frequently.
Makes sense. Maybe we could rotate two teams from the Southeast or Southwest or even the West Coast ourselves.
Or better yet, have a regional round-robin where one year we play in the Southeast, the next in the Southwest, the next in the West Coast, then repeat. Every year we play in one of the hot regions of the country recruiting-wise.
That was a big disadvantage with Notre Dame. Our away game with them did not expand our recruiting footprint, so to speak.
A lot of wishful thinking here. Let's all consider historical context for a second. Outside of bowl games, Michigan has played exactly one SEC team since 1969. And it was Vandy.
Just don't see these Auburn / Georgia games happening.
True, but part of the reason for that is because the Big Ten has a ton of bowl tie-ins with the SEC (Outback, Capitol One, Gator). With the bowl landscape currently in a state of flux, it's uncertain what could happen with those tie-ins.
There's not a lot of correlation between who you play in bowls and who you play in out-of-conference. Like everything in the game it's about economics.
Most schools like to stay home and feast on cupcakes. They make money that way. They also don't like to travel great distances because it costs more and the farther they go, they less likely they will see their fans at the game.
Why travel to a tough game in Ann Arbor when you can bring Southern or LA Monroe to your house?
The SEC has long been into the cupcake thing. And when the NCAA changed the rule to allow two cupcakes per year, they pounced on it.
Bowl tie ins are mainly about fanbases. The bowls loved Big Ten teams because their fans generally travel and support their teams. Big Ten fans love to go down South for a bowl in a warm local. The bowls hedge their bets by grabbing local / close squads because that is guaranteed ticket sales.
Believe me, if the ACC fanbase or Pac-12 travelled like the Big Ten fans there would be some different bowl setups.
The landscape will change because of the 4-team playoff and the importance of strength of schedule to the selection committee.
However, the SEC will be the last to change. They will believe that just playing an SEC conference schedule gives them enough strength of schedule. The media will do nothing to dissuade this.
It will be interesting to see how independent-minded the selection committee will be. Will they have the guts to punish Cupcake Septembers, even for an SEC team?
Outside of bowl games, Michigan has played exactly one SEC team since 1969. And it was Vandy.
Alabama 2012 ring a bell?
Although to be fair, I drank so much that night I blacked out and I can't be sure that game ever happened. So Vandy it is!!!
My vote is for Cal, just because we should play what is probably the university most similar to Michigan (in a non-footbal sense).
Living close to Cal campus, I vote for Cal so I can see a game.
I want an SEC school that isn't Alabama or LSU. When Michigan is at full strength scholarship and depth wise, we should want a piece of the SEC to stop the constant arrogance. Auburn is going to struggle as long as Saban is sweeping up the Tier 1 Alabama kids. It's like getting Little Brother 2.
We really don't have anything to prove as far as beating the SEC goes. Historically, we've owned the SEC. We're 20-7-1 against the SEC all time. Even after the Alabama and Mississippi State debacles, we're 6-3 in our last 9 games against the SEC. It would be great to play an SEC school simply because it's the best conference in the country right now, but we need not have a chip on our shoulders about the SEC.
Brian, any reason why you did not evaluate Arizona and Pitt? Arizona for the obvious reasons (though it would probably alienate a bunch of fans) and Pitt because Western PA has produced a ton of talented prospective recruits that often choose PSU (though that might be different now, obviously).
Going off your list, I would immediately exclude Alabama and Oregon. Those are no good. We know. From recent experience. (Alabama once, Oregon twice)
are why they should top the list of who we try to schedule. We should be through the transition by 2015 and ready to play head to head with any team in the nation. Lets try to do exactly that against the best.
I hear you and am always up for an exciting game. That said, Alabama and Oregon will never be a regular occurrence and I'd rather see them set up a new "rivalry" in the ND slot. Arizona probably doesn't qualify as that but Pitt definitely could. They could be a regular and playing them in Pittsburgh would be cool because they play at Heinz Field - lots of room for Michigan fans!
if some of these teams that Notre Dame considers to be in their "back pocket" (which is pretty much anybody on their schedule) maybe get a little stand-offish because of the disrespect to the rivalry, and or tradition. I mean if they drop Michigan, who is safe? Stanford, USC, Navy, Purdue, these teams should just all give them the finger.
Also, I realize that the original partnership with the PAC-10 has since been called off, but maybe DB has developed some relationships with the AD's over there. Form an alliance to screw the Irish!
I'm a big believer in following Bo's philosophy of using the non-conference schedule to get ready for the Big Ten even if that means a loss or two. Recruits would love those games too.
i'd be game for bama. we should have all the pieces by then to be much more competitive. for some reason, oregon still scares the snot out of me...probably due to post-horror syndrome!
utah--i'd love to play them again since they were our first loss in the rr era
boise state--since msu just played them
tennessee--revenge for that beatdown they put on us in the citrus in the fulmer era
virginia--last time we played, it was the greatest um comeback of all time (at the time) and lloyd's first game
kansas--beat charlie weiss, for old time's sake
Michigan is already set to play them in 2014 and 2015.
Oregon isn't going to want to play us after already having to play MSU. I feel like they're going to want to be out of our footprint for at least a few years after that, but that would be a great series if our defense is where it needs to be by then. Otherwise, I'm hoping to never see them outside of the Rose Bowl.
I'd love to play Florida State. A game like that would be a great atmosphere, and I don't think we've played them since '91. If they've got an open spot, I think they could be convinced. By then, we should be built up to where we need to be.
Georgia would be great. Auburn right now sounds kind of meh. Sorry Chizik, but without Cam Newton, your program has accomplished next to nothing.
NC State: meh
Washington: could be intriguing. I feel like Sarkisian is very quietly putting a good team together, but it doesn't scream must-have.
TCU would be good, too.
If I had my preferences, I'd want FSU, then Georgia, Oregon 3rd, then everyone else I kind of fit together. I don't want to come near Alabama for at least another 3-4 years.
We used to have a pretty good on again off again series with UCLA.
That would be kinda cool. Maybe set up a Friday night game for them before one of our cupcakes?
Put me down for Auburn, Arkansas, or Missouri.
University of Virginia. They have had a couple of good recruiting classes and may be quite good by then. Good match of schools. But the best reason is I could drive there.
Probably a pipe dream, but I would love to see some type of ongoing arrangement with a couple of teams whereby we play team A home and home two years, then go home and home with team B for two years, then back to A... Over time you'd play them enough to establish a rivalry, but get some variety so as not getting sick of playing them every year.