In news relating to everyone's favorite non-revenue sport (well, my favorite anyhow), the outlines of the 2015 schedule have been released. I say outlines because the tournaments we'll be playing in have been announced, but not the specific opponents/dates/times yet in terms of most of the non-conference slate. As usual, though, Michigan will be taking some challenging road trips including visits to FSU, Alabama, ASU, the Judi Garman Classic, and the lidlfter at USF.
Getting those challenging experiences in during the non-conference schedule will be, if anything, even more crucial than usual, as the Big Ten slate Michigan has been dealt is just dreadful. Michigan will only face one of the four possible opponents who made the NCAA tournament last year (the defending B10 Tournament champions, Minnesota, on the road) and only one other team that even cracked the top half of last year's B10, Ohio State, who turned in an uninspiring 30-25 (13-10) record last year.
After that, things get really ugly, as Michigan faces three sub-.500 teams from last year's B10 in Iowa, Indiana, and PSU. Michigan also draws both newcomers, making road trips to Maryland and Rutgers. Maryland turned in a horrendous 11-35 (7-16, 9th in the ACC) campaign littered with embarassing losses. Rutgers fared better, going 34-17 in the AAC, but their record was stained by a number of bad losses as well, and they missed the NCAA tournament.
All in all, things set up very well for a battle-tested Michigan team to make a run at yet another Big Ten title, on the strength of Romero's bat & three experienced pitchers. There's a lot to replace on offense, but a ton of talent as always!