Michigan To Play Air Force In 2012

Submitted by Brian on January 28th, 2011 at 3:03 PM


The local beat reporter in Colorado Springs has tweeted that Michigan will fill in one of its holes in the 2012 schedule with Air Force. That's a one-off at Michigan Stadium, obviously, and a higher-quality one than usual. Given the way these things go Michigan is probably going to be shelling out a cool million bucks to the Falcons.

Why? Well, that year's home schedule is awful—OSU, Nebraska, and Notre Dame are all on the road with Alabama in Dallas—and whatever small cachet Air Force brings to the schedule it's better than Eastern Michigan or Baby Seal U. I'd expect the last nonconference opponent to be a MAC team.



January 28th, 2011 at 3:10 PM ^

I was afraid that we might schedule 2 home games against MAC opponents with such a tough schedule.  Air Force definitely brings at least a little credibility as relevant competition.


January 28th, 2011 at 3:12 PM ^

Air Force will bring in their strongest team ever.... ala Utah 08


Im excited though.  I like having a home opener that is atleast somewhat exciting to get up for.  Utah and Uconn had a decent amount of hype and this one should too.  Probably enough to get us on abc


January 28th, 2011 at 3:20 PM ^

Our 2012 schedule has got to be amongst the hardest in the country.  

But, we will have senior Denard, backed up by Devin, who will be in his third year in the program.  On D, while many are talking about the fact that we are returning 8 or 9 starters in 2011.  What is even more amazing is that (setting aside possible attrition or displacement from even more talented new guys), these same 8 or 9 will be returning in 2012, as well.

There is a chance that with some continuity, our team could be hitting its stride in 2012, and we can do some serious damage!


January 28th, 2011 at 3:12 PM ^

Job well done by Dave Brandon.  I know that these past few years, we will take a win where we can get one, but I personally can't stand playing Snacky-Cake U teams.  Even with our not so great recent teams, the games against Delaware and BGSU were just boring.  No, Air Force is not a big time CFB team, but (1) they ain't half bad, and (2) they come with a fair amount of hoopla from being, you know, our armed forces.  

I understand that many - myself included - lost faith in DB during the CC, but if you look at his whole body of work (lights at the Big House, first night game in the Big House against ND, Alabama Death Match in Dallas, BB facilities renovations, opening the checkbook for Mattison, NCAA violation handling, etc.) he really has done a good job.  And, while the whole timing of the CC had most of us scratching our heads, it looks like he got it right and the recruiting didn't suffer as much as many had predicted.


January 28th, 2011 at 3:36 PM ^

... or at least he is trending in that direction.

Also, nearly all of the items on your list of Great Brandon accomplishments either were in the works before he took over or will take a couple of years to fully play out, so let's not give him the MGoGold Medal just yet. And he appears to be a control freak and attention hound. I've seen more of Dave Brandon in his first year than I did of Bill Martin during his entire tenure.

"Dear Dave Brandon: Get back in your office, away from all the cameras and microphones, and run the Athletic Department quietly, efficiently and successfully. If you do that, you will have my support and trust. And, for God's sake, stop tweeting and blogging like a 14 year old girl."


January 28th, 2011 at 3:42 PM ^

Don't go all psycho, Matt.  kidding, of course.

I actually agree 100% with the part about him being an "arrogant tool."  I didn't like the comments during the presser that I perceived as pot shots against RR.   I didn't like the "look, fans, take your advice and shove it because I know more than you do" (even though he does) comments.  I didn't like his condescending attitude.  Totally agree with you on all of these points.

But, personality issues (or non-issues, depending which side you are on) aside, he has done a good job in his short time as AD.  The 'Baba game was his, not in the works prior to his arrival.   The lights were his idea.  The ND night game - him also.  Opening the checkbook for the Mattison hire - his.  Upgrading BB facilities - yes, it will take a few years, but that is the nature of construction, and at least we have finally started the process.

I am with you that the whole MGoBoard adoration of the guy was insane, and the pimp hand thing was entirely undeserved.  But, looking at his body of work, he has done a good job, personality notwithstanding.


January 28th, 2011 at 3:34 PM ^

Wait, so what you are saying is that you generally root for the service academies, but when they play ND you root AGAINST them (and therefore for ND)???

I would imagine that most on this board have the exact opposite opinion.  I generally pull for the service academies, ESPECIALLY when they play against ND.  Just curious why you root for ND over the service academies?


January 28th, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

I think his comment was just pure sarcasm in that ND is sooooo great and such a traditional power, how could one root against them when they are playing one of our service academies?  That being said, the joke would be that ND > America.

To quote the great Bo...  "To hell with ND!"


January 28th, 2011 at 3:24 PM ^

Senior Denard is going to be laughing at their puny option/QB-run-based offense as he puts up 300+ passing and 50+ running yards in the pro-style offense he has mastered.

The Bama, ND, Air Force non-conference schedule will be the most difficult since...ND, Syracuse, Hawaii in 98?

EDIT: In 2002 we played Washington & Utah at home (won by 2 & 3), and ND away (lost by 2). That was a tough opening to the season (w/ Western thrown in).


January 28th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

Lost 26-14 in 2009 and won 27-25 in 2010. Got torched in rushing yards this past season but not too bad in 09' even though they lost.

I think Mattison with what won't be a ridiculously young group of defenders anymore will be fine. Just going to be irritating. Like that one gnat at a barbecue that just won't leave you alone...


January 28th, 2011 at 3:37 PM ^

I know Sun Belt or cUsa teams don't bring much credibility or are anything above MAC teams, but I would like to see DB bring in one of those guys. We rarely play them and I think they are more intriguing than playing Ball State, Eastern, Western, etc. 


January 28th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

No doubt about that.  We'll also be facing life after Mike Martin then so that could add a wrinkle.  At least by then Michigan will have had a year under their belts with the new program and hopefully a more developed linebacker core.  


I'm looking forward to the 2012 year, but let's have a good showing in 2011 first!


January 28th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

I'm on my blackberry so it's difficult to check, but I'm pretty sure I read sometime in the last year that we were in talks with/had agreed to play FAU in 2012. Did that actually happen?


January 28th, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^

It has the making of a classic trap game.  It's sandwiched between Bama and ND game which are huge games for Michigan.  Air Force runs flexbone triple option offense which is hard to prepare for in a week especially when you're dealing with 18-22 year old kids who are on/off with the emotions and intensity.  I'm not sure if I like this proxmity of the matchup that is sandwiched between two big games.  I would feel better if Air Force is the season opener where coaches have months to prepare for the triple option offense.


January 28th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

i've been hoping we can regularly supplement the ND non-conference game with a service academy (or a rotation of service academies) since they're better for television than MAC teams. i really like the idea of a regular non-conference schedule that includes one of the directional michigan schools, a service academy, ND, and some out-of-conference giant like Alabama. hopefully this is a sign we're headed in that direction.


January 28th, 2011 at 4:17 PM ^

In the 60s, 70s, and 80s, we played the service academies, at least Navy, several times. Right now, they are pretty good teams. They always play hard and never give up because, you know, they are trained to fight hard and never give up WHEN PEOPLE ARE SHOOTING AT THEM. They bring in TV audience from all over. They are classy and also lend to the air of "an event" beyond just a football game. They are academically excellent. They will not burn couches. Juggalo ratio is near zero. Air Force was the best of the academy teams this year. They have cool uniforms with lightning bolts. Guaranteed flyover. I hope the crowd does not boo them. We will be game #3 in importance for them, behind Army and Navy, which is kind of weird for us.


January 28th, 2011 at 4:21 PM ^

cool $ MILLION. Break that down......... / $50. a ticket you get 20,000 seats. Then figure out the est. bowl seating by 2012 (112,401) and it looks like = 17.79% of the the ticket rev. covers filling the stadium for a home game. Its just the cost of doing business, eeerrrrr having a college student athlete football program that needs a home game. 


January 28th, 2011 at 7:06 PM ^

Getting more service academies on the schedule is a great direction for the AD to take.  Michigan has a nice history (old programs abound for Michigan-Navy games at the Big House), plus their fans will not be insane.  I'm sure we all loved Baby Seal U as much as the rest guy, but beating up on the Bowling Greens of the world can only take you so far in TV ratings.

I watched Air Force's bowl game vs. Houston from last year.  They are not a pushover team.  AF's secondary had 4 or 5 interceptions on the day.  Their lines know how to play, and all the positions seemed well-disciplined and coached.  Michigan can't take this game for granted, option run game and all.

Indiana Blue

January 28th, 2011 at 7:18 PM ^

that DB didn't get a home and home v. Alabama.  If Penn State can, why can't we ?   I would prefer dropping nd all together (they did give B1G the finger) and then do a home and home against as many SEC teams as we can find.  Be a lot of fun in the Big House, plus a chance for us to travel to some stadiums we will likely never see.  

Go Blue !

Indiana Blue

January 28th, 2011 at 7:19 PM ^

that DB didn't get a home and home v. Alabama.  If Penn State can, why can't we ?   I would prefer dropping nd all together (they did give B1G the finger) and then do a home and home against as many SEC teams as we can find.  Be a lot of fun in the Big House, plus a chance for us to travel to some stadiums we will likely never see.  

Go Blue !


January 28th, 2011 at 8:23 PM ^

Is it uncommon to have just six home games in a season? Sorry, this is just my second semester at Michigan and am curious. Eight football Saturdays next season is going to be glorious, that's for sure.


January 28th, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

Not sure how I feel about this..;. To much going on right now.  Triple option offense and greg mattison seem to be a good match, but then again who knows.  Its all academics at this point.  DB is making moves, not all popular. 


Two fans find a genie in a bottle: 

Osu fan wishes for a wall to surround OH to keep out Michigan Fans

Michigan fan wishes rain over OH for 40 days and 40 nights.