Unknown Pac-12 Opponent Probably Utah

Submitted by Brian on June 12th, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Utah-Utes[1]

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.

Comments

Perkis-Size Me

June 12th, 2012 at 8:36 PM ^

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.

WolvinLA2

June 12th, 2012 at 8:45 PM ^

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:

USC
UCLA
Stanford
Cal
Oregon
Washington
ASU
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. 

ThadMattasagoblin

June 12th, 2012 at 9:14 PM ^

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.

WolvinLA2

June 12th, 2012 at 9:19 PM ^

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.

CoachBP623

June 12th, 2012 at 10:15 PM ^

In today's college football it is imperative to get at least one "cupcake" game on your schedule each year I.e. Delaware st. While I'm not big on the Thursday night idea i'm okay with playing Utah. I think it will give us a good enough test to see exactly what were working with. I was praying for Arizona so we could watch Manball vs basketball on grass.

Tater

June 12th, 2012 at 10:52 PM ^

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.

Don

June 13th, 2012 at 8:04 AM ^

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.

MGoShoe

June 13th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

...through this thread indicate that Michigan should only ever schedule teams (2-4 years in advance) that recently have found themselves at the top of their conferences. Any other team is unacceptable.

Since OOC scheduling will necessarily be restricted to the PAC-12 for the foreseeable future, we are therefore restritcted to USC, Oregon and Stanford. No matter what their availability is, those are the only acceptable teams.

Also, don't schedule a game played in the Pacific time zone on a weekday because WolvinLA2 can't watch it.

Alright, who's drafting the MGoMemo to send to DAB?

uminks

June 13th, 2012 at 12:59 PM ^

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!!!!!