Who Replaces Notre Dame?

Submitted by Brian on September 25th, 2012 at 2:59 PM



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)
UCLA (full)
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.

This Guy's Vote

Georgia, as per usual. Oregon would be exciting as well, unless we just get obliterated again. Which we might.



September 25th, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

The best team that could be scheduled, that would create ratings records and possibly cause the most Michigan heads to explode (which would be awesome to see)...

....would be a home and home with Arizona.


September 25th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

And they had a game scheduled with West Virginia this year that WVa bailed on after joining the Big 12 and deciding to emulate Kansas State. I'd have them second to Georgia in combination of possible and interesting.


September 25th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

that can't happen. It would take Arizona and Michigan being BCS eligible but not in the Rose, both conference champions but not in the top two (four in three years), or some situation where we're bowl eligible but every other Big Ten team is picked before us and a bowl with a Pac tie in happens to not be able to fill a spot. The reverse could also be true, but that would likely mean we're headed for a Pizza Bowl or TicketCity Bowl, which even at 6-6 wouldn't happen.

Seeing Arizona get picked for a BCS bid is reasonable, but there could easily be better options. If we're both champions not in the playoff/BCS title there is no rigging, and Michigan will never be bowl eligible and not picked basically as high as the Big Ten tie-ins allow.


September 25th, 2012 at 3:15 PM ^

Honestly, I'd like this oppourtunity to completely fill the ND void and see if we can't get an annual or semi-annual rivalry cross-sectional rivalry established. If ND wants to play USC and Stanford so badly, why don't we reach out to UCLA, Cal, Oregon, or Washington? It would mean our non-conference has at least one interesting game every year, which is what ND provided.


September 26th, 2012 at 2:36 AM ^

 I never remember playing them on the road? But Bo's first year MO was ranked 7 or 8th and whipped us 40 to 10 or something?  And the game I remember most was '75 when we smoked 4th ranked MO at home 35-7 but I never remember playing them away! It seem like we got teams to agree to just play us at home like MO and TAM and a few PAC10 teams. Some teams like CAL and WA we did have home and away series. Many times in the 70s into the mid 80s we started our first game with a big 10 opponent. Many of us are old enough to remember WI beating us at home in '81 when we were ranked preseason number 1 in both the AP and UPI.


September 25th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Lets get an Alabama rivalry going!  We met each other out by chance and had a good time years ago, and had a nice first date at a safe neutral place (even if one of us kind of had a mess going in their personal life and didn't have it all together).  We still have a whole lot in common and complement each other well, I think its time to get more intimate and visit each others houses!


September 25th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

I am all for a Michigan vs Oregon series.  I am already planning on attending the Oregon State game in Michigan in 2015 and a Michigan trip to Oregon would be splendid. 


September 25th, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

I'm guessing we schedule something truly thrilling, like a home-and-home with Cincinnati.  That ought to really help shore up our Ohio recruiting, as well. 


September 25th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

Georgia  simply makes the most sense.  It would be an incredible pick up as far as the schedule goes.  I said it in another thread, but Georgia as a state produces a lot of D1 talent, although it may not necessarily help get exposure in recruiting, given the ACC and SEC.

Sanford Stadium is nice (it's a little oddly put together) but Athens as a town is a lot of fun.

Just be ready to see a lot of this:


Edit: They also do the "it's great chant" although i like to tease them about the fact that it doesn't really fit.... (to me anyway).  "It's great, to be... a Georrrrrr-gia Bull-Dog, said it's great..." 


September 25th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

Let's play another SEC team. I vote Kentucky.

But seriously, I wouldn't mind playing Washington or Georgia. I like the idea of an early Big Ten / Pac-12 matchup, and Georgia just because they always seem overrated early in the year, and would be a nice win on the resume.


September 25th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

Actually, on second thought, it's a shame that Tennessee is full. I think Spencer Hall called them the Michigan of the South, which sounds right in some respects. Also, we could settle that 1997 bullshit.


September 25th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

Seriously. Georgia does not and will not travel. Look at their schedule. They played Arizona State a few years back. It was the first time Richt left SEC country. First time they had travelled that far west since 1960.

Any SEC teams are wishful thinking. They just don't schedule like that.

Washington feels like a good fit, but they would have to step up their game some. No sign of that yet.

Oregon would be delightful. Love their fans / stadium. 


September 25th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

Look. It would be great, but it's not going to happen. Given their yearly with GTech, Georgia has three open dates they always fill with cupcakes.

Look at this year. Buffalo. FAU. Georgia Southern.

2013. North Texas. Appy State. ????

2014. South Alabama. Charleston Southern. ????

2015. LA Monroe. Southern. ????

You really think they'll slot Michigan in there? Just because?

The SEC is a joke when it comes to out of conference. Outside of the traditionals (FLA / Florida State) and a few outliers, they get fat on cupcakes.


September 25th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Georgia dominates the Georgia-Georgia Tech series.  Plus, that game is at the very end of the year.  It hasn't been a meaningful game really in quite sometime... probably until the 2009 when GaTech finally eeked out a victory.  I agree they do schedule cupcakes, but as mentioned above, they have gone out and ventured out to play a non cupcake.  They just back that up with 3 cupcakes.  Look at their 2013 schedule... they open up against clemson @ Clemson.  2014 again against Clemson but @ Sanford.

2015 is wide open for them, as far as I can tell.  It's really not that out of the realm of possibility.. not sure why you seem to think so.


September 25th, 2012 at 6:30 PM ^

Okay. I'm not sure where I pulled those 2013 opponents, but Clemson was not on the list. If they're playing Clemson - good for them. Still isn't a big travel game for them. Out of the SEC, only one team really goes anywhere - LSU. The others stick real close to home.

And I've been saying this over and over but history seems to be against this. Michigan has played exactly one SEC team since 1969. Vandy.