Michigan vs. Alabama #1 Non-Conference Game

Submitted by hart20 on April 12th, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Yahoo! Sports made a top 12 list of the best non-conference games of the upcoming season. The Michigan-Alabama game checks in at #1. Here's what they have to say: 

Two of the most storied programs in history get together for just the fourth time; the three previous meetings were in bowls, with the most recent coming in the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season. Alabama is a lock to open the season in the top 10, and the Wolverines should be in there, too. This will be the third time in five years that Alabama has opened the season in a neutral-site game; the other two were in Atlanta.

Other games of note:

#2 Boise St. @ MSU

#3 Notre Dame @ Oklahoma

#4 Miami-Notre Dame @ Soldier Field

#6 Cal @ Ohio St.

#8 Nebraska @ UCLA


Link: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf--college-football-worst-non-conference-games.html;_ylt=AjMblerUy1exhH7AqByOPywcvrYF

I'm loving the non-conference scheduling of late, although it likely won't last, which is a shame. I'm putting myself out there right now as well and I'm saying that we beat Bama, opening night. The first of many great victories this year.



April 12th, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

Screw big ten pride.  I want ohio and msu to lose every game (cept I guess when they play each other?).  I'll root for most Big Ten teams the majority of the time, but this whole big ten pride thing makes no sense to me.  The benefit of msu or ohio winning is so marginal compared to the enjoyment of watching them get smoked.

Never root for ohio or msu.


April 12th, 2012 at 11:47 AM ^

Problem is if Boise wins we probably need to hear about how they're the real deal and deserve a shot at the championship blah blah blah all year as they play the rest of their cupcake schedule. Now if Boise goes 8-4 with a win over Sparty I'm fine with that.

No one actually thinks Cal is that good so them beating Ohio is just pure schadenfreudey goodness, so go Bears


April 12th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

 It's not about conference pride to me, it's about Michigan getting wins over good to great teams. In a perfect world for me every team Michigan played would be undefeated until we played them. For example think of Alabama vs. Florida last year ( and the year before) . Florida wasn't that good of a team but, when Bama beat them in 2010 it solidified their number 1 ranking and when they beat them in 2011 it solidified their number 2 ranking.

 If Bama had beat a 2 or 3 loss Florida team do you think anyone would have cared?


April 13th, 2012 at 6:30 AM ^

Bingo. Finally someone gets it. I will take it a step further and because the BCS computers are in involved, strength of schedule and top 25 wins matter. This is why I think even with 2 losses next year we are playing in a BCS game again simply due to our strength of schedule.


April 13th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

I have an obnoxious sister-in-law who regularly requires another person to help her spell oh-io...she always says I should root for them in tournies etc because she roots for UM when we aren't playing them....my reply? That's the arrogance held in Colonumbus...they think everyone should like them...I know most programs hate UM and circle us on the calendar...I root for Michigan....and anyone who has a shot at beating ohio or msu...period. I care less about polls or BCS crap..it's flawed and evil...how did that work out for us when urban legend lobbied for Florida to play ohio instead of us in a rematch? Doesn't matter...we'll never get the respect of the vaunted SEC because B1G football is hardcore smashmouth and it's not 'exciting' to the lemming hordes who want to see sunny skies and teams putting up 80 on a DIII program every week all the while screwing greyshirts over and cutting daily deals with the devil...you can have your polls..I'll take a B1G championship ring any day...the way Bo and his boys played EVERY season.


April 12th, 2012 at 3:25 AM ^

It's late, and I'm tired. For a moment, I thought someone was ranking Notre Dame preseason #3. This almost caused an existential crisis. 


April 12th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

It's gonna be rough in South Bend this year,

@USC - likely top 5 team

@Oklahoma - likely top 10 team

Michigan - likely top 10 team

@MSU - likely top 20 team

Stanford - likely top 20 team


Throw in the travelling circus to Ireland against Navy and another potential loss to Miami in Chicago, we could see a nuclear meltdown.  Some preseason polls had the Irish in the top 25 (lulz)...


April 12th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

Right, you have to give them some credit this year.  They have stepped it up from year's past.  But my question is why isn't Michigan-Notre Dame a top non-conference game considering the way that game has went the past 3 years, and its UTL again this year.  Who cares if we play them every year, if its a top non-conference game, then its a top non conference game.  You'd have to think it will be a better game than ND-Miami 


April 12th, 2012 at 5:17 AM ^

Bama is losing a lot of studs in the draft, mostly at lb and secondary. Combine that and the fact we getem first week gives some hope for an upset. But a lot has to go right, one being what mattison does with this years defense. Hopefully he can coach the secondary up enough to not get beat deep.
And obviously Denard can't throw the game away. For us to win he is gonna have to run like he normally does in non conference play because Fitz north and south isn't going to overwhelm Alabama, even in week one. This is a close second to Ohio as far as big games. It's gonna be a good one, roll damn blue


April 12th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

For sentimental reasons OSU may be bigger but IMO this game is the biggest of te season.

Win this one and we start getting recognition as a possible national contender not just Big Ten. I understand that the Big Ten Championship is the goal but I am sick of the Ess Eeee Ceee and want Michigan mentioned as one of the top national programs again.

U Fer M

April 12th, 2012 at 6:48 AM ^

I'm hoping for a good B10 showing in non conference, bring a little legitimacy back to the conference, then let the losses come for Sparty and Ohio in conference.


April 12th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

The reason the computers thought so highly of the BXII last year was their out of conference record. Michigan could lose a shot at a BCS bowl or even the title game if it looks like we play in a third tier conference, which the computers definitely thought the Big Ten was last season.


April 12th, 2012 at 10:02 AM ^

While big non-conference games may matter more to voters, the computers penalized the Big 10 last year mostly because of losses like:

Indiana vs Ball State, Indiana vs Virginia, Indiana @ North Texas, Purdue @ Rice, Minnesota vs New Mexico State, Minnesota vs North Dakota State, and Northwestern @ Army


April 12th, 2012 at 10:07 AM ^

But that particular comment was about Ohio and MSU. I don't think anyone here thinks twice about hoping IU beats Ball State or pulling for Minnesota to beat UND or whatever, and I know I always do.

I do think Sparty being able to beat Boise or Ohio taking down Cal would be big boosts for us in the computers, though, even if the downside isn't as bad as the bottom tier losing.


April 12th, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^

Haven't seen the rest of the conference's non conference matchups but youd hope for us being an exception regardless. Yeah umass n af, but Alabama should do more than balance out the SOS rankings. Worse case scenario we lose close, it's early, bcs bowls still possible.


April 12th, 2012 at 9:23 AM ^


This is not going to be a great non-conference game, Yahoo. Sorry.

If it were 1988 or 1994 then maybe.

I think Penn State at Virginia will be way better.

Shaky power program against improving Cavaliers.



April 12th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^



Michigan vs Alabama Line Opens Early with Tide -10 Point Spread Favorite: It’s been three weeks since Alabama players hoisted the crystal football as BCS champions, and already oddsmakers at some sports shops are looking ahead to the 2012 season. Fans of the Crimson Tide and Michigan Wolverines are looking ahead too; eagerly anticipating their early season (Sept. 1) head-to-head matchup in the “Cowboys Stadium Kickoff Classic” at Arlington, Texas. Oddsmakers, always happy to facilitate betting demands, have lined the Crimson Tide as early -10 point spread favorites


My guess is that the line will close as September 1st gets closer.  People will be betting Alabama and we should see it down to one score.


April 12th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

That list is a joke.  If THOSE are the best non-conference games to look forward to, wake me in October. 

MIAMI / NOTRE DAME: Both teams have a combined 60 losses in the last 5 seasons.  Moving this game to Soldier Field doesn't suddenly make it relevant.  This game would be a must see if it were 1989, not today.

NOTRE DAME / OKLAHOMA: The only reason to watch this is to see Notre Dame losing 31-0...in the second quarter. 

NEBRASKA / UCLA:  Any opponent vs. UCLA is not a must see. 

BOISE STATE /  MSU:  This game would have been more interesting the last 2 seasons.  With our luck, this will be the one time Boise doesn't pull off the upset. 

CAL / OSU: Cal has gone back to sucking lately.  They're not a major opponent but I predict Buckeye fans pounding their chests after beating them. 

Darth Wolverine

April 12th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Was there really ever a doubt that this will be the biggest OOC game all season? Regarding the Boise/Sparty game...meh. That would have been a great game last season, but this year it won't be that cool. It will only be cool if Boise wins.

I'm not "root for your fellow conference teams in OOC games" guy. Never have been.

Section 1

April 12th, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

I am a firm believer in rooting for "The Conference" in ooc matchups.

I just was never really convinced that Sparty was truly a member of the conference...


August 16th, 2012 at 6:59 AM ^

Here is why:

1. Alabama is big and fast
2. Alabama is big and fast
3. UM Offensive line is still small and smells of Dickrod
4. UM defense had every weakness exposed during VT game--Saban is a good analyst of film and a smart coach (ego maniac too but that's another topic).
5. UM Defense made great strides last year and Mattison is a genius but they looked awful during the spring game
6. Alabama will be out headhunting for Robinson. I fear a season ruining injury in this game and thus the season going to crap. It feels like 2007 all over again.
7. Robinson cannot throw a ball up and hope he'll get lucky like he did against ND. I fear two or more interceptions in this game. Alabama's defense is probably the best Robinson has ever played against.
8. Michigan has been terrible on the road.

Now IF Michigan wins I will agree that the demons of the Richrod debacle have been exorcised, Michigan's karma has been corrected and natural order has been restored to the Big Ten, Michigan deserves to be ranked number one, Hoke should be canonized like Lloyd, Bo, Yost, and Crisler, Michigan will go undefeated, and Robinson will win the Heisman.