UM Fourth Non-Conference Game for 2012 (A MAC schedule analysis)?

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on September 7th, 2011 at 10:26 PM

EDIT: A friend of mine pointed out that Massachusetts joins the MAC next season.

My speculation is based on Michigan's current schedule, the "agreement" that Big Ten teams play MAC teams, and based on the current MAC teams schedules.  I tried looking everywhere I could think of to find the MAC conference schedules for 2012 and beyond, with no success.  

(1) With that said, let's start with Michigan's schedule for 2012:


S1: vs. Alabama; S8: Air Force; S15: OPEN; S22: @ Notre Dame; S29: OPEN


O6: @ Purdue*; O13: Illinois*; O20: Michigan St*; O27: @ Nebraska*


N3: @ Minnesota*; N10: Northwestern*; N17: Iowa*; N24: @ Ohio*


(2) Teams in the MAC that currently have a full non-conference schedule (with their opponents in parenthesis):

Ball State (@ Clemson, @ Indiana, USF, @ Army)

Bowling Green (@ Florida, Idaho, @ Virginia Tech, Rhode Island)

Buffalo (@ Georgia, Morgan St, @ Connecticut, Pittsburgh)

Kent State (Towson, @ Kentucky, @ Rutgers, @ Army)

Miami (OH) (@ Ohio, @ Boise St, Missouri, Cincinnati)

Northern Illinois (Iowa, UT Martin, @ Army, Kansas)

Ohio University (@ Penn St, New Mexico St, @ Marshall, Norfolk St)

Temple (Villanova, Maryland, @ Penn St, @ Army)

Western Michigan (@ Illinois, Eastern Illinois, @ Minnesota, Connecticut)


(3) That leaves us with:

Akron, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Massachusetts, Toledo.

Eastern Michigan

I tend to think playing EMU in 2012 is very unlikely. EMU and Michigan have what appears to be a common open date on September 29, but the two will have met just this year. I just don't see this happening. Further, EMU is playing at Purdue and at Michigan St. Down to Akron, Central Michigan, Massachusetts, and Toledo.

Central Michigan

Believe it or not, Michigan and Central Michigan have not met since 2006. With that said, I highly doubt they will meet in 2012, but 2013 or 2014 are possibilities. CMU faces both Michigan State and Iowa in 2012; facing three Big Ten teams in the same season is highly unlikely. Down to Akron and Toledo.


The Minutemen and Wolverines met last year in the Big House.  UMass has Connecticut on the road on August 30 and faces Indiana at home on September 8.  September 15 and 29 appear to both be open for a meeting between the two.  However, given the recent meeting, I don't see this one happening.


Neither Akron nor Toledo have any Big Ten teams listed on their non-conference schedule in 2012. Toledo is @ Arizona, @ Wyoming and home to Coastal Carolina on the week of September 1, September 8, and September 22, respectively. That would leave September 15 or September 22 as possible dates for a meeting in Ann Arbor. My hunch is that Toledo schedules another home game for 2012. I also believe AD Brandon would not want to set up Coach Hoke with another tough non-conference opponent in 2012. That leaves . . .


Akron and Michigan have not played before from what I can remember. Akron only has one non-conference opponent scheduled for 2012, UCF, and no date is set for the game. Akron is not a good team, would give Michigan an easy game, and would provide the Wolverines with a MAC opponent.


Thoughts on who the fourth non-conference opponent in 2012 could be?



September 7th, 2011 at 10:53 PM ^

All things being equal, I'd just as soon give the cupcake game and the brief spotlight that entails to English and Hart. 

But I'm sure Brandon will schedule Toledo so we can get revenge and look super cool doing it.


September 7th, 2011 at 11:01 PM ^

True, I just find it very unlikely a MAC school would break a date with another Big Ten member to play at the Big House (another team, like an FCS opponent, is likely).  Might be a better pay day than traveling elsewhere, but would create problems among fellow Big Ten schools.


September 7th, 2011 at 11:07 PM ^

I dont think it will be Toledo. And honestly I dont think its a good situation for Toledo to be in again, its a lose-lose situation for Michigan.


Akron possible, but I have to disagree I think it will be either Central or Eastern.


September 7th, 2011 at 11:13 PM ^

We play Alabama at a neutral site, @Notre Dame, @Nebraska, and @OSU next year.  And Air Force isn't exactly The Little Sisters of the Poor.

I don't think anybody in the country will be playing a much tougher schedule next year, even if we wipe the floor with EMU.

One Inch Woody…

September 8th, 2011 at 8:40 AM ^

The University passed out fridge magnets with the 2011/2012 schedules of all teams at Maize Craze last Friday and I was quite surprised to see a full 2011/2012 schedule in there. But yes, UMass is the 4th non-conference game.

It is posted on this site ( as text so I can't directly link you to it but here's a quote:

"One of the UMass football blog's vast network of spies says UMass-Michigan in 2012 is set. Vanderbilt is still being negotiated"

Picktown GoBlue

September 8th, 2011 at 12:49 AM ^

with Indiana.  Would they really schedule two B1G teams in their first year in FBS?  OTOH, since they aren't eligible for the MAC championship or bowl games in 2012, I guess they could play a more challenging schedule with little downside.  I'd just be surprised that they'd come back to the Big House so soon but I guess it's possible - see note about Michigan in the Vandy article here


September 8th, 2011 at 12:27 AM ^

Why does Michigan have to play a really tough game the week before Ohio every fucking year?  More often than not, Ohio is playing an easy game.  When Michigan is a lot better than Ohio, like they were when they were going 10-2-1, it doesn't really matter.  When the teams are even, it gives Ohio an edge.  

You would think the Big Ten would want to be intelligent about their showcase game.  


September 8th, 2011 at 8:21 AM ^

He doesn’t want to make an already brutal schedule even harder.

But he is giving season ticket holders the worst home slate in recent memory, with just six games, only one of which (Michigan State) is much of a draw. I am guessing he tries to bring in someone more interesting than Akron for the sixth game.


September 8th, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

I would say Toledo* or Central over Akron or Eastern, and here's why. Toledo is a tougher MAC team, more like Western (and Central in better years, like under Brian Kelly and Butch Davis for instance), whereas Akron is at the opposite end of the spectrum. As a MAC school, particularly on the opener where they're going to be a little rusty and out of their element at the Big House, and yet will play well enough to actually sharpen us up and prepare our guys for ND and/or the upcoming Big Ten season. Akron, on the other hand, ill-prepares teams who take only the cupcakey-est of opponents (i.e. that school in ohio) and offers nothing that a scrimmage against the 3rd string couldn't provide. Same goes for Eastern, plus there's no sense in piling the losses on Ron English (and now also Mike Hart's) down-luck MAC team.

(Edit: UMass was also a decent opponent last year, and they'd additionally provide a good measuring stick for ourselves against the RR-run team of 2010.)

*I am not for or against the "revenge" factor (if the comparison to scheduling App State for the opener in 2014 is made); this is opinion is strictly on talent and how the match-up will help prepare the team for the rest of the season.


September 8th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

Anyone else's MAC-related analysis would surely be appreciated. (PS/semi-OT: Root for Toledo this Saturday against OSU to overshadow the 08 tragedy under RRod before the game Under the Lights! It's one of the more solid MAC teams in a few years, so if OSU comes out flat and they come out flying its a genuine possibility)