What Would Your Out Of Conference Schedule Be?

Submitted by Enjoy Life on September 2nd, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Lots of e-pinions about the wisdom of scheduling that game. Some erroneous conclusions that anyone that thought this game was a mistake also only wanted to schedule baby seals. That simply is not true. One major problem for this caliber of opponent is that it was the first game.

So,  IF THERE WERE NO (REPEAT NO) FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS what would be your OOC (Out of Conference) Schedule that would be preferred for Michigan?

B = Baby Seal = Non FBS Opponent

C = Cupcake = MAC Opponent, etc.

M = Major Opponent = Traditionally Strong FBS Opponent

Just list the number and the order they should be played in. If you want fewer OOC games and more conference games that will be obvious by the number listed.

Here is mine:

1. C

2. C

3. M



September 2nd, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

C, M, ND.  But major opponent doesn't mean one of the five teams that are consistantly better than we are.  Usually it should be a major conference opponent but not necessarily a team at the top of their conference: ie. Cal, Arizona, Virginia, VT, something like that.


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

Followed by two of the top teams from a mid major conference, like Southern Mississippi, SDSU type teams, or mid to lower level BCS teams like Vandy or Cincinnati. Then I'd do home-and-homes with a major team like Texas or USC or Alabama, with the ND game taking two years off and then coming back on for two years.

turd ferguson

September 2nd, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

My thoughts, almost exactly.

I'm interested in - and not sure what I think about - the year-to-year imbalance in our home/road schedules.  In 2012, we have the Alabama game in Texas and true road games against ND, Nebraska, and OSU.  In 2014, we get the same group on the road except for Alabama.  In 2016, it's those three on the road, plus Wisconsin.  In both 2013 and 2015, our road schedules are extremely light, with MSU and Iowa probably being the toughest games outside of Ann Arbor.

On one hand, it'd be nice to have some balance there, both for the sake of having fun home games every year and for not having to look at a schedule like this one and immediately find 3-4 losses even if the team plays well.  On the other hand, it's kind of nice to look at schedules like for 2013 and 2015 and feel like we have a reasonable path to an extremely good record (though we might not have the necessary returning talent in 2013).

I'm really ambivalent and undecided about the imbalance.


September 2nd, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

If our 2012 schedule looked like:

Air Force

with 2013 being

Iowa State

You would be giving the season ticket holders two FBS games plus a service academy, MSU and Iowa on the home slate in 2012. Then in 2013 you'd get one FBS, one service academy, Nebraska and Ohio. Not to mention a game like Michigan-Iowa State or Michigan-Cincinnati won't be UTL 2.0, but it could be the best Big Ten game for a 3:30 slot in September. Also, the odds of losing more than one of those games is small, but it's not lolcats Delaware State territory where Denard doesn't need to be in the game past the first quarter.


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^

What do you consider teams like ND, Oregon State, UConn, etc?

Those teams are not quite cupcakes, but definitely aren't traditionally strong (except for ND of course). 

Those are the kind of teams I think are good for the non-con schedule. Assuming we move to 9 conference game, which would be my preference, here is what I would want. 

1. MAC team

2. Mid-level BCS conference team (Vanderbilt, UCLA, Iowa State, etc) or ND

3. MAC

Then, replace #2 with a major opponent once every 3-4 years. 


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^





ND second since the other major opponent is likely to be stronger. If we go to 9 conference games, then I would want to see C-C-M/ND.



September 2nd, 2012 at 4:43 PM ^

Open with a MAC team, not an FCS squad

Then schedule a lower-level but respectable major conference team (such as Baylor, Texas Tech, Mississippi, North Carolina, or Oregon State) and try to avoid a home-and-home if possible

Then Notre Dame obviously (but in the 2 year hiatus schedule Texas, Georgia, Florida State, Oregon, or maybe Oklahoma for a home-and-home)

Then close out the nonconference with an average Mountain West team (SDSU, UNLV, Air Force, etc.)

But thats a dream, not a reality

Wolverine Pride

September 2nd, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^




No reason for FBS schools playing non-FBS programs.  Would be nice if the new playoff system and sometime in the future, an expanded playoff system, rewarded strength of schedule to the point that cupcakes won't be scheduled at all.  



September 2nd, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

I get more excited about big games than clobbering MAC or FCS, getting beat up by Alabama is not fun, but it puts things into perspective and much like Hoke stated in the presser, you want to test yourself against a strong and seasoned team.  So for me it would be M C M


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

I'm tired of them and its but like its a easy win either ... I want 4 terrible teams preferably some with N,S,E or W in front of their teams name North Texas,.Eastern Idaho,.Western Kentucky


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

Assuming 4 OOC games:

Game 1 should be a nice comfy Cupckake just to shake off the rust that is almost always present.

Game 2 should be a bad to mediocre BCS team (e.g. Wake Forest, Colorado, Kentucky, Iowa State on the bad end with teams like Missouri, UNC, Miss State, Cal on the mediocre end).

Game 3 should be another Cupcake to rest up and prepare for game 4.

Game 4 should be a good but not great BCS team (e.g. Auburn, Clemson, Stanford, WVU).

Games 2 and 4 would be home-and-homes with one game in AA and the other on the road.

Net result: 3 OOC home games with all three being likely wins. In the years when the bad/mediocre game was on the road there would be a good chance of a win there as well. The media (read: AP pollsters) would give you credit for wins over 2 BCS teams OOC which would only help your standings in the polls and improve your position in whatever formula is decided for the newest champion-deciding mechanism.

Mr. Yost

September 2nd, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

I'd always start the year with a home game against a prestigous pushover...then I'd play a major opponent. Game 3 would be a name opponent that may or may not be great in that particular year (Cal, Ole Miss, UNC, Washington, etc.). The last non-conference game before the B1G season would be against ND, a team who should be in the B1G.

1. vs. Harvard/Yale/Princeton
2. @ Texas
3. vs. Cal
4. vs. Notre Dame

Mr. Yost

September 2nd, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

I think we just saw why...give yourself a chance to get a rhythm, to play against someone other than yourself. As long as there is no preseason or scrimmage, you need a warm-up.


September 2nd, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

I want teams that will likely make a bowl game, like we've been doing. (just not like last night) Big 12, pac 12, ACC, SEC. Doesnt matter really. RIght now I'd love to play Florida, or Tennessee,  or Mississippi State. Schedule me Washington, Miami, and ND too.

Perkis-Size Me

September 2nd, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

put florida on our schedule. i think we would have played them pretty well. they have zero offense and their defense is not as good as bama's.

i think that would have been a nail-biting, low scoring affair.


September 2nd, 2012 at 6:19 PM ^

I'd dump ND, go to a 9 game conference schedule, play one quality team each year and two also rans. As an alternative to the 9 game conference schedule, I wouldn't mind doing what didn't work with the PAC 12 with another conference.

I really have a hard time justifying a Delaware State. I like good quality football, not that last night would exactly qualify.


September 2nd, 2012 at 6:35 PM ^

1. M - This game isn't indicative of playing strong FBS opponents, but more an issue of bad timing and selection of the strongest FBS opponents.

2. C - I like playing the MAC schools because many of the players knwo each other and it's a way to get local schools more air time. 

3. B - I hate this option. No one is happy about it and your reputation can only diminish from playing them.


September 2nd, 2012 at 6:50 PM ^

I spent some time looking at OOC schedules going back for about 25 years for some inspiration actually, and we had some decent ones back in the day. There's no really good way to average these together except using admittedly subjective criteria, but perhaps something like:

1) MAC opponent of some quality, relatively speaking (e.g., the Bobcats)

2) Often middling major conference opponent, perhaps ACC or Pac-12. Maryland, Boston College, Washington and UCLA were popular choices in the past, so maybe something like that (not necessarily the current literal versions of these teams, although UCLA would be interesting maybe). 

3) Notre Dame

4) Another major conference opponent, but something along the lines of an Oklahoma State or Oregon. Depending on availability, it could maybe even be a Big East opponent and we would get a crack at Boise State or Louisville. 


September 2nd, 2012 at 9:22 PM ^

Id like to revive the traditional service academy opponents we played under Bo for our OOC schedule. We played major conference opponents almost every year in the 70's-80's, we played Navy 6 times in the 70's. I like them over a Mac school any day. Playing a Mac school just feels like a cop-out. It's a recent trend, too. The first "Cupcake" we played in half a century was Long Beach State in '87, but even then we didn't play another small school until Houston in '92 and '93, and Memphis the year after. '98 was the first year of this unbroken cupcake streak that persists to today. I'd like it if we played ND, and a service academy as our 2 "cupcakes" and played UCLA, or Vandy, or Virginia, or Baylor. Maybe a Big East school.


September 2nd, 2012 at 7:05 PM ^

Assuming an 8 game conference schedule, I'd want each graduating class to play:
Home and home with ND
[email protected] with traditional power, on ND off years
[email protected] with Pac12 team
Each directional team-WMU/EMU/CMU
One more MAC team
One Revenge game against teams we have historically lost against
One Service academy-Army, Navy, Air Force
One Ivy league team

Eastern, Notre Dame, @PAC, IVY
Western, @Notre Dame, PAC, SERVICE
Central, POWER, ??, REVENGE
MAC, @POWER, ??, ??

In too many words, ?? would be a one-off against a middling team from a traditional BCS conference.


September 2nd, 2012 at 7:14 PM ^

That REVENGE game list would be pretty short. Not counting teams that UM has only played once (and lost to), the full list of teams holding an edge in wins over UM is as follows:


Team                  UM Wins              Opponent Wins

Army                       4                                 5

Chicago                 1                                 3

Cornell                   6                               12

North Carolina      1                                 2

Southern Cal         4                                 6


I don't know if Chicago or Cornell even still play football, but it is high time we put those uppity Army Cadets in their proper place! 

(North Carolina was a big surprise to me. When was the last time UM even played them?)


September 2nd, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

Air force, Navy, Army, Virginia, Cal, BC, Vanderbilt, Duke, Stanford, but not Texas unless we play them in December. And forget ND. We gain nothing from playing them.


September 2nd, 2012 at 7:43 PM ^

I don't understand why everyone thinks we need a warm up game to get a little practice.  If we play a cupcake before a more difficult team they also get a warm up game the first week.  So were both on the same footing no matter what.  This isn't directed at anyone in particular.  I've read several posts recently that express this opinion, and it doesn't make sense to me.  If you think i'm dead wrong i'd like to hear why/how.

My wishes --- Play the best to beat the best.  I refuse to believe that hard work by our players will never pay off.  Michigan will be champions again.

1) MAC

2)Alabama, Texas, Oaklahoma, etc.   (not neutral sites)


4) 2nd tier Big East

Enjoy Life

September 2nd, 2012 at 8:31 PM ^

For the first game of the season, it has been 8 months since the team has played a real football game. Even scrimmages do not come close to actual game speed and conditions. The first game of any season for any team is the game that may be the least indicative of their abilities. So, upsets are more likely.

It sure looks like Alabama was the exception (much to the detriment of M) but look at the other games. Several teams had close calls beating even the cupcakes. Imagine if they had played much tougher competition.

Even though your opponent in subsequent weeks will also have played earlier games, the overall performance of all the teams will be closer to what they are really able to accomplish.

Thus, upsets are less likely after week 1.


September 3rd, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

Right, I agree wholeheartedly with that argument.  I see it as one of 3 possibilities.

1) The better team is not as prepared as the weaker one and the result is an upset

2)Both Teams are equally prepared or unprepared and the probability of a victory is no different than the regular season in which both teams are fully prepared and efficient in their execution.

3)The weaker team is less prepared than the stronger, and gets manhandled more suverely than would have been predicted.

I see that scheduling a highly ranked team for the first game has a high risk but also a high reward, and I see it as a case to schedule the best.  While the probability that you loose it badly is high so is the probability of the upset.  There is no better time to take on a better team.  As you say the probability of an upset is high on the first game of the year. 

Additionally, you can still have a good season and get to the championship if you lose early in college football.  So what do you have to lose scheduling the best teams?  I'd like to see some huge upsets at the beginning of the year and get our players some action against the best competition in football so that they know where they have to get better.  Also I think losing will leave a bad taste in their mouth and they will work even harder not to lose again. 

Then again, maybe i'm a sadist


September 2nd, 2012 at 8:48 PM ^

1. Top Ten from a major conference (Alabama)

2. Top 11-25 from a major conference (ND)

3. Below Average Team from a major conference (ASU, WSU, BC, CO)

4. Average team from a major conference. (Washington)

I would be completely happy abandoning all non major conference teams.  We will win some and we will lose some, but the important part is that I will have a heluva time watching the games.