Who should replace ND in a long-term series?

Submitted by dahblue on May 23rd, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Interesting poll on AnnArbor.com today asking who should replace Notre Dame (those weasely fellows) in a long-term series.  Will that ever happen?  Who knows, but certainly would be interesting.

Here's the link:

Choices include:

I'd vote LSU.  What say you?



May 23rd, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

Most teams want at least 7 home games a year. The Big XII and the Pac-12 both play 9 league games, The SEC will probably go to that format sooner or later.  That leaves room for at most one home-and-home with a non-conference foe.

Bear in mind that Florida and FSU already have an annual non-conference game with each other; Stanford has an annual game with Notre Dame that neither side plans to give up.

Another issue is that many of those teams probably prefer variety to the same opponent over and over again. Everyone wants to get on Texas's schedule, so they don't need the certainty of a common opponent every year. Their future non-conference home-and-home opponents include USC, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, BYU, Cal, and Arkansas.

Oregon has scheduled similarly: their future home-and-homes include Wyoming, Texas A&M, Virginia, Michigan State, and Ohio State. If this happens at all, it's going to be in the 2020s, not right away.

Lastly, it's worth noting that most of these teams play in warm-weather climates, where a September game is going to put Michigan at a disadvantage. That, at the very least, is one issue they didn't have to deal with when playing Notre Dame.


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

Replace our Rival with the Rival of our Rival, who in turn is our Friend? But a friend who we hate and are our Rival as well.

I hate USC and the fact we don't ever play them outside of the damn city that their university is in. Come up north(east) you punks and we will start leading in this series in no time!


But out of that group, Stanford would be cool. Just give us that California footprint!


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

The idea of a long-term series with a strong opponent is a longshot, but I would vote for either UCLA or Texas, with the slight edge to UCLA. Why? First I eliminated teams who would likely not accept the offer due to current long-term series with strong OOC opponents (Stanford, USC, Florida, Florida State, and South Carolina). Then I eliminated teams with poor recruiting grounds (Arizona and Oregon). That leaves us with LSU, Texas, and UCLA.

These teams are all located in exceptionally fertile recruiting grounds. I think it would be harder to pull kids from Louisiana (since almost all the good talent there goes to SEC teams), so let's eliminate LSU. That leaves Texas and UCLA. Texas is a historical powerhouse, so that would be fun. However, if we played UCLA in Pasadena every other year, that would give us some familiarity with the Rose Bowl, which could be good for our team come the post-season. Also, UCLA is more similar to Michigan academically (two of the top three public research universities in the world--the other being Cal). It would also help with recruiting since players would be guaranteed to play in southern California two or three times in their career. Win-win-win.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

Is there any real evidence that playing a road game someplace really improves your chances of pulling recruits from there?  I know this is something coaches talk about, but to me it just seems like a relic of the old days when most games were only regionally-televised (if at all) and it was hard to really get exposure to teams outside your area.  


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

but I'd like to see a solid Pac-12 team (preference would be Cal, UCLA, or Stanford).  That or Rutgers, you know New York market and all.



the Glove

May 23rd, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

Without question Stanford or UCLA. This would give Michigan a West Coast presence and would help recruiting in the long run in California.


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:44 PM ^

I want to play USC. Traditional power and they have gotten the better of us for the most part when we've faced them. Would not be happening if we played them yearly. Plus...like California.


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:47 PM ^

I'd prefer LSU or Stanford. We go to Florida enough for bowl games (thought that might change a bit in the future), it'd be nice to get another bi-annual game in another fertile recruiting area. Louisiana or California clearly fit the bill. I know Texas fits this criteria as well...but I'd just prefer LSU/Stanford.


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:49 PM ^

with all of these teams instead of picking one as a long term series. Since I have to pick one.... I choose Texas. Probably the college town with the best nightlife, it's not in Florida or California (where we seem to play all of our bowl games), a program with a lot of history (like ND) and definite recruiting advantages.


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

Looking at FBSchedules.com, the nearest open slot appears to be 2017, where Cinicinnati is the only non-conference opponent locked up. 2018 and 2019 have the home-and-home with Arkansas and then 2020 and 2021 have the home-and-home with Virginia Tech.

Like others, I actually find the idea of rotating some of these teams intriguing with the limited non-conference space that will be available starting in 2016 with the expansion to nine conference games for us. In 2018 and 2019, for example, with an SEC team already booked, it would be interesting to go with USC or Stanford, and then maybe in 2020 and 2021, perhaps someone like Texas. 

If not a continuous series, then setting up a rotation with a few teams where most Michigan teams will see some of the better major conference opponents at least once in their Michigan careers might be interesting. If I have to choose just one, then probably USC with Texas as a backup. 


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:53 PM ^

We play the SEC enough in bowl games. Personally I'd prefer rotation non-conference scheduling with the better football teams in the other two more academically minded conferences (i.e., ACC and Pac 12). Stanford, USC, Oregon, FSU, Virginia Tech, Miami, etc.

We know the SEC oversigns. We know most of them have lower academic standards. We know they have highly compensated coaching staffs. If we sign up to playa against the SEC, it should not be against Alabama or LSU. Playing against lesser stack SEC teams early in the season will help build experience and momentum towards being able to compete with the SEC champion int he post season. Playing Alabama out of the gate sets you back the whole season, morale, injury, and perception-wise.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

I'd much, much rather replace them with home-and-homes with several of these:








The only teams of the above that we've played in the regular season are Georgia and USC, and the last time for those was in '65 and '58, respectively. Stone age, in other words.

I don't have much interest in playing the PAC-12 since it's been such a frequent source of opponents in the regular season or in the Rose Bowl. I suppose Arizona with RR would be "interesting" but I can't see that happening as long as DB is around.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

I'd pick a school with a good recruiting base and not in the SEC b/c I'm Sec'd out.

In no particular order my choices would be:

Florida State


North Carolina


Oklahoma (Not a recuiting hotbed but the Texas tie-in is cool and it's a top 20 Program)

Virginia Tech 


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:13 PM ^

SEC teams are pipe dreams. No way in hell any good SEC team comes up here every other year.

I'd say Syracuse. Historical reasons. Michigan and Syracuse had a rivalry going when Michigan went independent in 1907. Quite competitive actually and it even showed in 1998-1999 when they played a home and home. 

I kinda miss the old home and homes with Pac-12 teams. Look how many of them Michigan has played-


Cal- (1965-1968), (1979-1980)
Colorado- (1994, 1996)
Oregon- (2003, 2007)
Stanford- (1947, 1949), (1951-1952), (1974-1975) 
UCLA- (1971-1972), (1996, 2000)
USC- (1957-1958)
Utah- (2014-2015)
Washington- (1953-1954), (1969-1970), (1984-1985), (2001-2002)


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:05 PM ^

Florida State. They cheated us out of the Best Helmet poll, and the best Pregame Tradition poll. Plus, like ND, they are perennially overrated, and I'd love to benefit from derailing their anuual hype train instead of letting the NC States and Wake Forests of the world do it.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

Stanford,UCLA, and Washington and make them primetime home and series. Good for TV Networking and recruiting. they are familiar oppenets from the past.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:08 PM ^

There is no doubt about it; USC is the best choice to have a long time rivalry with.  Besides, with Lane Kiffin there, NOW is the time to start playing them!


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:18 PM ^

I like the debate but as someone above noted, I want my team to play more goddamn Big Ten teams.  It's not as sexy as picking between a bunch of historic football teams across the country but, it's the truth.  Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin, need to play Michigan more often than they're going to be.

....otherwise, Arizona (!).

A Lot of Milk

May 23rd, 2013 at 5:18 PM ^

Honestly though, any rivalry the university tries to develop will be hollow. We had a reason to hate Notre Dame. I don't think there's any other school in the country besides OSU, MSU, Minn (though how can you hate those cute little gophers?), and Notre Dame that can we just begin to hate. Each rivalry has its own traditions and reasons for a rivalry. I'm upset that we lose a rival, but I don't want to be like ND and have a rivalry against every team you face. I'm content wih 3, though I would like ND to be back on the schedule ASAP.

Section 1

May 23rd, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

...nobody would have suggested "Rutgers" or "Maryland."

But back to reality.  Do we need to pick just one team to replace Notre Dame?  I do like Stanford.  That's a good match.

But how about some variety?  How about LSU, then Georgia, then Florida, then Tennessee, etc.  All home-and-home.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

What about a team like Louisville? Kind of on the up-and-up, joining the ACC, and a bit of a media darling this year. I doubt they'll sustain this attention or production, but they're a decent major conference team where travel wouldn't be a big issue. I know it doesn't increase the recruiting footprint, but I think that is a little overstated anyway. They wouldn't be my top choice by any means, but they're realistic. It's odd that ACC teams in general aren't being thrown around (minus FSU). Clemson, Miami, GA Tech, VA Tech (I know we already have them scheduled) would also be decent options, if we're putting down the pipe dreams.

EDIT: To be clear, I would prefer the other teams in the poll, but as others have noted, they're pretty unrealistic in the short term. Also, I am on the West Coast, so I would much prefer a PAC12 team personally.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

For the most part, the greatest and truest rivalries have are regional. You can't just start a fierce rivalry with Texas or LSU. You need some kind of turf war.

San Diego Mick

May 23rd, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

just keep scheduling games against top notch opponents for home & home or onesies at the Big House and we'll be fine and spread the love...or hate on the field, if you will.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:50 PM ^

Texas hands down. The two most profitable schools in CFB. Both have crazy fan bases and would be a Monday Night Football kind of event. Would LOVE a home and home with them


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

or at least not one the fans would want.  It will be an ever changing series of home and homes or nuetral site one offs for better or worse.   I like the variety, and to hell with Notre Dame,  but I think the schedule just won't be as good without the annual ND game. 

At least we will have UM/Rutgers and ND/Duke in its place!  Blech.


May 23rd, 2013 at 5:58 PM ^

I'd pick a school that is consistently overrated especially early in the season. Texas and Florida State come to mind. Please no neutral site garbage.

UNC, Duke and Georgia Tech could be fun too. Fun cities and might not have to do a return trip with those schools.