Associated Press college football reporter Ralph D. Russo
listed this week six programs that would be a good
replacement for Notre Dame on Michigan’s schedule.
Notre Dame has opted out of its games with the Wolverines from 2015-17 because the Fighting Irish need space on their schedule to accommodate their new five-game deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Irish are not part of the football conference but they are committed to play five games a year against ACC teams.
Russo’s selections for Michigan’s replacement are logical. Auburn, BYU, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Louisville and Florida State all have openings in their schedules between 2015-17. Who wouldn’t love an SEC team like Auburn going against the Wolverines? Or out-of-region opponents such as Florida State and Oklahoma State coming into the Big House?
The games I offer would really pique the interest of college football fans and media. Chances are the games would not be scheduled but why not dream?
The Return of Rich Rod. That could be a pay-per-view event in Ann Arbor.
The Wildcats, led by former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, have openings between 2015-17.
They have Texas-San Antonio and Nevada on their 2015 schedule and are free of any matchups in 2016-17.
If not a home-and-home arrangement, a one-game neutral site game between Michigan and Arizona would be must-watch TV. Michigan fans and media still reference Rodriguez to this day, mostly in a negative way, even though he is two years removed from his turbulent tenure in Ann Arbor.
Tennessee despises Lane Kiffin for skipping out of Knoxville after one season as head coach, yet the Volunteers and Trojans are scheduled for a series in 2021 and 2022. So why not Arizona vs. Michigan?
Jerry Jones is no stranger to hype the size of Texas. How about the Wolverines vs. the Wildcats in the 2016 Cowboys Classic at Cowboys Stadium, Mr. Jones?
The Tigers are booked in 2015 and 2016, but they only have North Carolina State on their schedule in 2017. That leaves open the chance for a one-game showcase event.
LSU coach Les Miles was an offensive lineman under Bo Schembechler at Michigan in 1974-75. He served as a graduate assistant with the Big Blue in 1980-81 and later as the offensive line coach in 1987-94. Miles was a popular candidate for the Michigan job before Rodriguez was hired in 2008. His name was also mentioned in last year before Brady Hoke got the position.
Unbelievable: LSU and Michigan, two of college football’s traditional powerhouses, have never met. Now’s the time. Make that, 2016 is the time.
“http://www.chatsports.com/michigan-wolverines/a/Former-Michigan-player-Nearly-half-the-team-was-stoned-during-Appalachian-State-loss-10-2-3043” In an interview with Chat Sports, an unidentified Michigan player admitted that some of the team’s starters partied too much the week leading up to Appalachian State’s historic 2007 upset of the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. The player went so far as to say some smoked marijuana the morning of the game in a test to see how they would play against Appalachian State.
Now that we know the answer, if the player’s story is true, why not see how the Wolverines can beat the Mountaineers free of drug use?
Not only can Michigan atone for its blunder against Appalachian State – which happened with Lloyd Carr as coach, not Rodriguez, just to clear the air (no pun intended) – but the Wolverines can also use the game as a public-service announcement for saying no to drugs.
New Mexico or Kansas.
If Michigan can’t play Notre Dame, why not play against former Fighting Irish coaches who had losing records against the Wolverines?
New Mexico coach Bob Davie, Notre Dame’s coach between 1997-2001, had a 1-2 record against Michigan (the teams did not play each other in Davie’s last two years). Kansas coach Charlie Weis was 2-3 against Michigan as the Fighting Irish coach between 2005-09.
Tyrone Willingham is no longer coaching, or else the Wolverines could have tried that avenue, too.
The Lobos have openings in their 2016 and 2017 schedules. Kansas has space between 2015-17. New Mexico and Kansas would love the opportunity to play only in Ann Arbor if they must, as the programs starve for recognition out of their respective conferences.
If Michigan can schedule UNLV in 2015, it can certainly work in the Lobos in 2016 or 2017. Weis can definitely do better than Ohio, Central Michigan and Memphis, which are on the Jayhawks’ non-conference slate from 2015-17.