Late last month, Nick Saban “broke” a “scoop” on his radio program that, while “it hasn’t been announced yet“, a 2012 Alabama-Michigan game in Arlington, Tex., had been all but finalized.
Almost exactly three weeks later — and a little over two months after the initial rumors came to light — it’s become officially finalized.
In statements released by both schools, it’s been announced that the Tide and the Wolverines will square off in a neutral site, non-conference game on Sept. 1 of 2012. The match-up between two of the most storied programs in college football history will be played at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
It will be the season opener for both schools.
“It’s exciting to announce that two of college football’s most tradition-rich teams will be meeting in 2012,” ‘Bama athletic director Mal Moore said in a statement. “We have such tremendous respect for Michigan: their school, their outstanding tradition, and their following. It’s a terrific opportunity for our student-athletes and our entire program, in addition to being a great benefit in recruiting. It’s yet another chance for our University to be showcased on a national stage early in the season at a terrific stadium.”
“This is a great way to kickoff the 2012 season with two of the nation’s winningest college football programs,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said in his own statement. “We are excited about playing a regular season game in the state of Texas, a region of the country where we have traditionally recruited. Our goal is to get as many Michigan fans to the game as possible to witness this match-up of traditional powers.”
The 2012 game, which will be officiated by a crew from the Big 12 conference, will be the fourth football meeting between the schools. All three previous contests have been in bowl games, with the last coming in the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season.
The Wolverines hold the all-time edge in the “series” 2-1.