Exactly 100 days from today, the 2012 college football season will officially kick off.
Two days later, and as expected, one of the marquee non-conference match-ups of the new year will take place under the lights and in front of a national television audience.
In a pair of releases, Michigan and Alabama announced Tuesday afternoon that their highly-anticipated season opener will kickoff in prime-time at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex. The game is slated to begin at 8 ET Sept. 1 and will be broadcast on ABC.
In the Tide’s release, it’s noted that they will be the considered the home team for the neutral site game and that the game officials will come from the Big 12.
Given the fact that the Wolverines are expected to be a preseason top-ten team and the Tide is coming off its second BcS title in three years, it was all but a certainty that the game would be played in prime-time. The UM-UA opener wasn’t one of the prime-time kickoffs the Big Ten announced late last month, although that now appears to be nothing more than the networks, conferences and schools ironing out some final details.
The early-September game will be the fourth meeting in the histories of the two storied programs. The Wolverines lead the all-time “series” 2-1, with all three of the previous games taking place in the postseason.
The first meeting was in the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl and the last one in the 2000 Orange Bowl — a 35-34 overtime win for the Tom Brady-led Wolverines. The Tide’s lone win came during the 1997 Outback Bowl.
Additionally, UM and Ohio State also announced that the 109th edition of The Game will kickoff at noon ET on Nov. 24 at Ohio Stadium. As noted in OSU’s release, the 2012 game will mark 95th consecutive year the two schools have played.