Michigan will head back to Arlington to face an SEC team five years after being throttled by Alabama at AT&T Stadium.
The Wolverines will face Florida in the 2017 season-opening Cowboys Classic, both schools announced Thursday. It’ll be the Gators’ first non-conference regular season game played outside the state of Florida since 1991.
For Michigan, the game should provide a nice bump in strength of schedule, but from Florida’s perspective it’s a head-scratcher. Going into Texas certainly has recruiting benefits, but a good Florida team in 2017 conceivably could be dealt a difficult SEC schedule and go 7-5.
The money helps, at least.
As the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson writes, with the SEC expected to go to a nine-game schedule and an annual game against Florida State, Florida’s 2017 schedule could be one of the most difficult ones in school history.
Of course, three full seasons still have to be played before Florida and Michigan meet. Plenty can change (ahem, coaches) between now and then.