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Alabama & Michigan to open 2012 at Cowboys Stadium w/history & storylines

Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez
Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez
Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide made an announcement on the 2012 season opening game that had been discussed as a possibility in recent months. That official announcement came today through this media release from U. of Alabama Athletics.

Alabama and Michigan to Open 2012 Season at Cowboys Stadium

Arlington, Texas – The University of Alabama football team will open the 2012 season against the University of Michigan on Sept. 1, 2012, in the “Cowboys Stadium Classic” at Cowboys Stadium. The prime time kickoff will be televised by either ESPN or CBS and will mark the fourth time the schools have played.

“It's exciting to announce that two of college football's most tradition-rich teams will be meeting in 2012,” said Director of Athletics Mal Moore. “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.”

The Alabama-Michigan contest will be the third time since 2008 that the Crimson Tide has opened the season at a neutral site in front of a prime time national television audience. Alabama opened the 2008 and 2009 seasons with victories against ACC opponents Clemson and Virginia Tech, respectively, in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, Ga.

Alabama will be the home team and the Wolverines will be the away team. The game officials will be from the Big 12 Conference.

The three previous meetings between Alabama and Michigan occurred in bowl games. Most recently, Michigan edged Alabama, 35-34, in overtime in the 2000 Orange Bowl. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 2-1-0.

The game will mark the fourth year of a five-year agreement between Cowboys Stadium and ESPN to bring a top college football game to North Texas during the Labor Day weekend to start the college football season. Each contest has featured nationally ranked teams with Brigham Young University upsetting the University of Oklahoma, 14-13, in 2009 and Texas Christian University knocking off Oregon State, 30-21, in 2010. LSU and Oregon are set to square off in the 2011 “Cowboys Stadium Classic.”

Information on ticket sales and kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

Vince’s View
I love this game. This is a great match-up with storylines all over the place. Obviously these are storied college football programs with supreme history and tradition. The bowl history between these schools and the Rich Rodriguez (if he’s the UM head coach then) near hire at Alabama ultimately opening the door for Nick Saban are just some of what will be talked about in the off-season leading up to the game.

The venue of Cowboys Stadium is second-to-none, so that will be a treat for everyone. The game being played in Texas, with so many high school prospects in that state; and nearby where Alabama recruits often will be a tremendous opportunity to impact recruiting. The Metroplex (Dallas-Fort Worth) also has a very large Alabama alumni and fan base. This will be a showcase of the program in an area that doesn’t often get to see the Crimson Tide.

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You can follow me on Twitter @VinceSports. Hear me talk Alabama and SEC sports on two shows “Bama Roll Call” and “Crimson On Demand.”


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