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Posted on Mon, May 28, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

CBS: Michigan football has the nation's fourth-toughest schedule in 2012

By Nick Baumgardner

There's been one prevailing notion among college football writers and fans this offseason with regard to Michigan football coach Brady Hoke's second act.

If he wants to repeat his 2011 performance, he'd better find a way to navigate a merciless schedule.


Notre Dame (No. 1) and Michigan (No. 4) have two of the toughest 2012 schedules in college football, according to The teams meet Sept. 22 in South Bend, Ind.

Angela J. Cesere |'s Bruce Feldman is the latest to make this statement when he rated Michigan's 2012 slate at No. 4 on his 10 "toughest schedules" for 2012 on Monday.

"Year Two for Brady Hoke begins against the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide in Arlington, Texas," Feldman writes. "Good luck with that one."

Feldman goes on to write how the Wolverines have very little breathing room beyond the Alabama game, as Air Force comes to Ann Arbor for week two. And after a breather against Massachusetts, Michigan travels to Notre Dame -- the team Feldman says has the most difficult schedule of anyone in America.

After the Fighting Irish, Feldman slots Washington and Oregon State at No. 2 and 3, respectively.

Michigan is the only Big Ten team on Feldman's list. It rounds out with No. 5 Kansas, No. 6 Mississippi, No. 7 Auburn, No. 8 Iowa State, No. 9 Cal and No. 10 South Carolina.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Bama is going to squash Michigan like bugs on a windshield. No contest. Where's the threat?


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Having Alabama teed up first will be a huge help for us for the rest of the season. While the rest of the Big Ten is feasting on the likes of Northern Iowa and Utah State, we will be playing with the big boys and getting ready for the season. This should count for an extra win or two along the way.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

I'm guessing the SEC kid is someone that lives local, Ann Arbor area and just likes to antagonize. His posts have no substance so he is in my opinion not a student of the game. If he was a student of the game he would know that the Big 10 has given the SEC all they could handle in the past. How did Mich. fair in their last recent encounters with the SEC ? If your going to talk about RR's teams let me assure you Coach Brady Hoke and staff are not going to roll over and give the game away like RR did. One other thing SEC, do you really think that Nick Sabin is going to take Mich. lightly ? I believe Nick Sabin is going to prepare for that game on the assumption that Michigan could very well ruin his season. To think otherwise Nick Sabin will not last long at Alabama.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

we do this all day and all night to MSU. Even OSU comments on us. Not "us" of course. Its 'those other' UM fans that don't know how to behave. We get a lot less trolling over here than some other in-state sites. I am not proud.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

As of this comment's writing SEC Fan only has 20% of the comments (3 of 15). Come on SEC Fan - - if you can do no better than that move on to a Pac-12 or Big-12 blog.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:24 a.m.

relax.... our troll rate on the MSU site is typcially over 25%. don't be too proud....


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

What a joke this ranking is! Let's see, Michigan with the "4th toughest schedule" plays: Alabama - Check. tough game Air force - Please...replacing 73% of the starters (each on offense and defense) Umass - no comment necessary Notre Dame - an 8-5 team that played only 2 ranked teams last year... Purdue - ooh...7-6 team Illinois - ooh...another 7-6 team Mich State. - Check. tough game Nebraska - Check . Tough game. Minnesota - a 3-9 team Northwestern - 6-7 team Iowa - yet another 7-6 team. Ohio St - which you all say is a cake-walk Compare that to poor Ole Miss in the CBS ranking (6th toughest)...they play Texas at home, and Alabama, Georgia, Arkansa, and LSU...all AWAY. (and they actually play Alabama in Alabama). Then throw in Auburn. Oh yeah, Michigan's schedule is sooooo tough....


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

Yeah, if I was borderline bowl eligible I'd take bama's schedule in a heartbeat over ours.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:11 a.m.

As opposed to what? Alabama? Besides Michigan, Bama plays this power house line up in NC Western Kentucky (Wha?) Florida Atlantic (Do they even play football?) Western Carolina (You guys are just making this up now) And they get 7 home games OK, so maybe that's just Bama. How about Arkansas? Their NC matchups have to be better, right? Hmmm .... Jackonsville St. (nope) Louisiana Monroe (nope) Rutgers (at least they are D-1) Tulsa (nope) BTW, 8 homes here LSU? North Texas Washington (Would have been a good match up 20 yrs ago, no wait, LSU stunk then) Idaho Towson (Seriously?) BTW, 8 home games here, too. Yeah, that SEC certainly puts it all on the line every week. (Where's my sarcasm smiley?)


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

Conferences have strong and weak teams. The SEC is no exception. Michigan has a tough road ahead but perhaps you might take your head out of your "regional bigotry" and give some credit to another conference. Consider this, of Michigan beats Alabama, it's to your best result if the big ten commands as much respect as possible. I don't know if Michigan will win this season, but I do know this: Michigan is back. Recruiting at a national level, with a coaching staff that is as good as anything in the NCAA. If not this year or next, within three years, we'll be taking you folks back to school. Enjoy shooting off your mouth. This season, next season, or the one after that, I'll be looking to see if you have the courage to be here shooting off your mouth.

Blue Marker

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

So your suggestion is for Michigan to move to the SEC? Do we get to cheat like they do in the SEC? (Over-signing, Gray Shirts, hire your mistress for an assistant). Michigan is playing the schedule that's in front of them. If you want to call someone out I suggest CBS. They made the poll, not Michigan fans.


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

what does not kill us only makes us stronger. . . play the BEST, be the BEST!! GO BLUE!!!!!!


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

I doubt for one second that Coach Sabin is going to treat the Mich. game like a cakewalk. I'm sure Nick knows that his kids will probably figure they can handle Mich. with little or no effort and I'm betting that Nick knows, that attitude is the recipe for failure.


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

With the exception of Michigan, this coming season will be the weakest the Big 10 has been in years. If Michigan can upset Alabama, they will be in a position to run the table and go unbeaten. Look for Michigan and Wisconsin in the Big 10 title game.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Nebraska and the 2 Big 10 teams that beat Michigan in 2011. Hard to figure, eh?

Blue Marker

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

@ Tom, Besides your beloved Sparties what other two teams will finish ahead of Michigan? @SEC, Please qualify "you guys". I don't see anyone on this thread worrying about AF. Hailmary simple said watch for a let down if UM beat Alabama. I wouldn't call that worrying.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Honestly, Air Force? You guys are saying how great Air Force is? Is this how the Big 10 measures competitiveness? A. they're rebuilding this year (replacing 8 starters - 73% - on both Offense and Defense). B. They weren't that good last year (lost to Notre Dame59-3) but hey, at least they're a Div 1 team...


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 3:55 a.m.

Gene - The conference will be improved vs. 2011. Figure Michigan for 4th in the Legends.


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

On the other hand, if UM loses to Alabama, I would not want to be Air Force the follwong week.


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

I look at the Alabama game as a dangerous game for other reasons to. If we get real fired up and win that game we've got to watch out for a let down in wk. 2 against Air Force. I'm jazzed up about this season and I like the tough schedule.


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

The 2012 schedule will certainly test Team 133. They have my support; but it ain't gonna be easy. GO BLUE!!!


Mon, May 28, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

As I remember??...there was this coach from Notre Dame that said...I"m just going to paraphrase this...But "To be the best ,you have to play the best"... that about sums it up??

Terry Star21

Mon, May 28, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

I like this schedule rating, although it's just on paper, still impressive. Michigan has always been college football's greatest team, therefore we should have a top ten schedule every season. Bama will be tough, but there's every reason to believe last years closing wins over nebraska, ohio and a good virginia tech team for the BCS Sugar bowl win, will continue and improve. MgoBlueForTiM....The Best plays the best of schedules...

Lifetime AA ND Fan

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Tom, Terry usually is just a *tad* hyperbolic when speaking about Michigan football. Yes, Michigan is undoubtedly one of college football's greatest teams... but there are plenty of good arguments for a couple of teams as to which one is college football's greatest. Michigan certainly doesn't win hands down as Terry always thinks.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

Greatest team? Based upon football prior to 1950? PS...Michigan lost to "Ohio". How do you improve on 173 yards total offense vs. Virginia Tech? LOL!

Chad Williams

Mon, May 28, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

I think the fact that they only play 6 games in Ann Arbor makes it tough enough. I like the challenge because all we here on this site is Michigan is this great powerhouse of the past. What they have done in the past is irrelevant to the nation to say. All they talk about is the SEC. Now Michigan to my approval has taken the challenge and the spotlight back not only for themselves but for the Big Ten. You don't see many games like this. Two storied programs, Defending champs and the revitalized wolverines first game of the year. Non-conference wise the only wins michigan can brag about the last five years is VT, ND, and a 8-4 Florida team. Not very impressive to be considered the Best. ND, NEB, and OSU are no cake walks for even the best Michigan teams, those are really tough places to play and the fact those teams appear to be decent doesnt make matters better.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

I think your first line kind of sums it up...they "only play 6 games in AA makes it tough"...gee, poor wolverines can only play half their schedule at home. How unfair. They should be able to play all their games at home.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, May 28, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

As I have said before The ultimate toughness of a schedule is pretty much a hind-site thing. Right now its an "on paper" thing.