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Posted on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 : 8:59 p.m.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez on facing Alabama in 2012: It's a great opener

By Jeff Arnold

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Michigan and Alabama will play at Cowboys Stadium in 2012.

As big as the Michigan football team's season-opener traditionally is, Rich Rodriguez knows 2012 will draw even more interest.

The Wolverines will face Alabama on Sept. 1, 2012, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in a deal announced Thursday. The game will be the fourth meeting between the Wolverines and Crimson Tide. The previous three meetings came in bowl games with Michigan winning a overtime thriller over the Crimson Tide in the 2000 Orange Bowl.

"It's a great opener," Rodriguez said on his weekly radio show Thursday night. "That's going to be a very exciting day.

Rodriguez said he expects that the deal would allow a 50-50 split in tickets between Michigan and Alabama fans. The Crimson Tide will be considered the home team for the prime-time game, which will be nationally televised by either CBS or ESPN.

It's a game between two traditional college football powers that Rodriguez said should generate a lot of excitement. Not only with fans, but with his players as well. The game will be part of the annual Cowboys Stadium Classic which will feature LSU and Oregon next season.

"It's going to be two great programs, that will be the whole talk the whole summer," Rodriguez said. "I know our players, the underclassmen, are very excited about it."

Last month, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said the matchup was the kind of big-stage games that he would occasionally like to see the Wolverines play. He said it showed that the Wolverines are not afraid to go play "anybody at any time."

The season opener against the Crimson Tide will only be the start of a tough slate for the Wolverines. The two following weeks are currently open, but Michigan will then travel to Notre Dame and then at Purdue. The Wolverines also face Big Ten newcomer Nebraska on the road as well as Minnesota and rival Ohio State away from the confines of Michigan Stadium.

Regardless, Rodriguez and his fellow coaches are looking forward to the Texas showdown with Alabama.

Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson said on Rodriguez's radio show said the game could also help with recruiting. Jackson, the longest-tenured member of the Michigan coaching staff, is responsible for recruiting Texas - an area that Michigan coaches have traditionally hit hard in the past.

"It's great when you can put your program down in the South," Jackson said. "I think that shows people what your program is all about."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.



Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

and you can watch it from your living room cause u ain't going to b in Ann Arbor in 2012. a national title did you say?maybe 4 arrogance

3 And Out

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:20 p.m.

to every day spin, spin, spin...there is a season, spin, spin, spin...and more losses to michigan football under rich rod... apologies to the Byrds for that one.... Seriously this team has shown no signs of serious improvement under rich rod...and save one great player in D Rob, we would be looking at 2-4 record right now and y'all know it... we are that bad and it wont improve...this is year 3 folks....year 3.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 1:27 p.m.

First lorain don't pull your blue collar attitude with me. I am the one on second shift in the auto plant busting my hump 6-7 days a week. Unlike you who I believe is pushing some papers around to look busy while you rave about richyrich. The first thing richy did when he got here is throw the whole team, past coaching staff and University under the bus with his comments and then tell you to "get a life". He who says he understands the traditions of the University of Michigan football program and then proceed to break almost all of them. *See the number 1 foundation. Who almost singlehandedly raised the money to build the hospital? People in the media and public eye have to be very pc nowadays so don't take what they say at face value. I mean come on from calling for Lloyd's job when his team goes 8-3 to firing Mo when got drunk and did some crying in public. How far have we fallen to let richy do what he does and issue him a free pass. Ask wvu about his dedication to the team. Go Blue for life!

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 12:35 p.m.

Soap,......Yeeep, I guess you're right! So obviously, Gary Moeller, Jerry Hanlon, Don Nehland, et al, are supporting a guy that has 'no integrity'. Sure, it's all so clear to me now! You and the other 'holier than thou', RR haters, can't tolerate ANYONE who is a bluecollar guy, who has had to work his way up. Rich, Rita, and their assitants & families, have had to earn everything they've ever gotten. I guess it's a 'lack of integrity' when Barwis, and his staff, worked with Brock Mealer, when NO ONE else, gave him a chance of ever walking again! I guess it's a 'lack of integrity' when Rich and his players go out to CS Mott, and spend time with the kids and their families! I guess it's a 'lack of integrity' when Rich and the coaches push these young players to be the best that they can be, on, AND off, the field! I guess it's a 'lack of integrity', when Rich will never say a negative word about players, or former players, no matter what. Yep, I'm getting it now... Sorry soap, but this team, and this program, WILL succeed, because of the dedication to 'team', that has been handed down from BO, through the coaches I mentioned above. Running down this staff while they are rebuilding a program, doesn't support the 'team', it attacks it.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

haha lorain said 69. All joking aside lorain, orlando, forever21, theo and all the other rr lovers don't understand is there is more to a coach then wins and loses. Even if that weren't true your argument for rr still wouldn't hold water. Check to see was you king's record against top 25 teams is or how does his teams do in the "big" game? Even with a great qb and rb and something close to a defense. Oh I forgot rr doesn't "do" defense. He is the head "coach" after all! All you rr lovers need to watch the interview with Coach Harbaugh about when he received his first head coaching job and the phone call he got from Bo. Good stuff let me tell you. Go Blue for life!


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:46 a.m.

Bo: turned down Texas A/M and a TON of money to remain loyal to his team, that he built from the ground up, and to remain to loyal to his institution. RR: left alma mater and home WVU and his team in the midst of bowl preparation, one game after missing the national championship. Before telling his team, called a recruit to try to get him to switch loyalties and come to UM. Shredded papers on the way out. Yup. I see the similarities.

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:30 a.m.

Blueman.....hmmm, why, that post can be taken TWO ways....can't it? Verrrrrrry clever.

Blueman Rick

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:17 a.m.

ChelseaBob: Right you are. I agree with every word. If you don't know what integrity is, it can't be explained to you.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 9:19 a.m.

Chelseabob, explain this integrity problem? Is it the "family values" that Boren felt was missing before he betrayed his family and went to play for the enemy? Or is it the practicegate hoopla that was blown out of proportion by a "journalist" who went into the story trying to create a controversy? I'm sick of hearing about how rich rod is "sleazy" when he has done nothing to earn such a slanderous label. If you have problems with his coaching style, fine. That is a valid opinion. But to resort to personal attacks on his character when there has been nothing to support such accusations is ridiculous.

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 8:59 a.m.

ChelseaBob, actually, I DO understand the importance of integrity! So lets just examine 'integrity, shall we?! The biggest rap on Rich has been that his teams 'worked too hard'. Yep,a whooping 65 hours over two years! Can you IMAGINE what Bo would have said, when the Freep, launched their distorted attacks? The air would have been 'blue', no pun intended! Bo would have cut them to ribbons! Rich is no more 'sleazy' than Bo was. They both WORKED their kids, hard. The problem that Rich has, besides the obvious lack of talent, IS, that Lloyd allowed this program to slip into a 'countryclub/entitlement' mindset. And, frankly, it takes a while to clean that mess up. Thanks to Lloyd, who by the way, is AWOL. It has been left to Gary Moeller and Jerry Hanlon to support the Michigan coach. As a Michigan grad, I also support Rich. I was here in '69 when Bo arrived. I LIKE the fact that Rich is a 'blue collar' guy from a poor background. He IS very much like Bo! The only difference is, that Rich is an offensive genius, while Bo was a defensive genius. I can handle that. But the UM 'preppies', that look down their noses, need to get over themselves, or move on.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 8:13 a.m.

RR will be gone, and not because of W/L record, but because he doesn't have the integrity to run this program. That was obvious from day one, and that is why alums like me want him gone. I could be proud of program at 8 and 4 under Lloyd or Bo, because I knew we followed the rules and did things the right way. Now, we lose and we're sleazy. If RR wins out and goes to BCS bowl, I'll still want him gone. If you don't understand the importance of integrity, I can't explain it to you.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 8:03 a.m.

Will the excuse that year be that there are to many young guys on the d line? Hopefully recruiting prospers this year and next and brings some stars in on the d side of the ball. It will be interesting to see robinson progress over the next 2 years as well! If he makes the steps each year like he did this one then he will be almost impossible to stop. D step up this week! This game is huge as long as michigan shows up and doesnt get mopped and you would expect that after next year michigan should be a top 10 team (if the d grows and gets better). This should be a number 5 vs. 8 game first week.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 8:03 a.m.

Orlandormichfan is right. You get rid of RR and you can expect at least another 3 years of being terrible. Every coach deserves at least 4 or 5 years to develop a program. He has the offense clicking and is recruiting hard on the defensive side of things for next year. I don't understand why people have hated him so much from the beginning.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 7:39 a.m.

its funny how things go..i hope all you R.R. haters get what you want, because if you think it will miraculously get better if we get rid of the coach you best think again..and who are you gonna get??? Harbaugh?? so sick of hearing that, you all think he is your knight in shining, such fickle michigan fans..yes it sucks losing like this..but R.R. isnt on the field, you all act like he is the one who cant stop an opposing offense. we will sink lower and it will take longer to get back up if we change coaches..then you same people will be on here wishing that coach would get fired..changing coaches keeps recruits away, but that's what you all want..nobody anymore is happy about anything..i remember the same stuff being written about many championships did he bring us???how many???? a shared 1??? okay then he was the greatest coach ever.. i personally hope R.R. is coaching when we play Bama..but i guess i am in the careful what you all are wishing just might get it, and it might come back to bite you in the end...

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 7:38 a.m.

Should be an awesome game, but we all know that Nick Saben will be coaching at USC by then. Dantonio will be coaching the Lions, Sarah Palin will have a 17 point lead in the poles over the Bamster! And, as Theo says, UM will be defending it's first NC under Coach Rod. Go Blue!


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 7:04 a.m.

Actually Flint Maize: DR will be a senior that year (if all goes according to plan) and 2013 would be breaking in a new relatively inexperienced QB (assuming Gardner sticks around and sits behind DR). That type of schedule is awesome. I think shying away from tough competition in favor of bottom feeders is exactly what college football should NOT be doing.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 5:39 a.m.

Rich Rodriguez will be the coach in 2012 and Michigan will have a good team. However, I question why the athletic director would do this when we are already playing at ND, Nebraska, and OSU in the same season. 2013 wold have made much more sense. Unlike some here, I am All in For Michigan and All in For Coach Rodriguez!!!

3 And Out

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:57 a.m.

Hopefully Rich Rod will be able to get a table at BW3s in Tampa for that game....


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:41 a.m.

Go Blue! I believe that in 2 years, UM defense will be top 40, hopefully top 20. The offense, top 5. So, we'll be ready for this challenge. To UM fans: Trust David Brandon to do the right thing with the coaching staff. Please stop the ignorant and childish personal bashing! Isn't HE enough of a UM man for you? GO BLUE!


Thu, Oct 14, 2010 : 9:51 p.m.

For this, I will agree wholeheartedly with Rich Ro. This is the type of game that college football (and specifically Michigan) fans want, rather than the App States, the Del States, the Bowling Greens. Thank you David Brandon for immediately improving our scheduling. For those who love the 'easy' schedules, I say phooey! Both teams know that there is a chance they will lose (no comments from the peanut gallery) and I admire that both schools take that risk. What a great schedule that year. Hopefully we will have a D by then.


Thu, Oct 14, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

Amen Blueman Amen.

Blueman Rick

Thu, Oct 14, 2010 : 9:25 p.m.

Yes RR, it's going to be a very exciting day, very exciting since you won't be on the sideline coaching UM.