The athletic department announced today that it has finalized the 2011 football schedule, with a home game against San Diego State rounding out the non-conference schedule, along with Western Michigan, Notre Dame, and Eastern Michigan. The official athletic department release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced today (Tuesday, May 18) the complete schedule for the 2011 football season with the addition of San Diego State on Sept. 24. The Wolverines will play an eight-game home slate and will play all four non-conference games during the month of September at Michigan Stadium.
U-M will have a bye week following the non-conference portion of the schedule and will open the Big Ten season at Wisconsin on Oct. 8. The conference schedule includes home dates against Indiana on Oct. 15 and three November home games — Minnesota on Nov. 5, Illinois on Nov. 12 and Ohio State on Nov. 26.
- This is just the second meeting all-time with SDSU. The previous matchup was a 24-21 U-M victory on Sept. 18, 2004, at Michigan Stadium. San Diego State is coached by former U-M assistant Brady Hoke (1995-2002).
- Michigan will play three November home games for the first time since 1991 when the Wolverines defeated Purdue, Northwestern and Ohio State at the Big House en route to an 8-0 conference record and the outright Big Ten title.
- U-M will play both Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan in the same season for just the second time in school history. The Wolverines defeated both schools last year: Western Michigan (34-7) and Eastern Michigan (45-17).
- The Wolverines open the season with the same three home games as they played in 2009: Western Michigan, Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan.
- Indiana will serve as Michigan’s homecoming opponent for the 13th time in school history. The Hoosiers are the Wolverines’ third most common opponent at homecoming. U-M is 11-1 in the previous 12 homecoming games against IU.
- The Ohio State game will be played after Thanksgiving.
Here’s the complete schedule for 2011:
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Overall, I’m a little disappointed that Michigan couldn’t work out some sort of home-and-home with a marquee opponent, but beating up patsies at home is the name of the game in college football these days, so I can’t say I expected anything different. One thing that jumps out about the schedule is that the Wolverines will not have to face a road test until the second week of October, and even then they’ll be coming off a bye week. With no Penn State on the schedule, and Notre Dame and Ohio State coming to the Big House, 2011 could (and probably should) be the year that this team really turns it around and competes for the conference title.