With the Big Ten moving to a conference-only schedule all non-conference games were cancelled by default. For the Michigan Wolverines that means three opponents were wiped off the schedule, including two home games.
Sep. 5 at Washington
This would have been one of the more intriguing games to start off the college football season, but Michigan venturing to the Pacific Northwest will have to wait. The Huskies are scheduled to visit The Big House in 2021, but the two programs are working on scheduling a future date in Washington.
This matchup represented the toughest non-conference opponent for Michigan in 2020, and seeing this game cancelled isn’t the worst thing in the world. Traveling across the country to play a fairly decent team (8-5 in 2019) with a new starting quarterback and new offensive linemen isn’t exactly the best recipe for success to start out a season.
The contract called for paying the visiting team a $1 million guarantee, with a cancelation fee of $1.5 million.
Ball State (Sep. 12)
As an Indiana native with fond college weekend trips to see Ball State (once saw Kent State QB Julian Edelman take on the Cardinals), I’m disappointed this game was cancelled. Ball State playing at The Big House was a big deal for the city of Muncie, Indiana.
The Cardinals haven’t had much success this past decade (5-7 in 2019), with their best years transpiring when Brady Hoke was their coach in the late 2000’s.
Arkansas State (Sep. 19)
The Red Wolves played competitive football in 2019 in the Sun Belt, going 8-5 overall and beating Florida Internation 34-26 in the Camellia Bowl. This would have been a competitive game for Michigan before they started their conference schedule.
Michigan was to pay Arkansas State $1.8 million for playing them. “I think everybody was caught off guard by it, to be very candid with you,” Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said.
“I am disappointed for our students, for our guys on our team,” said. “It’s an opportunity to play and it’s an iconic stadium. You want your student-athletes to have different types of experiences or the opportunity to experience different types of things. Our scheduling model has always been to go play at different places.”
While the Big Ten has announced there will be a conference-only schedule, they said they’ll unveil precisely what the schedule will look like at a later date.