With the Big Ten announcing on Thursday that all fall sports will have conference-only schedules, Michigan Football’s season opener on the road against Washington was washed away.
Hours after the Big Ten’s announcement, Washington had a press release confirming that they won’t be playing the Wolverines on Sept. 5 at Husky Stadium. The statement also noted Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel and Washington AD Jennifer Cohen are in the process of discussing details that would lead to a game between the two programs in the future.
“Based on the Big Ten Conference’s announcement that its member schools will not play any non-conference football games this coming fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington’s game vs. Michigan, scheduled for Sept. 5 at Husky Stadium, has been cancelled. For the time being, this cancellation is the only change to the 2020 football season. Additionally, plans to re-schedule the home game vs. Michigan for a later season will be announced once they’re made.
“Earlier today Warde Manuel notified me of the Big Ten’s decision to play a conference-only schedule this fall, cancelling our Sept. 5 game with Michigan at Husky Stadium,” said Jennifer Cohen, Director of Athletics. “Our fans and football program have been looking forward to this game for several years, but we understand this decision was made due to the impact of COVID-19 and prioritizing the health and well-being of student-athletes. Warde and I are currently in the process of discussing details on a future return date and will provide updates as they become available.”
The Huskies are coming off an 8-5 season and entering a new era after head coach Chris Petersen retired and quarterback Jacob Eason was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts. For Michigan, they’re entering a new era at the quarterback position as well with Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton, and Cade McNamara all fighting for the job. While an across the country road trip to start the year would have been intriguing television, it wouldn’t have been the best place for a first-time starting QB to get extended snaps.
As far as Michigan’s schedule goes, we really don’t know what it’s going to look like just yet with the Big Ten saying they’ll be announcing that at a later date. All we know is Michigan will be playing against Big Ten programs exclusively.
More news to come on this front, surely.