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Saturday, Sept. 1, 8 p.m. ET in Dallas
Sorry North Texas-LSU.
In all seriousness, this matchup in front of 90,000 fans in Cowboys Stadium will be the premier game of college football’s first week.
The reigning national champions, Alabama eschewed a MAC or Sun Belt foe in order to face what should be the Big Ten’s best team.
In coach Brady Hoke’s first season, the Wolverines exceeded expectations by winning 11 games, capped by a Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech. That may be a mixed blessing for Hoke, but now the standard is set. Eight- or nine-win seasons might not cut it in Ann Arbor anymore.
Nick Saban evidently didn’t learn to share in preschool, because the man simply hoards defensive talent in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide lost eight starters, including four of the top 35 picks in the NFL draft. Yet, the remaining leaders will anchor the defense, and I expect the new starters to fill in to produce another top-10 unit.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron is no slouch in leading the offense either.
Denard Robinson, Fitzgerald Toussaint and the Wolverines offense will have their work cut out for them on Labor Day weekend. Michigan’s elite run offense will be tested by 2011’s top running defense.
Ranked No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches' preseason poll, the Crimson Tide are a solid favorite for this game. However, if Michigan’s offense can gain steam, the Wolverines could alter the college football landscape and do their part to prevent another all-SEC title matchup.