Twelve years ago this game would have never even been possible. This Saturday that dream of taking on the one of the most storied football programs in America becomes a reality.
Don't think this UConn team is going into Ann Arbor for the sight. They have their eyes on winning and starting off this season with a statement victory.
Yes, Randy Edsall is winless lifetime against Rich Rodriguez, but heading into the Big House there is a lot of buzz around these Huskies. What better place than Ann Arbor, Michigan on the first Saturday in September would there be for UConn football to kickoff their 2010 campaign.
A season that is full of expectations. UConn returns 17 starters all of whom are ready and eager to step into the spotlight that is national television 3:30 on ABC. This is an important game for both teams, because either one really plays any notable games out-of-conference beside the Wolverines who travel to South Bend in Week 2.
Rich Rodriguez knows that with this being his third season at Michigan he has to win. That is it. If he continues to have mediocre seasons and can't live up to the billing that is Michigan Wolverine football then he is going to be fired.
On the contrary, Randy Edsall is in the exact opposite position. He has built UConn from nothing and now there are analysts who are picking them to win the Big East Conference this season. He has been here and given everything to the University of Connecticut since Day 1.
The early success in UConn's program is what adds excitement to the season opener against Michigan. Connecticut has gotten votes in both polls and could be ranked if they start the season off strong.
Michigan has had a tough summer being involved in NCAA allegations and has issued self-imposed penalties or sanctions.
Now it is all about looking ahead to the schedule and finding ways for Michigan to win this season. The Wolverines could go 8-4 or they could go 4-8. They have another deep recruiting class along with some experience from last season.
The duel-threat at quarterback Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier both should see playing-time early-on in the season. Rich Rod has to be feeling the pressure as someone who has underachieved in his first two seasons at Michigan.
The way he left West Virginia and the NCAA punishments add even more question marks to what type of job he has been doing over the last few years.
For UConn it has steadily built recruits year in and year out and now finally as a team in place that is up to the task of winning week in and week out.
Last year UConn couldn't find a way to win the close games. That has to change if this is a game-changing year that puts them on the map. It all starts Saturday at Michigan.
Michigan is going to be the favorite going on. A season-opener at the Big House there is no denying that fact. The fact of the matter is both teams are trying to jumpstart their seasons with a win against a quality opponent.
This is a monumental game for Connecticut. It is a very important game for Michigan. It should be a game that comes down to the last few minutes. Whichever team can execute more than the other will win.