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UM's Manuel doesn't want MSU, OSU on road in same year

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Michigan and Michigan State meet again on Oct. 29 in East Lansing.

Bloomfield Township — It's that gosh-darned even year for Michigan football.

That means, of course, that the Wolverines will play their two biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State, both on the road.

That's the quirk of the new Big Ten schedule, which the last three years has had UM playing MSU and OSU either both at home or both on the road.

"I'm always having conversations (with the Big Ten) about what's in the best interest of the University of Michigan and our football program," athletic director Warde Manuel said Saturday, while walking the golf course at Oakland Hills Country Club for Michigan golfer Nick Carlson's semifinal match in the U.S. Amateur. "Leave it at that."

Sorry, no can do.

So, is it in UM's best interest to split those up, making sure at least one of the games is at home each year?

"Yes," Manuel said. "I think for our teams and our fans, that it would be nice to have them in different years. But as coach (Jim Harbaugh) said, 'We're gonna play them.' While this year, our fans don't like the fact that they're not on the home schedule, next year they're gonna love it.

"But yes, in a perfect world, I'd like to see it and we'll see where it goes."

With MSU and OSU both on the road this season, Michigan's home schedule looks rather underwhelming.

It includes five straight games at Michigan Stadium to start the year: Hawaii in the opener Sept. 3, followed by Central Florida, Colorado, Penn State, Wisconsin.

The remaining home opponents are Illinois (homecoming), Maryland and Indiana.