Alabama-Michigan 2012 Game Set

To the surprise of no one, the rumor has been made official. Alabama will open the 2012 season against Michigan in the stadium of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

Alabama and Michigan, two of the most storied programs in college football history, will play on September 1, 2012, in the Cowboys Stadium Classic. The prime time kickoff will be televised either by ESPN or by CBS.

Alabama and Michigan have played four times previously.

A sidebar topic to the game could be the Crimson Tide going against Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez had reportedly made a commitment to leave West Virginia and take the job as Alabama head coach prior to the 2007 season. Rodriguez reneged and Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore enticed Nick Saban to Bama.

"It's exciting to announce that two of college football's most tradition-rich teams will be meeting in 2012," said Moore. "We have such tremendous respect for Michigan: their school, their outstanding tradition, and their following. It's a terrific opportunity for our student-athletes and our entire program, in addition to being a great benefit in recruiting. It's yet another chance for our University to be showcased on a national stage early in the season at a terrific stadium."

The Alabama-Michigan contest will be the third time since 2008 that the Crimson Tide has opened the season at a neutral site in front of a prime time national television audience. Alabama opened the 2008 and 2009 seasons with victories against ACC opponents Clemson and Virginia Tech, respectively, in the Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

Alabama will be the home team and the Wolverines will be the away team. The game officials will be from the Big 12 Conference.

The three previous meetings between Alabama and Michigan occurred in bowl games. Most recently, Michigan edged Alabama, 35-34, in overtime in the 2000 Orange Bowl. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 2-1.

All of the games have come down to the wire. Alabama's one victory against Michigan was dramatic in that it was the final game as head coach for Gene Stallings, who was chosen for the College Football Hall of Fame this year.

The game will mark the fourth year of a five-year agreement between Cowboys Stadium and ESPN to bring a top college football game to North Texas during the Labor Day weekend to start the college football season. Each contest has featured nationally ranked teams with Brigham Young upsetting the Oklahoma, 14-13, in 2009 and TCU knocking off Oregon State, 30-21, in 2010. LSU and Oregon are set to square off in the 2011 "Cowboys Stadium Classic."

Information on ticket sales and kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

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