Looking at Michigan‘s schedule for the upcoming 2014 season, it’s pretty easy to tell there are going to be some monster tests on the road. The Wolverines first travel to South Bend to face Notre Dame for the last time in the foreseeable future, which is going to add extra drama to an already great rivalry game. After that it’s all about Rutgers, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State in Big Ten play.
5. @ Rutgers (Oct. 4)
No secrets here, right? We all know it’s going to take some time for Rutgers to become a true competitor in the Big Ten. Though I think the Scarlet Knights are further along than most people will give them credit for, Michigan shouldn’t struggle in this one if all goes as it should. No, that’s always the case. But there’s a significant margin for error in this one.
4. @ Notre Dame (Sept. 6)
I always love this one. Who doesn’t? Even though these two teams really haven’t met all that often, it seems like a rivalry that has just always been, and you can tell just how special it is to both teams every year when it rolls around. Unfortunately we’ll be forced to savor the flavor of this one.
I’m placing this Notre Dame game at fourth because I feel Michigan will be better served with success in the Big Ten than in rivalry games alone. Both are obviously important, but I get the feeling Notre Dame’s weight becomes a little less this season when we eventually evaluate.
3. @ Northwestern (Nov. 8)
I think this is just about as true a “trap game” as they come. We’re talking about a Northwestern team that severely underachieved a year ago and has probably fallen off the general radar. But don’t be fooled; there are some good things happening in Evanston right now, and the Wolverines are going to receive a true test when they travel there to face the Wildcats.
2. @ Michigan State (Oct. 25)
Personally, if the divisions were still set up like last season, I’d be placing Michigan State ahead of Ohio State because of how important it was to get past the Spartans in order to have a shot. But both find themselves in the West and both will be hosting Michigan this season. Needless to say, a win against the Spartans would go a long way in easing some of the pain that’s been imposed the last few seasons.
1. @ Ohio State (Nov. 25)
Just as it was with No. 5 — no shocker, right? Just when you thought this rivalry couldn’t get more heated, both Michigan and Ohio State find themselves in the same division, fighting for the same prize. Columbus is going to be a crazy place for the week of Nov. 25.