Monday, October 08, 2007

Michigan's 2008 Schedule

While the University of Michigan still hasn't posted their 2008 schedule on their website, copies were available at Sunday's intra-squad game. I'm going to presume the schedule distributed is correct with the caveat that this is college baseball, thus changes are almost inevitable. Keeping that in mind, let's review what we know.

As previously discussed, Michigan's season will begin with three games in Port St. Lucie, Florida against Villanova. The opening series is February 22-24. After the Wildcats, Michigan will play a game against the New York Mets. Most readers will recall that Mets' owner Fred Wilpon is a Michigan grad and made a significant donation towards the renovation of the baseball and softball complex.

After the exhibition game in Florida, the Wolverines travel west to play in a tournament hosted by Arizona State. Regular readers will recall I posted the link to Hawaii's schedule which indicated the field included ASU, Michigan, Portland and UH. Michigan will play each team once beginning on February 29. Nothing new here.

What we didn't know was that Michigan and the Sun Devils will also play a single contest on Thursday, February 28. That means the Wolverines will get to play ASU -- who should be highly ranked in the pre-season polls -- twice. (Will somebody please broadcast these games? Big Ten Network? CSTV? Anybody?)

As was rumored weeks ago, the East Carolina tournament and Coastal Carolina stop are on the schedule. ECU hosts a tournament with Georgia Southern and Pittsburgh rounding out the field. Michigan will play GA. Southern, ECU and Pitt in that order. That series begins March 7.

The Coastal Carolina tournament includes games against Presbyterian, Ball State and two-in-a-row versus the hosts, Coastal Carolina. The first CCU encounter is the back half of a Saturday doubleheader that opens with Ball State. That tournament runs March 14-16.

Michigan, as has been the case for several years, opens the home portion of the schedule with three games against Oakland starting March 21. (Just don't ask me who I'm rooting for, OK?)

The Big Ten schedule isn't all that difficult to figure out, especially if you know last year's slate. The conference took the 2007 schedule and swapped home games for road dates and flipped the schedule upside down in '08. Example 1: Last year Michigan opened with Northwestern in Evanston. This year, NU will end the year at Michigan. Example 2: Michigan ended last year at Iowa. In 2008, Iowa will be the first Big Ten team at Ray Fisher Stadium. Got it?

In addition to Iowa and NU, Ohio State will visit Ann Arbor next season. Penn State, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota will be road series for Michigan. Of course, Michigan State will be a home-and-home-and home series with the Saturday doubleheader in East Lansing.

The annual contest versus Notre Dame will be on May 13 in Grand Rapids. I've got to make that game one of these years. There are a few other non-conference games on the docket that I'll save to review as we get closer to the season.