Notre Dame used to be the opener, it was usually pretty hyped.
Notre Dame used to be the opener; but then they started gaming their schedule to get a game under their belts before playing Michigan. So we made sure that wouldn't happen anymore.But in 1992, a 9th ranked Michigan team faced a 3rd ranked ND team, which is the closest on-paper comparison to our facing a #2 ranked Alabama this year. But the hype for this game will naturally be much greater, with perhaps less lasting importance.Going a lot farther back, there was a time when the Big Ten often opened up the season with conference games. For a time, our customary opener was against Wisconsin.
1989 #1 vs. #2. Michigan ND. We lost, but there was a lot of hype
Yeah, like the other comments said - the UM/ND games of the 80s and 90s were often a pretty big deal.Maybe I'm getting old, but this 'Bama game just doesn't get me as excited because a) they're huge favorites and b) it's in Dallas. I'm with Brian Cook that this would be a lot better as a home-and-home. And I can't understand the people flying to Dallas for this game. What a wretched place to be during the tail-end of summer... Beats playing some sacrificial lamb, but that's not saying much.