Florida, Michigan schedule 2017 Cowboys Classic
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 12:29:46 PM CST
The Florida Gators and Michigan Wolverines will meet in the 2017 season-opening Cowboys Classic to continue the tradition of high profile matchups in AT&T Stadium on the first weekend of the season, both schools announced Thursday.
The Sept. 2, 2017 contest will be the Gators' first non-conference regular-season game played outside the state of Florida since 1991.
Michigan opened the 2012 season in the Cowboys Classic against Alabama, losing 41-14.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that with the SEC expected to go to a nine-game schedule and an annual game against Florida State, Florida's 2017 schedule could be one of the most difficult ones in school history.
"We are excited to make a return trip to Dallas for the Cowboys Classic against Florida," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a school release. "This is a great way to reach our fan base in the south and to continue to expand our recruiting efforts in the state of Texas. Our goal is to have as many Michigan fans at the game as possible.
"Florida has been one of college football's best programs over the past 20 years, and we are excited to face the Gators in a regular-season football game for the first time ever."
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said the Cowboys Classic will be exciting for the fans.
"You don't get these opportunities very often,'' Foley said in an official statement. "Our schedule has been pretty consistent through the years. We were presented this opportunity and just thought it was something that our fans would embrace, our program would embrace. It would give us great national visibility. Obviously, a very difficult ballgame against a storied program -- that excites us."