Alabama vs. Michigan at Cowboys Stadium will be prime time

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The Michigan Wolverines, in conjunction with ABC, announced today kickoff times for the Sept. 1 Cowboys Classic contest against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Nov. 24 contest at Ohio State.

The Wolverines will face the defending national champions at 7 pm CDT in the season opener at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, while U-M will play the Buckeyes at 11 central in Columbus, Ohio to close the regular season.

Michigan and Alabama, two of the most storied programs, have faced each other three prior times, all in bowl games.  U-M defeated Alabama by a 28-24 score in the initial meeting, the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl held in Tampa Stadium. The Crimson Tide got the better of the Wolverines in the second meeting in Tampa, winning a closely contested 17-14 game in the 1997 Outback Bowl.

The most recent match-up between the two schools is arguably the most exciting bowl game in Michigan history. In U-M’s first-ever overtime game, the eighth-ranked Wolverines edged the fifth-ranked Crimson Tide, 35-34, to claim the 2000 Orange Bowl title. Tom Brady completed 34-of-46 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns in the winning effort. In the first overtime session, Brady tossed a 25-yard TD pass to tight end Shawn Thompson, and Hayden Epstein converted the PAT. Alabama then scored but was unable to convert the PAT.

It will mark the 109th meeting between the Wolverines and Buckeyes.  Michigan owns a 58-44-6 all-time edge, including last year’s 40-34 victory in Ann Arbor.

Six kickoff times on U-M’s football schedule have been confirmed for the 2012 season, and the Alabama game marks the third primetime start.  The Wolverines will travel to South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 22 to face Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. EDT in a game that will be broadcast by NBC.  The Wolverines will make their initial trip to Lincoln, Neb., on Oct. 27 to face Nebraska. The contest against the Cornhuskers will be shown on one of the ESPN platforms at 8 p.m. EDT.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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