You knew it wasn't going to be Southern Cal. And how many football schools have open dates for next fall as it is? Michigan got caught short on a 12th game and needed it to be a home date. That way, with a sellout crowd, at least $5 million in revenue could be earned. Never mind that it's a lousy match up against small school Delaware State-- it's what was available. The Hornets were 5-6 last season in the Mid East Athletic Conference.
Until or unless the Big Ten goes to round robin football scheduling more joke non conference games are possible for every school in the league. The league will discuss adding a ninth conference game for the future at meetings this spring. But why not go all the way and make it a full ten-game league schedule so no one gets an advantage and ten league games are on the schedule. That would provide for five home, five away and two home non conference games. In Michigan and Michigan State's case, that's a game with Notre Dame and any one else desired. It's what the PAC 10 does. Last year the non conference opponents included Coastal Carolina, Montana State, Troy, Youngstown State and the like. It's just cheating season ticket holders too afraid to give up their tickets for the few games of value.
Schools in the middle of the Big Ten pack are desperate to win six games and get a bowl berth. It's a sign of success I guess even though it's incredibly tainted by week non conference victories. Until the bowl system changes and until more league games are added, schools like Michigan will find difficulty in filling out schedules. Now Michigan fans have to pay for eight home games and it would be one thing if they were competitive match ups-- but the reality is they aren't. The Michigan fans in essence are paying so that Delaware State can field a football team-- and that makes no sense whatsoever.