Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
The Michigan Wolverines are officially set to return to the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day for the first time since 2003. An SEC opponent awaits, though it's not clear which one yet.
The Michigan Wolverines will be playing in the 2013 Outback Bowl against an SEC opponent to be determined, it was officially announced Sunday afternoon. The game is scheduled to take place on New Year's Day at 1 p.m. ET, broadcast by ABC.
After an up-and-down regular season that saw the Wolverines finish with a 8-4 overall record, the Wolverines are likely pleased to land in the Outback. With the Capital One Bowl tabbing the Nebraska Cornhuskers to play in this year's game, the Outback was freed up to take the Wolverines over the Northwestern Wildcats.
Northwestern has a superior 9-3 overall record this season, but Michigan has a much larger fan base that the bowl committee presumably expects to travel better than a contingent from Evanston, Ill. Northwestern seems set for the Gator Bowl, which is also played on Jan. 1, 2013.
It's unclear who the Wolverines will be playing in the Outback Bowl, but it's going to be an SEC opponent. With Alabama headed to the BCS National Championship, Florida likely headed to a BCS bowl and Georgia nearly set for the Capital One Bowl, remaining possibilities include LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Mississippi State.
This will be Michigan's first appearance at the Outback Bowl since 2003, when John Navarre and Chris Perry led the Wolverines to a 38-30 victory over the Florida Gators.