After the success of its "Under the Lights" game against Notre Dame in 2011, Michigan set its sights on playing one night game at home per season. In 2012, there won't be a night game at home because the schedule just didn't work out. In 2013, however, Michigan is already planning to play a game at the Big House under the lights, according to athletic director Dave Brandon.
Brandon said there will be a night game in 2013— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 22, 2012
Nick Baumgardner reports that Brandon also said that Michigan's second night game at home needs to be "special" and be against a "special opponent." The following teams are scheduled to visit the Big House in 2013: Central Michigan (Aug. 31), Notre Dame (Sept. 7), Akron (Sept. 14), Minnesota (Oct. 5), Indiana (Oct. 19), Nebraska (Nov. 9) and Ohio State (Nov. 30). Considering the Big Ten doesn't do November night games, the only real "special opponent" available is Notre Dame.
Notre Dame was Michigan's opponent for its first night game in 2011, so it's probably a good bet that "Under the Lights II" will feature the Fighting Irish. The first meeting between the two teams at night in the Big House had an amazing finish, and Michigan and Notre Dame are set to play at night again this year in South Bend. While I'm sure Michigan would like to mix things up a bit in terms of which team its hosts at night, Notre Dame is by far the most marketable home opponent on the schedule in September and October next year.
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