Gators Set Football Date with Michigan

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The Florida Gators may not be bowl bound this year, but they are staying busy with future plans, and that now includes a 2017 opener against Michigan in Texas.

The University of Florida Thursday announcing it's struck a deal to face the Wolverines at A-T-and T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the 2017 Cowboys Classic. The game is scheduled for Sept. 2, 2017

“You don't get these opportunities very often,”' UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “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.

It will be the first regular-season, non-conference game for the Gators outside the state of Florida since the Gators played at Syracuse in 1991.

It will be the third time Florida and Michigan have met, the two previous games coming in bowl games, in 2002 and 2007. The Wolverines won both matchups.

“This is a great opportunity to expose the University of Florida nationally, playing one of the greatest programs in the history of college football, I think a tremendous trip for our fans,” Foley said. “We just haven't done much of this, certainly as long as I've been athletic director. I think there are a lot of positives that come out of it.”

Florida State is also going to experience a "Cowboy Classic" when the Seminoles face Oklahoma State to open the 2014 season. That game will be August 30th.