Arguably the biggest game on Connecticut's 2013 schedule is an early visit from the Michigan Wolverines. In an effort to uphold their contractual obligation to Michigan, UConn plans to add more than 2,000 temporary seats to Rentschler Stadium for the Sept. 21 matchup.
School spokesman Mike Enright explained that the seats are needed because UConn agreed to provide 5,000 tickets to Michigan for the game. The normal allocation for visiting teams in Rentschler Stadium, which seats 40,000, is around 3,000 tickets.
"We obviously can't sell season tickets without the Michigan game in them," Enright told the Associated Press. "So it would pretty much make up the difference and allow us to sell the same number of season tickets."
The 2013 meeting is the second of a home-and-home agreement between the schools. The Huskies visited Ann Arbor in 2010, a 30-10 Michigan victory. Michigan was interested in moving this game to a larger stadium, but Connecticut declined -- likely to encourage season-ticket sales.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon had an opportunity to break the deal for $2 million, but he explained last August that such a move would "screw up [UConn's] schedule" and force the Wolverines to "run around trying to find another game."
In an era in which college athletics contracts seem to be broken and re-worked all the time, it is refreshing to see Brandon keep the Huskies on the schedule. As long as Connecticut remains in the conference-formerly-known-as-Big East, it will become increasingly difficult to land high-profile opponents like the Wolverines.
Schools, and conferences, have already made efforts to better position themselves for the playoff era in college football. We know that strength of schedule will be a major factor for the selection committee. An impressive non-conference slate could be the difference qualifying for the four-team bracket.
Connecticut opened spring practice on March 11 and will hold its annual spring game on April 20 at Rentschler Field.
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