All right, I really wasn’t planning to write anything more about this, other than noting it dismissively, especially since the author of the original piece felt moved to add this caveat after his gossiping began to gain some traction:
UPDATE: I’d like to clarify that the sources I refer to are not from the Michigan Athletic Department, and this still remains a rumor
This is that particular author’s politically correct way of saying, "I am utterly full of unmitigated crap." However, since this bit of baseless conjecture has proven yet again that a lie can travel from Maine to Georgia while truth is still getting on its boots, it is time to put this idea to rest, once and for all.
I begin, however, with a caveat: I strongly favor a home-and-home series between Georgia and Michigan. Having openly agitated for such an arrangement in the past, and having thought we were close to getting a deal done at one point, I had my hopes dashed and I now believe the Bulldogs and the Wolverines will never meet outside of a Sunshine State bowl game.
Nevertheless, because enthusiasm understandably is high among Big Ten partisans, it is necessary for me to emphasize that this rumor was pulled out of thin air. In this case, "thin air" is a euphemism for "the rumormonger’s hindquarters."
Because he bothered to check the schedule, Brian Cook knows this is nonsense. There simply isn’t room for Michigan on the schedule in 2010. In addition to playing Georgia Tech at Grant Field, the Bulldogs have a road game against Colorado in Boulder. This is the return game from the Buffaloes’ 2006 trip to Athens. Colorado (quite understandably) would not want to let Georgia out of this contractually-mandated contest, and Damon Evans (quite understandably) would not be willing to give up the home game.
Moreover, in stark contrast to the purveyor of this rumor (who explicitly states that his "source" is not someone in the Michigan athletic department), David Hale was in Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall when this supposed "story" broke, and he couldn’t find anyone who knew the first thing about it. David has proven himself as a reporter covering the Bulldog beat, so, if he asked around and couldn’t sniff out the story, there is no story out to be sniffed.
Finally, Georgia has played at Ann Arbor twice already and would never agree to a regular-season series with Michigan that didn’t involve bringing the Maize and Blue to the Classic City. That fact is important because, to be blunt, the Wolverines will play a regular-season road game against an SEC team over Bill Martin’s dead body. I state that position with conviction because I wrote the Michigan athletic director about such a prospect and he sent me a polite reply in which he identified the Wolverines’ long term contract with Notre Dame as the chief impediment to such a series. He then proceeded to renew the arrangement with the Fighting Irish for the next umpteen jillion years.
I don’t think Michigan is running scared---the Wolverines have a good enough record against the SEC that they have no reason for being afraid---but the fact is that, outside of State College (where over a century of athletic independence has not been overcome by a decade and a half of conference affiliation), Big Ten teams don’t schedule SEC teams, period.
Should it happen? Eventually, it absolutely should. Will it happen? Probably not in Bill Martin’s lifetime, and probably not at all. Is it going to happen in 2010? No, it isn’t.
Move along, folks; there’s nothing to see here. We now return to our regularly-scheduled offseason, which is already in progress.