It’s never too early to start looking ahead for the upcoming 2017 college football season and for Gator fans who were already planning on heading to Arlington, TX, for the Michigan game in early September, the day is now set.
Florida and Michigan had already agreed to play in the ESPN match-made “Advocare Kickoff Classic” at AT & T Stadium on Labor Day weekend, but the broadcaster confirmed the day on Wednesday. Here’s the Gator twitter making it official:
The Advocare Classic between UF & UM will be played on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) February 8, 2017
As the story says, it will be the first regular season meeting ever for the Gators and the Wolverines. Although, they have met in recent bowl games, including the “Buffalo Wild Wings” Citrus Bowl two years ago.
ESPN has wielded the almighty dollar for years now to convince SEC and Big Ten teams to play in these kind of first weekend monster match-ups. It’s the fourth time that Michigan has participated in such a game, but the first for Florida.
The Gators come off a season where they won the SEC East (almost by default) and then, had their Outback bowl in a destruction of Iowa.
Michigan has risen back to prominence in just two seasons under Jim Harbaugh and were unbeaten and ranked as high as #2 in the College Football Playoff rankings heading down the stretch before losing at Iowa and then at rival Ohio State. The Wolverines were then beaten by FSU in a wild Orange Bowl finishing the season with a disappointing three late losses.