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December 19, 2013

Michigan to meet Florida in 2017 Cowboy Classic

Michigan first visit to Dallas for the Cowboy Classic did not go as planned - the Wolverines fell 41-14 to No. 2 Alabama in 2012 - but that won't prevent the Maize and Blue from returning. U-M announced Thursday it will meet Florida in the 2017 Cowboy Classic.

The two teams, which have met twice before, both in bowl games, will square off on Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will be televised nationally in primetime (likely an 8:00 p.m. start).

"We are excited to make a return trip to Dallas for the Cowboys Classic against Florida," said U-M football coach Brady Hoke in a release. "This is a great way to reach our fan base in the south and to continue to expand our recruiting efforts in the state of Texas. Our goal is to have as many Michigan fans at the game as possible.

"Florida has been one of college football's best programs over the past 20 years, and we are excited to face the Gators in a regular season football game for the first time ever."

Two proud programs, Michigan and Florida are amongst the winningest teams of all time. U-M ranks No. 1 overall with 910 victories while the Gators' 684 wins rank 22nd (they fell one spot this year, behind Washington, after a 4-8 regular season).

The two teams have played twice before, with Michigan winning both interactions. The Wolverines posted a 38-30 win in the 2003 Outback Bowl and then, as an unranked team, upset No. 9 Florida 41-35 in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.

With this announcement, Michigan has completed its 2017 schedule. In addition to UF, the Maize and Blue will host Cincinnati (Sept. 9) and Air Force (Sept. 16) in non-conference action before engaging in nine Big Ten conference matchups; the nine-game slate goes into effect in 2016.

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