MJ: Michigan's Optimum '12 Schedule
Shortly, the Michigan athletic director will announce that – gasp! – the Wolverines' men's lacrosse team will be going varsity next year (with the women soon to follow). Yes, stunning news, I know. The worst kept secret in lacrosse for the past year will finally cease to be a secret.
It's an exciting revelation, but also daunting at the same time. Michigan is swimming upstream with such a quick (and late) transition from club to varsity. The Florida women showed us that the best way to make that transition is with a methodical, multi-year plan that gets all of the pieces in place. The Gators parlayed that model into a No. 2 ranking and an NCAA quarterfinals appearance in just their second year.
But money talks, and the Michigan move had to be made now.
The Wolverines are heading to the ECAC eventually, but here's hoping the UM administrators and money-changers make the decision to have a transitional year in 2012, allowing this young program to gradually ease its way into a new league. If not in timing, at least schedule-wise.
Moving directly into the ECAC would be a mistake, and result in nothing but embarrassment for this fledgling varsity program that will not have the talent to compete in a power conference right out of the gate.
This is what the Michigan schedule should look like:
Feb. 25 at Johns Hopkins
Feb. 28 Detroit Mercy (neutral)
March 3 at Providence
March 7 at Wagner
March 10 at Rutgers
March 17 Michigan State (scrimmage)
March 21 Bellarmine
March 24 at VMI
March 25 at Washington & Lee (scrimmage)
April 7 Siena
April 14 Mt. St. Mary's
April 20 at Air Force
April 22 at Denver
April 28 at Ohio State
Regardless of what the schedule looks like, I wish Michigan well. They'll be playing with the big boys now, which means that's it for me.