U-M 2014 schedule features tough road

Michigan should be pretty pleased by what it saw Thursday, when the Big Ten released the 2014 conference football schedule.

The Wolverines knew before the schedule was released they would be in the tougher division with Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State. They likely knew they would be going on the road against Ohio State because that was what was due in the league’s top rivalry.

But as far as the rest of the schedule, Michigan can rejoice. No Wisconsin. No Nebraska. And for at least another season, the Brown Jug rivalry against Minnesota will endure.

Sure, there are three difficult road games -- Ohio State along with Michigan State and Northwestern -- but those games are all spaced out fairly well.

Michigan has a bye before Michigan State on Oct. 25. It has a break of a home game against Indiana between the Spartans and Northwestern on Nov. 8. And it then has a bye and Maryland before the finale against the Buckeyes on Nov. 29.

Yes, Michigan’s road slate is stronger than its home one -- add the last Notre Dame game for a while in the non-conference -- but it is manageable. There are not back-to-back weeks with rivalry games. There is not a single situation where Michigan will play two weeks in a row on the road.

Complete 2014 Michigan schedule

Aug. 30: Appalachian State

Sept. 6: at Notre Dame

Sept. 13: Miami (Ohio)

Sept. 20: Utah

Sept. 27: Minnesota

Oct. 4: at Rutgers

Oct. 11: Penn State

Oct. 18: Idle

Oct. 25: at Michigan State

Nov. 1: Indiana

Nov. 8: at Northwestern

Nov. 15: Idle

Nov. 22: Maryland

Nov. 29: at Ohio State

Dec. 6: Big Ten title game