Michigan finalizes '12 opener vs. Bama

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan will open the 2012 season against Alabama in Cowboys Stadium.

The school announced the matchup Thursday, a month after Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the tradition-rich teams were probably playing.

Alabama will be designated as the home team in the Sept. 1, 2012, game in Arlington, Texas.

The Wolverines and Alabama have played three times, but haven't played in the regular season.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says it will be a great way to kick off the 2012 season with two of college football's winningest programs.

Michigan will also play at Notre Dame in two years and has to open dates for teams willing to play at the Big House that season.