By RICKY LINDSAY, Sports Editor
In its 134 year history, Michigan has never played Kansas State.
That all changes this bowl season.
The Wolverines accepted an invitation Sunday evening to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against the Wildcats. The game, played December 28 at 10:15 ET at Sun Devils Stadium, will mark the first time the Wolverines have played in Arizona since the 1986 Fiesta Bowl.
“We are excited to represent the Big Ten Conference in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and to face a challenging Big 12 Conference opponent in Kansas State,” head coach Brady Hoke said in a press release by the Michigan athletic department. “This is a great opportunity for Team 134, and we relish the chance to play one of college football’s most successful programs. Our team is focused on finishing the season right and sending our seniors out with a victory in their last game in a Michigan uniform.”
After starting the season with a 5-0 record and legitimate hopes of a Big Ten title appearance, Michigan collapsed, finishing 7-5 (3-5). Coming off their strongest offensive performance of the season, the Wolverines will look to mirror their 8-5 record from last season with a win.
Kansas State entered the 2012 season with high expectations as defending Big 12 champions. However, that tune quickly changed after a stunning, season-opening loss to two-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State. The Wildcats finished the season 7-5 (5-4).
Long been expected to receive the bid, Michigan passed Nebraska and Minnesota, two teams with a better record, when the matchup was officially announced. With two Big 12 teams receiving BCS bowl bids, Kansas State, originally slotted for the Holiday Bowl, moved up to the conference’s No. 4 selection.