It was inevitable, but Michigan did indeed make an expected scheduling move.

A few days after the Wolverines reportedly added Arkansas State to their 2020 schedule for the same day as the Virginia Tech matchups, they reportedly bought their way out of the Virginia Tech home-and-home.

According to the Detroit Free Press’ Nick Baumgardner, it cost Michigan $375,000 for the canceled series:

Michigan then confirmed that report with a release.

That move came after Michigan reportedly agreed to a $1.8 million fee to pay Arkansas State for the 2020 matchup. In other words, that’s nearly $2.2 million that Michigan agreed to pay in order to replace Virginia Tech with a Group of 5 team.

Why?

Well, Michigan already has a trip to Washington to open the 2020 season. Had the Wolverines not bought out the Virginia Tech series, they would’ve been looking at 11 Power 5 opponents for the 2018 season, including two non-conference foes who look like steady top-25 teams.

Michigan’s previous agreement was settled on before the B1G expanded to the 9-game conference schedule.

Here’s what Michigan’s updated non-conference schedule looks like through 2021 (Michigan also moved up the 2021 game with Washington a week to Sept. 11):

2018

  • 09/01 – at Notre Dame
  • 09/08 – Western Michigan
  • 09/15 – SMU

2019

  • 08/31 – Middle Tennessee
  • 09/07 – Army
  • 10/26 – Notre Dame

2020

  • 09/05 – at Washington
  • 09/12 – Ball State
  • 09/19 – Arkansas State

2021

  • 09/11 – Washington