In a brief article this afternoon at the Free Press, Dave Brandon shared that he is aggressively seeking to schedule big football games in the future.
Dave Brandon said today that he soon will announce games, possibly out to 2018. He implied that they’ll be against high-level opponents.
“You’ll see some matchups, particularly in the nonconference schedule, that will be a notch above some of the things we’ve done in the past.
We are taking the approach that strength of schedule is going to be important (to the new playoff selection committee). Not just for fans because they love these great matchups, it helps sell tickets and keeps interest high. Not just because the networks love it, because they get more interest around the games or the broadcasting. We really want to put our program in a position where we can be rated against the best programs in the country, so we can compete at that level.”
Apparently, they were waiting until things shook out with the relationship with the Pac-10 (and whether or not we would be playing a game vs. the Pac-10 on an annual basis.) They also waited until things were settled as to whether the Big 10 would play 8 or 9 conference games annually.
I think the excitment over the Alabama game underscores the interest fans have in playing legitimate opponents (rather than "snacky cakes.") It will be interesting to see if Brandon is willing to make less financially on an annual basis in exchange for the benefit of scheduling competitive home and home games versus marquee opponents. I personally would love to see home and home games with top 10 teams across the country. This would also allow UofM alumni from California to Florida the opportunity to see the Wolverines in the neck of the woods where they live.