Sorry if this is too far off topic for this week, but I thought it was a very interesting article. Especially when we debate the various moves Dave Brandon makes to our athletic department.
I think this is a key paragraph:
Tradition? Tradition is great where it's a sellable, marketable commodity. Alabama can sell tradition. Penn State can sell tradition. Michigan can sell tradition. At those places, tradition is the differentiation, but at the schools where it's not? They have to go in the opposite direction. And no one has done that better, or more consciously, than Nike and Oregon, which for the purposes of this conversation are essentially one and the same. Oregon's tradition at this point is the overtly embraced lack of tradition. Change.
The one thing about that is - how well does it sell when you're copying Oregon (like ASU) or Boise State (with colored fields popping up over the country)? Tradition is a brand, and so is "change." But "change" and "bucking the trend" works best if you're original. Otherwise you're just more noise.
It also makes me cringe a bit to hear that "Nike and Oregon are essentially one and the same." I'm happy Michigan doesn't have that relationship with, say, Ford's.