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|2 weeks 1 day ago||Penn State student tickets cost $218 for seven games . . . .||
Penn State student tickets cost $218 for seven games. This is the third highest price behind Michigan and Ohio State. In addition, PSU students can purchase the official 2014 Penn State White Out T-shirt or join the Student Nittany Lion Club (NLC) and begin earning NLC points during the June 23 to 26 sale. The t-shirt costs $20 and the NLC membership is $25. The NLC is an athletics booster club with 23,000 members.
Penn State's seven home games are Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Maryland, Temple, Akron, and Massachusetts.
The NLC priority points system is set up much like other colleges--the more you contribute, the more points you get, the higher priority you are for football tickets, parking, etc. Apparently you have to be a NLC member to buy football tickets.
See http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/c-lionclub/spec-rel/faq.html for more information on the NLC.
One other thing to keep in mind here that is excerpted from the following article dated 13 June 2014 at http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/penn-state-football-michigan-woes-a-reminder-student-ticket-sales-arent-a-guarantee,1459555/:
At Penn State, the cost of tickets is the third highest in the conference at $218 behind Ohio State and Michigan. Even so, students are still forking over the money to watch a team that couldn't win a conference title even if it went undefeated.
You might say that means Penn State doesn't have issues to address, but consider the following:
Heading into Penn State's homecoming showdown with Michigan, Penn State athletics announced that the student section had been oversold for that game. As a result, students were given a handful of options that included a ticket to the game not in the student section, a THON donation, or tickets for next season. A fair compromise for what was presented as a mistake.
What Penn State never mentioned though was that student tickets are sold as a season package. Students don't get to pick and choose which games they want to see. So if the Michigan game was oversold, it's quite possible that the rest of the games were oversold as well. The only difference between Michigan and the rest of the year? Students were guaranteed to show up, and they did.
And that's where the potential problem lies. The student section has rarely been packed on a weekly basis over the past few years even though ticket packages might still be selling out. If a good number of students aren't going to the games it would seem it's only a matter of time before they stop buying the tickets in the first place.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I can think of a few reasons why . . . .||
Michigan had its home-and-home series schedule with Arkansas (2018/9), Virginia Tech (2020/1) and UCLA (2022/3) in place by the time the neutral site game with Florida was contracted.
UM put together the two game series with the Razorbacks while the scheduling agreement with Notre Dame was in place. That agreement allowed each team to take a hiatus provided it gave the other program enough lead time. I rather suspect that Michigan agreed to play Arkansas because UA Athletic Director Jeff Long has long-standing ties to the UM Athletic Department. At that time, Notre Dame would have been a Michigan home game in 2017.
When the Notre Dame arrangement got cancelled, Brandon set up the home-and-homes with Virginia Tech and UCLA. He also got Brigham Young to fill in as ND's replacement for the 2015 season. With the Big Ten going to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, he didn't need to have a fourth non-conference game because Hawaii, Colorado and Central Florida (who replaced Miami-Ohio and beat Baylor in last year's Fiesta Bowls) already in place.
That left Brandon with a handful of options. He could find an opponent willing to do a home-and-home for the 2017 and 2024 seasons. He could rejigger the 2016 schedule and perhaps find a team willing to do a home-and-home in 2016/7. Or he could fill in that one open schedule slot with a neutral site game. It would seem to me that he selected Option #3, or perhaps more accurately, that was the only option that worked because he couldn't find opponents that could fulfill the timing of the other scenarios above.
It would have been nice to put this game in another city and there were reports that Atlanta was a possibilty--the Chick--fil-A Kickoff Games (there are two schedule this year with Missisisppi v. Boise State and Alabama v. Virginia Tech) may have been a possible destination. But for whatever reason--money, the ticket sale success for the game against Alabama, the venue, etc.--Michigan and Florida opted to play in Dallas instead.
Speaking of money, I think one of the reasons why they've become popular is that programs don't have to give up a home game and get paid quite substantially to play at these alternate sites. Alabama has been playing neutral site games quite regularly now in order to help balance the athletic department budget (especially when the university is helping to subsidize the $70 student football tickets). While that might support the bottom line, it means one less non-conference game every other year in Tuscaloosa (that list would have included Michigan State before that home-and-home was cancelled).
With the Big Ten having a nine-game conference schedule starting in 2016 and since Michigan has booked its major home-and-home non-conference games through 2023, I doubt we'll see another neutral site game for awhile (and I also expect there will be no controversy surrounding the band in the 2017 game in Dallas either).
I would like to see Michigan do regular home-and-home series with major opponents vice neutral site games from 2024 onward. College football is clearly undergoing change and reorganization largely through external forces, so it's hard to know what CFB will be like ten years down the line.
That said, having a home-and-home with programs like Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, LSU (probably have to be post-Les Miles--UM has never played the Bayou Bengals), Tennessee, Georgia or Florida State would be great (although FSU is also looking very hard at playing neutral site games as well). Who knows? If UGa is willing to play ND, perhaps they'll do a home-and-home with UM in 2024/5.
|4 weeks 22 hours ago||Do you have a problem remembering Braylon Edwards?||
Do you have a problem remembering Braylon Edwards? After all, he did start his career with #80 before he got the #1 jersey. I would also add that he's also associated with that number by most Michigan fans as well. What about Jeremy Gallon or Roy Roundtree? Have you forgotten those two guys yet or will it take a couple of decades for that to happen?
The things that make those players memorable wasn't the number changes. It was their production on the field. If you say Braylon Edwards and Michgian State or Roy Roundtree/Jeremy Gallon and Notre Dame, then you have an immediate image of those players's feats in those game--and that doesn't tie into the number they wore at the time.
|4 weeks 22 hours ago||I disagree . . . .||
I think it's a unique way to honor past players--certainly much better than, for example, a ring of honor painted inside or outside the stadium.
It also directly connects the players who wear the numbers and the team itself to the Michigan legacy. I've been in the football lockerroom a couple of times and those special lockers stand out as a reminder to UM's former legacy as much as the Team 135 signs.
I don't know about most fans, but I don't find it too difficult to keep up with the number changes. There's only been a handful of them to date--21 Jeremy Gallon & Roy Roundtree, 47 Jake Ryan, 48 Desmond Morgan, 11 Jordan Kovacs & Courtney Avery, 87 Brandon Moore & Devin Funchess, 98 Devin Gardner. It's not rocket science.
I suppose if anyone gets #21, it'll be a wide receiver and Chesson does make sense. Butt could be the heir apparent to #87 from Funchess because I doubt they're going to have DF change jerseys twice.
The Wistert Brothers were all offensive linemen, so that number's not likely to go there. I imagine it'll stay in the secondary.
One day in the future, we'll see #1, #21 and perhaps #98 all at the WR position with #47 and #48 at LB, #11 in the secondary and #87 at tight end. It'll then be so common place that we won't think twice about it--except to generate offseason discussion on who gets and/or deserves it for the next season.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||I disagree with your assessment . . .||
First off, I assume your complaint is that the new Big Ten Conference schedule has the Michigan State and Ohio State games either both home or on the road each season rather than one home/one away.
What you fail to mention is that Penn State is on the opposite rotation and from 2016 to 2019, Wisconsin will be paired up with PSU per the conference's policy to ensure the highest ranked teams from the two divisions play one another. While the post-2019 conference schedules hasn't been released yet, Nebraska could likely be paired up with PSU from 2020 to perhaps 2023.
Brandon has also arranged the home/road schedule of the major non-conference opponents from 2018 onward to synch up when PSU and Wiscsonsin/Nebraska are playing in Ann Arbor. For example, in 2018, although Michigan is at Michigan State and at Ohio State, the Wolverines host Arkansas, Penn State and Wisconsin. For the record, Nebraska is also on that home slate, but that game is due more to the conference's policy to have each team in the two respective divisions play one another at least once over a four-year period.
I don't understand your problem with a neutral site against a powerhouse SEC program (Alabama a few years ago and Florida in 2017) in a state (Texas) with one of the largest pools of high school players on prime time in front of 100,000 plus fans in the most opulent stadium in the country. Canham was as much a marketing/publicity hound as Brandon--he'd probably love the opportunity. Bo always wanted to play ND in the first game of the season, so while this isn't in Ann Arbor (or South Bend), it would mean having to play the major non-conference opponent to open the year.
Besides, neutral site games have long predated what we know as the modern version of the practice. Army-Navy hasn't been played on the college campuses for as long as I can recall. Oklahoma-Texas is played in Dallas while Georgia-Florida is an annual event in Jacksonville, FL ("The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"). I realize these three games aren't quite the same as Michigan-Florida played in Dallas because of location and the one time nature of these contests, but it's not as if we're breaking new ground here.
I thought the Appalachian State game rematch was sketchy, but assuming Michigan wins it, that will exorcise in some degree (but not entirely) the ghosts of that upset in 2007. That game is in the record books and it isn't going anywhere in terms of college football'shistory, so my recommendation is just roll with it.
I do agree with you that the student ticket issue was handled badly. Brandon should have gotten input from them last year before unilaterally changing the policy.
I also feel that major pro and college athletic events are way overpriced relative to their value--and that includes Michigan. But UM's football ticket prices aren't out of line when you look at the other major programs around the country--they're actually roughly comparable.
As far as Michigan's marketing campaign is concerned, my only complaint is that it's kind of unoriginal. The special offers for food or souveniers, etc., aren't all that exciting to me. Seeing that they have soft demand for tickets plus the new fiscal year's report due to the Regents in about two to three weeks, it doesn't surprise me that they're pushing hard to sell the open seats to the games.
Not having wi-fi in the stadium is a problem. There have been a handful of articles in various newspapers talking about how people (particularly younger ones) want to have seamless internet connectivity. It'll be interesting to see how Michigan handles that problem.
Reading through your comments, it's pretty obvious what your biggest problem is--the team had a bad season last year. If Michigan turns the program around with Hoke, Mattison, Nussmeier, etc. running the program, you won't be claiming that the coaching staff is mediocre.
If I could add one more thing on the schedule, please note that Brandon moved very quickly in getting Brigham Young to replace Notre Dame in 2015. He's also gotten away from putting MAC teams from Michigan or Ohio on the schedule post-2014 (although Ball State is tentatively on the non-conference schedule for 2020). He replaced a future Miami-Ohio game with Central Florida (a team that beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl last year and that according to recent accounts, was a program that Alabama refused to play in 2015/6). He's also gotten two Pac 12 teams into Ann Arbor with no return date (Oregon State, Colorado) plus he's added more teams from other parts of the country (Air Force, SMU, UNLV, Hawaii) to replace those MAC teams we've seen in the past.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Background on USS Wolverine . . . .||
USS Wolverine (IX-64) was a freshwater aircraft carrier of the United States Navy during World War II. The Navy converted her from a paddlewheeler coal-burning steamer in order to use her for advanced training for naval aviators in carrier take-offs and landings. The Navy decommissioned Wolverine in 1945 and sold her for scrap in 1947.
Wolverine—a side-wheel excursion steamer built in 1913—was originally named Seeandbee, a name based upon her owners' company name, the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co. ]Her builder was the American Ship Building Company of Wyandotte, Michigan. The Navy acquired the sidewheeler on 12 March 1942 and designated her an unclassified miscellaneous auxiliary, IX-64; conversion to a training aircraft carrier began on 6 May. The name Wolverine was approved on 2 August 1942 with the ship being commissioned on 12 August 1942. Intended to operate on Lake Michigan, IX-64 received its name because the state of Michigan is known as the Wolverine State.
In conjunction with NAS Glenview, the two paddle-wheelers afforded critical training in basic carrier operations to thousands of pilots and also to smaller numbers of Landing Signal Officers (LSOs). Wolverine andSable enabled the pilots and LSOs to learn to handle take-offs and landings on a real flight deck. Sable and Wolverine were a far cry from front-line carriers, but they accomplished the Navy's purpose: qualifying naval aviators fresh out of operational flight training in carrier landings.
Because Wolverine and Sable were not true carriers, they had certain limitations. One was that they had no elevators or hangar deck. When pilots used up the allotted spots on the flight deck for parking their aircraft, the day's operations were over and the carriers headed back to their pier in Chicago.
Another problem the two carriers had to contend with was (a lack of) wind over deck (WOD). Aircraft such as F6F Hellcats, F4U Corsairs, TBM Avengers and SBD Dauntlesses required certain minimum levels of WOD in order to land. When there was little or no wind on Lake Michigan, operations often had to be curtailed because the carriers couldn't generate sufficient speed to meet the wind on deck minimums.
Occasionally, when low-wind conditions persisted for several days and the pool of waiting aviators started to bunch up, the Navy turned to an alternate system of qualifications. The pilots qualified in SNJ Texans - even though most pilots had last flown the SNJ four or five months earlier.
End of career
Once the war was over, the need for such training ships also came to an end. The Navy decommissioned Wolverine on 7 November 1945; three weeks later, on 28 November, she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register.Woverine was then transferred to the Maritime Commission on 26 November 1947 for disposal. The last records indicate that the ship was sold for scrapping in December 1947.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Michigan's Athletic Department wasn't really profitable . . . .||
The numbers that ESPN used was probably from the Department of Education's Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool. You can find it here: http://ope.ed.gov/athletics/GetOneInstitutionData.aspx
If you look at the University of Michigan Athletic Department's annual fiscal year budgets, you get a different picture. The local newspapers report UM's Net Operating Surplus which is the difference between Current Fund Revenues and Current Fund Expenses. That's where you'll read how UM's AD had profits ranging from $8M to $15M per year (and we'll probably see the same thing next month when the new budget is presented to the Regents).
The athletic department also reports Net Transfers and Capital Expenses on its budget. This money is used largely to pay for athletic campus building and renovations along with private donations and debt. Those amounts ranged from $2.6M in FY 2010 to $31.8M the next fiscal year between FY 2004 and FY 2013.
From Fiscal Year 2004 through 2013, the Athletic Department increased its Current Fund Balances increased a little under $7M. While Michigan's Net Operating Surplus those years was $135.4M, the AD had Net Transfers and Capital Expenses of around $128M.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||I wouldn't get too pissed off . . . .||
I wouldn't get too pissed off at the Michgian Athletic Department's profits because it appears the Outside the Lines (OTL) story only looked at the Department of Education website that reports these numbers.
If you look at the individual UM AD fiscal year budgets that are submitted to the Regents every June, the reality is rather different (the FY 2015 report comes out next month). The OTL report likely reflects the Net Operating Surplus each year, but doesn't deduct the Net Transfers and Capital Expenses. Here's the numbers from FY 2009 to FY 2014:
|9 weeks 1 day ago||I don't understand Brian's angst about the expanded Big Ten . .||
I don't understand Brian's angst about the expanded Big Ten.
From a Michgan standpoint, it now means annual games with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State plus one of Wisconsin and/or Nebraska. Even when the conference had eleven teams, UM didn't play OSU, PSU and MSU every year, but that's now in place with the 14-team conference.
Let's take a look at the five other teams in the West Division--Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa. Those first three programs are kind of meh--even setting aside the Little Brown Jug tradition with the Golden Gophers. I'm not exactly pining for annual games with them as a UM fan and if Maryland & Rutgers "replaces" them, then no big deal.
Why the objection to a nine-game conference schedule? The whole idea is to play more in-conference games because it makes for a better television package and it allows teams to play one another at least once in a four-year period. Would he prefer an eight-game conference schedule? Or maybe ten? I certainly hope the new schedule format (plus the new post-season set up) means no more games with the Delaware States of the world (and judging by the post-2014 schedule, no more MAC teams either).
In all fairness, as one of Michigan's East Coast alumni (I live around 20 minutes from Maryland's campus), I'm very happy with the additions of Rutgers and Maryland because I can see a whole slew of UM teams play in person. It also means not having to spend nearly 8 hours in a car driving up to Ann Arbor on my annual football trek. Instead, I'm headed to Piscataway, NJ for the 4 October game with Rutgers--and I'm looking forward to the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in Washington, DC in 2017 as well.
|9 weeks 4 days ago||If you're going to be angry about the MBB tournament in WDC . .||
If you're going to be angry about having the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in Washington, DC because it's not located near the geographic center of the conference, then I suppose you need to be upset at having the baseball tournament in Omaha, Nebraska this year.
Chicago and Indianapolis are great locations to host sporting events, but they aren't the only ones in the conference's geographic footprint. There are plenty of great facilities and cities on the eastern and western ends of the BIg Ten, so why not have them host events as well?
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Have you ever been to the Verizon Center in DC?||
The Verizon Center in Washington DC is located in the Penn Quarter section of Chinatown.
It's surrounded by restaurants, bars, the night scene, shopping, etc--just like the sites in Indianapolis. The DC metro has a stop right on the corner, so you also have a mass transit option as well.
I live in the area and there are a lot of Big Ten alums here, so it's not as crackpot an idea as you present.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Yet another chess move in the Big Ten v. ACC battle . . . .||
The Big Ten and the ACC are both making moves to increase their presence in the northeast and mid-Atlantic and this is just the latest step in that contest.
Both conference have added programs in the area since the early 1990s through expansion with the Big Ten adding Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland while the ACC has added Boston College, Syracuse and Pittsburgh (while losing Maryland to the Big Ten). Notre Dame also has its unique cultural presence that plays in the urban northeast as well. Now both conference are looking to fill the void that's been left with the Big East's contraction to a non-football conference.
I fully expect we'll see Big Ten teams playing in New York City (St. John's), Philadelphia (Villanova) and Washington, DC (Georgetown) on a regular basis. Michigan has been a regular fixture in New York these past years and I'm sure that's going to continue as well.
The conference has also announced it will have offices in New York City and Washington DC, so you can see how intent they are to "grow the product" in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments end up on the East Coast on occasion as well.
The Big Ten is also positioning itself for its media deals for football and basketball that will begin negotiations in the fall of 2015. The two sets of challenges against the ACC and now the Big East is exactly the kind of programming the networks want to have in the non-conference portion of the basketball season.
The other schools in the Big East are Creighton (Omaha, Nebraska), Marquette (Milwaukee, WI), Depaul (Chicago, IL), Butler (Indianapolis, IN) Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio), Providence (Rhode Island), and Seton Hall (South Orange, New Jersey).
The Ann Arbor New article is talking about having a number of regional games. I live in the DC area and I'd be shocked if there's a Maryland-Georgetown matchup as long as the elder John Thompson is alive (insert long story here). If that does come about, it would certainly be a boost for the Terrapin fans because it's a game they've wanted for years.
|16 weeks 5 days ago||Interesting take . . . .||
In response to student input, Michigan changed its policy for tickets away from general admission to a system that allows groups and individuals to have reserved seats with incentives to those who come often and early. If the university's future alums stay away in the future, it won't be due to a seating policy.
I also don't understand the future scheduling statement either. UM's future schedules after this year have no MAC non-conference games through at least 2018--something Brandon holds direct responsibility. When Notre Dame opted out of the series with Michigan, UM was able to get BYU on the schedule in the near term and has set up home-and-home games with Virginia Tech and UCLA. Perhaps not as sexy as ND, but given the time frame, probably the best options available.
The Big Ten did make the Ohio State/Michigan State games either both home or away, but they put Penn State/Wisconsin in the opposite home/away rotation.
I don't understand the branding comment. UM has been "branding" itself since the 1970s when Don Canham was the athletic director. The reason why you can get a Michigan coffee cup or key chain or whatever is because Canham trademarked the block M and put it on anything he could sell. Heck, the guy even sold tickets for the 1969 Ohio State game in Columbus and had signs for UM football tickets towed by airplane over Tiger Stadium. Brandon's essentially doing the same thing Canham would have done had he been AD during the internet age.
|17 weeks 2 days ago||Win and it's not an issue . . .||
I wouldn't get too upset about having back-to-back games in East Lansing as a byproduct of the confernece realigning and expanding. How do you make it a non-issue? Win those games.
Here's a plus side to the conference realignment--annual games with Penn State. That didn't always happen when the conference was at eleven teams and it certainly wasn't assured when Nebraska joined the conference either.
Michigan's Eastern Division Big Ten games are as follows for odd and even numbered years in the upcoming seasons:
Odd - Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers, at Penn State, at Indiana, at Maryland
Even - at Ohio State, at Michigan State, at Rutgers, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland
It's clear the conference ranked Michigan's top two opponents in the Eastern Division as Ohio State and Penn State--that's why those two games are home and away. I also suspect they wanted UM to play on the East Coast once per year, so that's why Rutgers and Maryland alternate as home and away games.
That left Indiana and Michigan State as the two remaining teams. I suspect the reason why they opted to have OSU/MSU either both at home or on the road is that it synched up with adding a major Western Division opponent, i.e., Wisconsin or Nebraska to balance out the home/road schedule. Here's Michigan's conference schedules from 2016 to 2019 when the Big Ten goes to a nine game slate (W stands for Western Division):
2016 (Home) - Penn State, Wisconsin (W), Maryland, Indiana, Illinois (W)
2016 (Away) - at Ohio State, at Michigan State, at Rutgers, at Iowa (W)
2017 (Home) - Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers, Minnesota (W)
2017 (Away) - at Penn State, at Wisconsin (W), at Maryland, at Indiana, at Purdue (W)
2018 (Home) - Penn State, Wisconsin (W), Nebraska (W), Maryland, Indiana
2018 (Away) - at Ohio State, at Michigan State, at Rutgers, at Northwestern (W)
2019 (Home) - Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers, Iowa (W)
2019 (Away) - at Penn State, at Wisconsin (W), at Maryland, at Indiana, at Illinois (W)
The portion of the schedule that Brandon can control is the non-confernce portion of it. The 2014 slate doesn't look very impressive and it looks even worse because the home game with Michigan State was moved back to East Lansing.
But from 2015 to 2019, you'll note that there are no MAC teams on the schedule (Ball State was moved to the 2020 season). UM is moving away from Miami (Ohio) and Bowling Green to play Hawaii, UNLV, Cincinnati, etc. Competition wise, that's something of a step up for the teams on the lower end of the non-conference schedule scale.
|18 weeks 4 days ago||An interesting article from the Michigan Daily . . .||
The Michgian Daily wrote an interesting article on the general admission policy dated 4 September 2013. See http://www.michigandaily.com/sports/09-michigan-football-student-tickets-fbs-database-general-admission-6
There was a handful of items in the article that stood out:
1. Michigan had the second most expensive student ticket in the country behind Oregon. That said, all student tickets are subsidized, i.e., essentially half price.
2. Prior to the General Admission policy, the Athletic Department tried outreach and a new loyalty program along with the H.A.I.L. application. These efforts didn't work.
3. In 2011, student no shows averaged 4,376 per game. In 2011, that number rose to 5,434.
4. Having a full student section is important to the university because football games are its primary public showcase.
5. Less than half the schools in FBS don't put a cap on student tickets with Michigan being one of them.
6. Michigan will make less money off student tickets in 2013 than in 2012, even with the price increase. The regents’ plan to upgrade the University recreational sports facilities and the Michigan Union requires the use of $1.8 million of Athletic-Department revenue. The Athletic Department says the entire increase in student ticket prices will go toward that project. With roughly 20,000 season-ticket holders, that covers about $1.05 million.
|19 weeks 1 day ago||There is one element of truth to Top Gun . . . .||
I was stationed in Norfolk in the early 80s and used to go to the officer's club at NAS Oceana on Friday nights. It was a zoo.
Back in the pre-9/11 days, women would be allowed access to the base without the requirement of a visitor's pass or anything. On a Friday night, the gate guard would see a car full of ladies in civilian dress and just wave them in without a thought.
It was a bachelor's paradise (and FWIW, for people who left their wedding rings at home). So when I watch that scene in Top Gun, it sure does remind me of a reality that existed 30 years ago.
|20 weeks 1 day ago||I was an undergraduate student from 1978 to 1982 . . .||
I was an undergraduate student from 1978 to 1982. So yes, I witnessed the marshmellow throwing, passing the co-eds up the rows, hip flasks, etc.
It was also a time when only a small number of football games were shown on television, so if you wanted to see a Michigan football game, your only recourse for the most part was going to the game in person. The only high-tech item you carried with you was a transistor radio with an earpiece so you could hear the radio broadcast.
I read through a lot of the complaints here and while there are a number of good takeaways (such as streamling the general admissions process and letting students sit where they want rather than having them fill in the seats from the bottom up), a lot of this is just bitching.
People say they want exciting games and that seems to equate to non-conference portion of the schedule. What people like me who were around during the Big 8/Little 2 era of Big Ten football recall is that the schedules back then really weren't that competitive anyway (which is one reason why Michigan wanted to get Notre Dame on the non-conference schedule--that series started up again in 1978). But we went to the games anyway.
IRT the non-conference schedule, it's pretty clear that Brandon is moving away from having MAC teams on it. Here's the non-conference homes games post-2014 that he's been responsible for putting together:
2015: Oregon State, UNLV, Brigham Young
2016 (9-game conference schedule starts): Hawaii, Colorado, Central Florida (played in BCS bowl game past season)
2017: Cincinnati, AIr Force (with Florida as a neutral site game because getting a home-and-home with UF probably wasn't going to happen)
2018: Arkansas, SMU, one TBD
The only MAC team on any published schedule is Ball State for 2020--and the reason they're on there is because Hoke used to be their HC.
Now as far as I can tell, there really haven't been any traditions removed from Michigan football that I witnessed as an undergraduate. I go to one game a year since I live in the Washington DC area. The band has what appears to be the same opening game ceremony as they did 35 years ago. The team still runs under the banner. If you get there early, you can watch the team warm up. Group of musicians from the MMB play up in the stands (and the drumline performs prior to the game). And there's still no commercial advertising in the stadium (which is totally unique in the CFB experience).
So what are the rest of the complaints? You're not happy because the women's volleyball team gets a shout out during the football game? The rawk music isn't to your taste or there's too much of it. That's about 50% of the comments here. Or would you prefer a 30-second ad from Ann Arbor Toyota or Domino's Pizza to be shown instead?
You don't like the television timeouts? Well, folks, not only is that how the bills get paid, but seeing how much CFB coverage has blossomed, it's a small price to pay when compared to what was available on the tube back in the late 70s and early 80s. Beyond that, what do you want the AD to do about it? I actually do like the idea of getting a highlight package together to play during the breaks in the game (something you think the Big Ten Network could put together at the minimum--I don't know about how cooperative ABC/ESPN would be) so you could see what was happening elsewhere. But is that really a game changer for the student body?
If the articles in the WSJ and CNNSI are to be believed, having a really dominant football team could be a problem as well. Go figure, but having a series of one-sided games can be boring to the eyes of many students.
I think the bottom line for a lot of students is simply this--apathy. The in-game experience is not as valued as much as I went to school because they can all be watched on television. If partying or drinking is your primary social activity on a football Saturday, why show up at the game when you can do it at your frat or your apartment, etc. while watching the game on HD TV? If attending football games isn't an integral part of the "Michigan experience" as the students define it, why should you expect them to go?
If I'm Brandon, I continue to do the tweaks necessary to keep the students interested. I think there are some good suggestions here that could be followed up. But if there are segments of the student population that are disengaged from the Saturday football experience because they have "better things to do", then be prepared to shrink the student section and sell those tickets to the general public. In fact, if I were him, I'd price them as "cheap seats" so that mythical family of four from Grand Rapids could attend the game without breaking the bank. If you can't lock in the students as future alums to attend the games, then perhaps it makes sense to reach out to parents and their children instead.
|24 weeks 3 days ago||I disagree with your assessment . . . .||
1. I don't have any problem differentiating the block "M" from the player's name on the back of the basketball or football jerseys. But beyond this, the "M" is there because those jerseys are sold to the public and in most cases, the ones you get at M Den, etc. are without a name on the back.
2. The numbers are pressed onto the jersey--they aren't stitched. If you do have a problem with the name plate stitching, then you need to contact the Michigan Equipment Manager, since his outfit is responsible for those name plates.
3. I think the legends patch is a unique and fitting way to honor past Michigan players. I don't think any other school does this and it helps differentiate UM from the pack. I suppose Michigan could go the traditional route with some sort of ring of honor in the stadium or statues. But I have no problem with it.
I don't want uniforms to look professional--I want them to look collegiate. If you had said some of the one off uniforms don't work (like the uni worn at the bowl game against South Carolina) and Michigan should stay away from that look, then I would completely agree with your sentiment.
|24 weeks 3 days ago||Michigan's Contract with Adidas expires in 2016||
See http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2014/01/study_michigans_apparel_contra.html for an article on the contract. It states that it expires in 2016.
With the departure of Notre Dame from the Adidas brand, Michigan is now one of 23 schools that the company outfits. Some of these programs are pretty small (Manhattan, UW-Milwaukee, St. Mary's, Santa Clara), but there are some larger clients as well, including three other Big Ten programs (Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska).
As we all know, there's a provision in the contract that states Michigan will be the highest paid of all the Adidas schools. If UM re-ups with Adidas, I imagine the contract will be more lucrative than the ND deal with UA and would keep that same provision.
As far as the uniforms are concerned, it's pretty clear that Michigan's adaptation of "neon yellow" over maize is a reflection of high definition television and a refreshed look that's different from the past.
|32 weeks 4 days ago||My first game was in 1978 . . .||
I was a freshman at Michigan in 1978 and the first UM game I attended was the season opener against Illinois.
I seem to recall having lunch at the dorm, walking across campus to the stadium, giving my ticket to the usher, taking my seat on a bench in the freshman section, and watching the pregame practice. The players then left the field and shortly thereafter, the band marched on it, played "The Victors", etc. The team reemerged onto the field and touched the M banner as they ran to the sideslines.
The game commenced. The announcer called first downs, etc. Small groups of band members can into the stands to play. Marshmellows, toilet paper and passing girls up the rows were the things we did during the plays. There were no video scoreboards, no internet and no rawk music to keep us entertained during the down times. We also didn't know much about the other varsity teams and what they did, who they played, etc. If you looked in the sky, there were plays carrying signs orbiting overhead.
Nowadays, I drive out to Ann Arbor once a year to attend a game. I park in one of the downtown structures and get a bite to eat (usually the Broken Egg for breakfast). I walk to the stadium in much the same way I did as a student, seeing pretty much the same sights (although now there are women athletes with varsity jackets). I buy a ticket online in order to get a good seat between the 40 yard lines. The cost is markedly more than 1978, but not out of line seeing that I usually catch a game with one of the less exciting opponents (this year, it was Minnesota).
I now have my ticket scanned by an usher, but the walk to my bench seat is pretty much the same. The stadium has changed though. The chain link fence and the greenskeeper's house is gone. There are more bathrooms, larger scoreboards, more point of sale opportunities and, of course, concourses. But because I've already eaten (and bought a shirt at the M Den, if I needed one), the only thing I might buy is a Coke and maybe some popcorn.
The marshmellows and toiler paper are gone and co-eds aren't getting passed up the stadium. The band still plays the old favorites, but now we have rawk music as well. Students don't seem to be as interested in attending the games in person, but back in 1978, only a small handful were on television, so going to teh stadium was the only way to see it. Of course, we also didn't have smart phones or the internet or text messaging, etc., so more often than not, you were left talking to the person next to you or watching the UM cheerleaders grabbing the opponent's mascot and having him "do the splits" on the goal post. The planes circling the stadium are gone, but they've been replaced by sky writing and guys with rocket packs jetting in and out of the stadium.
The team uniforms look pretty much like they did in 1978, except the "maize" is brighter and the pants aren't two-toned. The helmet stripes are pretty much the same, but there have been some changes (including no helmet stickers). Michigan still runs under the banner, but after a win, they now head to the student's section. We also now know when the next women's volleyball game is being played.
To be honest, I haven't seen much changing to the core of the Michigan football experience I knew as a student over three decades ago. Obviously, the tickets are more expensive (I think I remember the tickets costing $8 per game for students back in 1978). The stakes have changed too. Winning the Big Ten and going to the Rose Bowl was pretty much it in terms of program goals, but as of next season, we'll be seeing a four-team playoff (talk about long overdue). But much of what I knew is pretty much the same.
I think John U. Bacon goes off on nostalgia trips from time to time, and his latest book is one of them. Yeah, there was a time when Michigan sucked so badly that you could walk into the stadium without anyone caring. I also suppose that in the good old days (and I remember them), a group of kids would run around the neighborhood and imitate the marching band (but now, they can watch them on Youtube along with several hundred cable channels).
The one thing I'd definitely like to continue not seeing is advertising inside the stadium. I realize UM could make money doing it, but if there's one big thing that keeps the football experience "collegiate", it's the absence of ads. I've been in other venues, college and pro in all different sports, where you're bombarded by people selling stuff. If Brandon wants to really lose favor with the fans, he goes out and does something dumb like that.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||The better question might be . . .||
How many engineering majors are on the Alabama football roster? What positions do they play? Are they walk ons or varsity players?
Their official football team roster is located here: http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/alab-m-footbl-mtt.html. I scrolled through a couple of entries on it and couldn't find any information about any the majors of the players on the team.
There's one page in their season preview media guide (Page 97) that talks about the school's academic ratings, but there's no mention of the Engineering School. The player profiles in it also has a lot of information, but nothing about what degrees they're pursuing. See http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/alab/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2013-14/misc_non_event/20130723media-guide.pdf
Isn't it kind of odd that the school's official websites don't have any information on the degree studies of the individual football players? If you wanted to know A.J. McCarron's major, for example, you won't find it on the roster of the season preview media guide.
|38 weeks 2 days ago||No return trips for Cincinnati or Hawaii . . .||
Michigan has one-and-done deals in the coming years with Brigham Young, Oregon State, Colorado, Hawaii, UNLV, Cincinnati, Southern Methodist, Appalachian State, Ball State and Central Florida. The only home-and-home we're looking at prior to 2018 is with Utah in 2014/5.
Brandon will have to schedule two non-conference home games for each season starting in 2018 through 2023. He already has home-and-home series with Arkansas, Virginia Tech and UCLA for those season.
|38 weeks 2 days ago||Michigan's Future Football Schedules: 2017-2023||
I downloaded the Big Ten future schedule from the Dienhart article before it was removed. Couple that with the recently published conference schedules for 2018-9 and assuming the eastern division rotation will remain intact through 2023, here's what we know about UM's future schedules.
In that same time period (2017-2020), the following teams will be playing one another annually;
|41 weeks 2 days ago||Delany clearly recognizes||
Delany clearly recognizes, as well all do, that there is a subset of football and basketball players who are either not academically prepared or not motivated to go to college in and of itself.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||The Michigan Marching Band . . .||
Per numerous articles surround the Michigan Marching Band's trip to Dallas for last year's season opener, the initial cost estimate was around $400,000 for the travel, lodging, etc. There were apparently some cost reductions that took place to make it work, plus a wealthy donor or two who picked up the price. Keep in mind we're probably talking around 250 people associated with the MMB who went to Texas last year.
Michigan said that the skywriting tab for the previous weekend was around $3-5,000.
Even if the cost of going to UConn was half that $400K number, it isn't chicken feed. I suspect the annual budget includes money for a bowl trip and perhaps one major road game during the regular seaon. Add in the home games and the MMB is probably performing on a gridiron eight to nine times per year.
|43 weeks 3 days ago||I find it intriguing . . .||
The majority of schools that have retired numbers or honor players will do it with a ring of fame or perhaps a statue or a photograph, etc. What I like and find unique about Michigan's program is the patches on the uniforms and the names on the lockers.
Yet now we read where those people like the program because giving the quarterback #98 is unique. I think those individuals failed from the outset to realize that Michigan had done something outside the box from the onset with the patches, etc.
Going forward, I can certainly imagine #1 and #2 getting patches on them for Anthony Carter and Charles Woodson and that those two numbers will habitually go to a WR and a DB respectively. The same goes with #87 (TE) and #21 (WR).
#47 and #48 are out of position in terms of the players they honor, but I could also see that being given to linebackers from here on out. Yes, we know that Bennie Oosterbaan and Gerald Ford didn't play that position, but those numbers aren't extreme outliers for that position.
To date, #11 has been worn by defensive backs and I'll be curious to see if that continues or it goes to a position where it's most likely seen, i.e., quarterback with the possibility of running back. That said, the Wisterts were all linemen, so we may see it go to a d-lineman. Perhaps Taco Charlton (who now wears #33) or Henry Poggi (who now wears #11).
But clearly, the most intriguing number is 98. Gardner was an outstanding choice and as the poster mentioned, it's really unique to see it on a quarterback. I have to imagine it will regularly go to a skill position player other than a QB after Gardner leaves UM.
So don't be shocked to see some future three wide receiver set with the WRs wearing #1, #21 and #98 on their uniforms. Or that some future defensive end (Da'Shawn Hand?) has #11 on his jersey.
|43 weeks 5 days ago||I don't think Michigan will have a Notre Dame replacement . . .||
Michigan-Notre Dame was a natural and familiar non-conference rivalry between two programs that are at the very top in terms of history and tradition. I don't think UM will be able to replace ND with another program that touches on all the facets I described above.
So the next best thing is to find a major program willing to be involved in a long-term series much like UM and ND had in place since 1978. Barring that, the other option is to play a series of high profile opponents with the hope and expectation that those types of programs are going to be Top 10 or Top 15 early in the season.
There's a finite number of candidates to begin with and if the ACC/SEC adopt a nine-game conference schedule, it'll become even more problematic. Then, of course, there are schools that have major non-conference instate rivalries (Florida/Florida State, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Clemson/South Carolina) and out of state rivalries (USC/Stanford v. Notre Dame) that simply may not be available (although I believe Stanford is contract to play ND though 2019, so they may be available in the 2020s).
ACC: The one program that has name recognition, but is currently going through rough times, is Miami-Fl. How the Hurricans will look in 2017 (where Michigan has an open scheduling slot) or in the early 2020s (after the Va Tech games in 2020/1) is anyone's guess. But that's part of the deal--the better programs are generally the ones that are highly rated early in the season, but it doesn't happen all the time. Clemson might also be worth considering as well.
Big XII: The two obvious candidates here are Texas and Oklahoma. Neither one are immediately available per their published future schedules, but might be on a future schedule in the 2020s. WIthout a conference championship game, UT and OU are looking at having pretty good non-conference schedules. Both will or are playing Notre Dame, so traveling northward for a game in September isn't going to faze them.
SEC: If you remove UF, UGa and USoCarolina from the list (see above), then the programs left are Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M. ATM have recently expanded Kyle Field and their publicly published schedule doesn't show any games for 2017 yet, so they'd get my vote.
P12: There are perhaps three Pac 12 teams available outside of Stanford and USC. Washington, Oregon and UCLA would all be likely candidates, although they're all programs UM has played as part of the non-conference schedule in recent years (in contrast to the ACC, SEC and B12 programs). Getting these programs on the schedule would be roughly akin to doing what the stillborn B10-P12 scheduling agreement was supposed to do.
We'll see what happens because there are always a lot of moving parts involved. As I mentioned above, one question that needs to get answered is how long the ACC/SEC will have eight-game conference schedules. If the NCAA does opt to have a fourth division with the 60-plus top programs in it, how does that effect the pool of non-conference candidates? How will strength of schedule be computed in terms of post season play?
One other option for Michigan and the Big Ten is to move a major conference game up into early September. For the Wolverines, the likely candidates would be Penn State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Could you have an "Under the Lights" type game with these three programs? I imagine the answer would be yes.
|45 weeks 2 days ago||Why don't you also cite Fielding H. Yost?||
If you haven't had a chance, read Robert M. Soderstrom's book, "The Big House: Fielding H. Yost and the Building of Michigan Stadium".
Yost was committed to "athletics for all"--and that included women. The bond sale that raised money to build Michigan Stadium in 1927 was also used to build the facilities for Palmer Field for the 3,000 women then on the campus. Yost had it completely refurbished and extended to include four hockey fields, 18 tennis courts, special fields for archery and some putting greens. A new field house for women was built adjacent to the field at the cost of $250K. To quote the book (page 327 in my copy):
When completed, Michigan had the finest athletic plant for women in America. Athletic facilities for co-eds were widely ignored by American education at that time, but Yost was pleased to use athletic department money, football money, to build a modern plant. To Yost, even in 1927, "athletics for all" inclujded women. When he received a letter sharply critical of this expenditure for women, Yost replied,
"I want to say that I am convinced that no better use has ever been made of athletic incomes at this or any other institution thatn the development and equipment of a suitable place to carry on the physical education activiteis of this group of students who have, so some extent, been heretofore neglected. It is fully as urgent that the women have these essential facilities as it is that men have them."
The Ann Arbor New could only celebrate:
"The activities on Palmer Field remind us of football for the very good reason that football is paying the shot. The state of Michigan isn't spending a nickel for the improvements. Yet it is an improvement that might very well be financed from the state treasury as indeed it would be in almost any place but Michigan."
"The news story concerning the letting of these contracts ought to be considered seriously by any man who opposes intercollegiate football on the ground that it "benefits a few". For here is an instance of football benefitting every woman student at the Universty of Michigan. Eleven boys playing on Ferry Field have provided more than 3000 girls with the facilities for beneficial physical culture . . . "
"Yes, we have commercialized athletics at Michigan. There is no denying that statement. And we regard the situation as extremely gratifying. There should be more of this kind of commerciallized football...Ferry Field has been one of Michigan's very best investments."
END OF EXCERPT
If we were to apply Yost's "Athletics for All" principal from the late 1920s to today, then I submit to you that the approach Michigan and David Brandon are taking to fund and support women's athletics is much closer to the spirit and substance of Yost's vision than what Canham and Schembechler might have proposed in their opposition to Title IX.
|45 weeks 2 days ago||Gilding the lilly, huh?||
I find it interesting that anyone here thinks Michigan athletics is "gilding the lilly". To me, that definition would mean that UM tore down Crisler and Yost and replaced them with new buildings. Instead, the AD's management opted to refurbish the existing structure at less cost (and will do so with other structures as well). By extension, most of the money has gone to the revenus sports--football, men's BB and ice hockey. It only makes sense to invest in those areas first because that's where UM gets the biggest return (such as on the luxury boxes as Michigan Stadium).
I also don't think Brandon is going to overextend the athletic department's finances, especially with $230M of debt on the books due to the renovation projects that incurs around a $15M annual expense to be serviced. The whole reason why this video was put out was to help rally donors to continue their support for Michigan Athletics--people like Al Glick, Stephen Ross, Donald Shepherd and Fred Wilpon. It's clear that if any of the things they're envisioning gets done, they're going to need that assistance (plus whatever boost in conference distributions comes about from the new television deals the conference will have in place in a few years' time).
I don't know about you, but the money spent to me seems to have actually improved the fan experience and accessibility. Crisler Center and Michigan Stadium, in particular, are much more fan friendly places than they were in recent years--and those improvements were long overdue. Crisler hadn't been touched much since it was built in the late 1960s and I remember not so long ago waiting in line for a port-a-john outside Michigan Stadium druing halftime of a football game.
One last point. The #1 and #2 programs in terms of revenue are Texas and Ohio State. But the two athletic departments are completely different in terms of the number of sports they support. UT is at 18 while OSU is over 30. Yet both have comparable football and basketball ticket prices. PSLs, etc. The thing driving revenue in college sports for the major programs isn't based on the number of non-revenue sports they support. It's based on the popularity and demand for college football and basketball--both of which have blosssomed these last two decades--in the market place.
Now if I was David Brandon, I'd consider giving a "state of the athletic department" presentation annually to the press and general public so we can have a snapshot picture of not only the finances (which are in the annual budget presented to the regents each June), but the specific plans and goals for the AD. I realize much of this is covered on the UM website, but I think we'd be better served if he gave the presentation in person, answered questions about his goals, etc.
|45 weeks 2 days ago||If you want to look at the UM Athletic Department salary info||
If you want to see the salaries for all 321 individuals in the athletic department and figure out which are "Title IX" related and which aren't, then be my guest.
How much is Brandon's $800K salary Title IX related? Would you base that on the number of sports UM supports, because that would mean it's over 50%. The ratio of female to male athletes? How about breaking it down by percentage of overall revenue of men's and women's sports? Or perhaps by expense?
When you look at these salary numbers, do you include what they get beyond the listed salary? Brady Hoke's salary from UM is $300K, but he gets paid from other sources as well. Do you include them or just the portion that comes out of the athletic department budget?
If people want to look at the latest budget submission back in June of this year for FY 2014, go to http://www.regents.umich.edu/meetings/06-13/2013-06-X-13.pdf