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|2 weeks 10 hours ago||What does that say about the authors of this blog?||
What does this say about the authors of this blog?
They critique the performance of Michigan sports, primarily football, men's basketball and ice hockey. Are any of them coaches? Have they played those sports, and if so, at what level of competition? Does that discount their critiques?
What does this say about Jim Hackett?
He has no experience hiring a college football head coach or an athletic director, but he's now empowered to perform both tasks at U of M. What happens if he doesn't land Jim Harbaugh or Les Miles or someone else who is comparable, like Dan Mullen? Do we say he's a guy who sold cheap metal and plastic purporting to be furniture?
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Did he mention Plan D?||
If Michigan can't find an adequate replacement head coach because Jim Hackett is the interim AD, then I could see Michigan having an interim HC for the 2015 season. Doug Nussmeier would be the logical choice, if he's willing to take the job for a year and be considered for the permanent head coaching position.
I'm hard pressed to imagine that Michigan is going to be able to hire a really first class head coach without having a permanent Athletic Director in place. That permanent AD might turn out to be Hackett if they can't find the right candidates willing to take the job in the necessary time frame. i.e., sometime NLT than mid-December, because a new head coach will need to be hired sometime during or right after the bowl/playoff games. Hackett might also get the job because the AD candidates they're looking for are telling them "thanks, but no thanks".
If it were Nussmeier, then it also means there might be some minor turnover in the coaching staff, but not too much seeing that the HC is interim. Who knows? Maybe UM could get someone like Will Muschamp to take over as DC for that season as a replacement for Mattison.
Is this an ideal situation? No. Schools have had interim HCs put in place during the spring or summer months when coaches got fired during the offseason (such as Lloyd Carr), but they also had permanent ADs at the time (such as Arkansas with Jeff Long/Bobby Petrino and Ohio State with Gene/SmithJim Tressel). Michigan isn't yet in the position of having a permanent Athletic Director, and that might be the reason why an interim HC for 2015 might get named early in the process.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I'm sorry, Happy, but it's not Dave . . .||
The comments I put forth aren't just my opinion. It's something of a compilation of friends, etc., I've talked to who are college football fans of programs other than Michigan. i.e., people outside the bubble.
Simply put, there are things surrounding the Michigan AD job that could prove to be a deterrent to a large number of candidates President Schlissel and Jim Hackett are looking to hire for the position. Setting aside anything that was said in mainstream or social media, you do have to question Schissel's actions to date on this issue, including his statements on the football team/academics. Simply put, that was a major p.r. issue for which he had to issue a statement of clarification and an apology. His "time sink" quote also might shed some light on his perspective about athletics.
The second point is something we're all aware of--the new AD would likely have to hire the new head football coach in a very short time frame. The only way around that is Hoke is retained for one more year (highly unlikely), an interim coach is put in place (probably Nussmeier) for one season or Hackett makes that hire either because he's the permanent AD or while he's the interim pending the hiring of a new person.
I hope we see another Canham/Schembechler partnership that lasts for the next two decades with these next two hires, but I don't see that very likely. If Hackett does take the job on a permanent or semi-permanent basis (two years), I'd be very concerned about how he'll do given the statements from his most recent press conference.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Another possibility to consider . . ..||
Another possibility to consider is that Hackett has formally or informally contacted the potential AD replacements on the list and has been told "thanks, but no thanks".
Brandon resigned on 31 October and Hackett was given the interim AD position almost immediately thereafter. That means he's had three weeks to contact likely candidates--people like Jeff Long (Arkansas), Brad Bates (Boston College), Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma) or Jim Philips (Northwestern). If he's getting negative responses from people like that about taking the job in Ann Arbor and Hoke's replacement needs to be hired within a fairly limited timeframe, then maybe the only choice Hackett has is to take the position himself for two years.
FWIW, also consider the possibiity that Hoke is fired an an interim HC is named (perhaps Nussmeier) for at least one year. This is what happened at Arkansas and Ohio State, although those coaches were forced out not because of win-loss records, but for personal (Bobby Petrino) and professional (Jim Tressel) reasons.
Why would a potential AD look at the Michigan position and say "thanks, but not thanks"? It's not hard to figure out where the problems lie.
First off, the university president has demonstrated that he doesn't have a great understanding for how athletics works at institutions like Michigan. I'm sure President Schlissel will be great in many way at U-M, but he's had one football-related p.r. disaster already and judging by his comments about athletics being a "time sink", he may not have great interest in it. Any potential AD would also have to ask himself how much Schlissel would have his back seeing that he caved into a social media driven protest (including the publication of the AD's emails on this blog) that forced Brandon out of the AD position.
Second, the new AD would have to come in right away and conduct a coaching search that literally has to be a home run hire. If that new coach doesn't work out and meeting fan expectations, would he get a second chance to hire his replacement? Brandon didn't get that chance, assuming Hoke is fired shortly after the Ohio State game (which is think is 95% likely at this point). Who would want to take on that responsibility given the relatively short time frames involved?
Third, any potential AD would being taking look at the "fan frenzy" (to use the term in a Wall Street Journal article) surrounding Brandon and the statements of the Regents and wonder what sort of environment exists in Ann Arbor right now. Say something wrong at an alumni get together and it gets reported on a blog. Don't get rid of the rawk music or the alternative uniforms and a half dozen of your emails get edited and published on social media (with a FOIA request added in). Have something happen on the field you have no direct control about happen on the football field and a student protest gets organized in front of the President's House. Get paid the 11th highest AD salary in the country or appear in front of the press too many times and get called an overpriced media whore.
So no, I wouldn't be surprised that Hackett takes the job because the really good candidates are deterred from taking the Michigan position for all the reasons I outlined above. Let's just hope that he can convince Jim Harbaugh or Dan Mullen to take the HC job, because we all know his lack of athletic department credentials are going to be held against him from Day One. Not hiring a top flight head football coach would be Strike Two. Given the way things are in Ann Arbor and among the mainstream/social media covering UM football, finding that third strike isn't going to be too difficult.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Didn't Brandon have a connection with the Harbaughs as well?||
If I recall correctly, Brandon had a connection with the Harbaughs as well, but that didn't prevent Jim Harbaugh from taking the 49ers job when it came open. So while I agree that personal connections help, they might not be the deciding factor for where JH would go if he leaves San Francisco.
That's not to say I wouldn't like to see it happen, but there's not much precedence available for a highly successful NFL coach going back to college. Bill Walsh did it by being Stanford's coach for three seasons after being out of the pros for a handful of years. Other than that, I can think of a similar example.
That said, it would be logical for Michigan to have its AD in place before the football coaching hire is finallized. Any new head football coach coming to Ann Arbor would want to know who the Athletic Director will be because that's his immediate supervisor.
If anything, that makes President Schlissel's comments on Monday all the more surprising. He says that he's made no contact with any AD candidates and indicates that he wants to take a deliberative approach prior to making a decision. But anyone aware of how college football works knows the timline on when a head coach hire should take place, and if having an AD named is a prerequisite, then he and interim AD Jim Hackett don't have a whole lot of time.
We'll know how things are transipiring by the end of the month. If Hoke is fired shortly after the Ohio State game and an interim named to replace him (hopefully coaching the team to a bowl, even a minor one, just for the extra practices), than Michigan had better have an AD in place NLT four or five weeks from now.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||President Schlissel made a mistake . . .||
President Schlissel make a mistake with his initial statements, plain and simple. It would also appear that his apology and clarifying remarks were made in response to emails and other communications he received since the initial story was published. The seems to have become a pattern for Michigan Athletics over these past months.
This lends itself to another question--where was interim AD Jim Hackett in all this? I could certainly give him a pass if he was on travel in pursuit of his replacement or Hoke's successor or athletic department business. But one again, Hoke has been called upon to answer to someone else's mistakes at a press conference. Does that sound familiar to people here?
While people on this board might be willing to give President Schlissel a pass because he's not a "sports guy", it also puts into question why he made comments that essentially threw the football team under the bus on Monday. Who briefed him on the details of the UM football team's graduation rate and what sort of guidance was he given in making his original comments? If he's in unfamililar territory on this, why make any comments at all? Besides that, given all the bad publicity that has taken place around UM's Athletic Department these past months (which he should be intimately aware of, despite it being a "time sink"), shouldn't he have been more careful with what he said in the first place?
President Schlissel is going to have to take his lumps when it comes to athletics. He certainly has an appreciation for cost containment issues given his role when he was at California when UC-Berkely was compelled to end five varsity sports, so he's not entirely a babe in the woods when it comes to college athletics as was depicted by the original poster. Obviously, though, he's in an entirely different boat now.
We'll see what happens. If he hires an Athletic Director acceptable to the university proper and to mainstream/social media and that person then hires the right coach to take over the football team, then this sort of thing will likely be forgiven. But if those things don't happen (or if some other unexpected issue crops up), the initial error and the backtracking/apology he made these last few days are going to be used against him on blogs, message boards, radio shows, etc.
|7 weeks 13 hours ago||It will be interesting to see the reaction to Hackett . . . .||
It'll be interesting to see the reaction if Jim Hackett does transition to permanent Athletic Director much like Bill Martin did over a decade ago.
It'll mean that many people's prerequisite for the job, i.e., having previous experience in athletic department administration and/or being a current Athletic Director, will be out the window. It would be intriguing to see how those people react to such a move and whether or not the instant analysis being made at that point would be critical or not. I also wonder how people would react if/when he does make a mistake as in the AD position (such as hiring a less than stellar replacement for Hoke)--would they be as charitable in their opinions with Hackett as they would with someone with a different background coming into the job?
Hackett would also be the fourth AD in a row transitioning from the business world into college athletics (Tom Goss, Bill Martin and David Brandon being the other three). It would also mean that Michigan has never hired a person with experience in athletic department administration in all the years UM has been fielding teams in any intercollegiate sport.
It would also be intersting to see what sort of critique people would make if Hackett didn't make major changes in the athletic department itself and kept matters on roughly the same trajectory that Martin and Brandon have put the AD on during their tenures. Like any manager, I could certainly see Hackett making personnel changes within the department either for budget reasons or simply to have people in place that he feels comfortable with, reflect his management style, etc. But Michigan athletics is an expensive proposition, and I wonder how people will react to Hackett (or any future AD) either not cutting ticket or PSL prices to the general public or making only a cursory gesture with a small price cut.
I was kind of amused when Kirk Herbstreit said last weekend that David Brandon failed because he ran the athletic department like a corporation. Herbstreit's employer ESPN has certainly been a catalyst for a lot of change in college athletics, including its rampant growth in popularity and revenue (not to mention long television time outs, helping to arrange non-conference opponents and causing the game start times to change as part of a larger schedule of games). When Bill Martin first assumed the UM AD job, the athletic department's budget was just under $68M (FY 2003/4). Now it's at around $152M and television will contribute even more money when the Big Ten Conference negotiates its new television conference.
The other reason I was amused by Herbstreit's remarks is that Ohio State is as "corporate" as Michigan is regarding how sports are run and the game day experiences themselves. Expensive tickets/PSLs, high priced concessions and parking, general admission for students (who will now have the most expensive ticket in the Big Ten), naming rights for buildings/coaching positions, renting seat cushions, no food or water allowed in during games, etc. If anything, because Ohio State has commercial advertisements in its stadium, the Buckeye football experience is probably more "corporate" than at Michigan.
I hope the fans on this board get the sort of football experience that they're looking for in terms of personal ownership of the program. Whoever the new AD is, that's going to be hard to pull off without some difficult decisions being made, the first of which is to find a football coach that will energize the base and return the football program to one that UM fans feel is part of their birth right. I doubt any of the Harbaugh or Miles rumors are true, but getting one of those three guys in Ann Arbor would be a start.
|8 weeks 13 hours ago||I'd get used to it . . . .||
With Brian going the FOIA route with David Brandon, I would expect any email response from the general public from UM's president or from the athletic department to be entirely vanilla in the future.
Seeing that Brandon's emails were edited and published on MGoBlog in an effort to discredit him, you have to expect that the response from any senior administrator at UM, including the Athletic Director, will be entirely bland lest it be used somewhere down the road in a negative light.
That's unfortunate, but it's also the world we've created for ourselves. I swapped about a half dozen emails with Brandon going back to 2011 about all sorts of things--non-conference schedules, alternate uniforms, ticket prices, etc. The replies I received from him ranged from a simple thanks to lengthier replies with some detail. None of his replies to me were snarky, but I wrote them not so much to complain as to suggest things I felt the athletic department could do better (and none of them would be a suprise to anyone who reads this blog).
If Brandon is replaced, I have to imagine that level of basic dialogue might not be in place with the new Athletic Director. Instead, I imagine any email will get a rather non-committal, pre-approved auto reply that will give no real information or insight.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||You're largely correct . . .||
Bill Walsh did have a three-year stint at Stanford (1992-4) after his career with the 49ers, but he was away from the NFL for five years before he went to Palo Alto. Even then, two out of his three years on The Farm included losing records.
But your larger observation is correct and if Jim or John Harbaugh were to come to Ann Arbor, it'd be an extreme outlier given their relative success as head coaches in the NFL. This isn't quite the same as Pete Carroll going from the Patriots to USC, for example.
Besides that, I find it very dubious to think Harbaugh would be deterred from taking the Michigan HC job because of Brandon, especially given the current circumstances. Brandon is pretty much on his heels and getting JH as his HC would go a long way towards saving his job as AD. JH would hold most of the cards in terms of defining their relationship and what DB could do in and around the football program. Let's face it--JH is no shrinking violet either. If he didn't want Brandon on the sidelines or in the football offices, I doubt he'd have much problem spelling it out in plain English.
Of course, if you want to build a narrative in social media that Michigan cannot get a quality replacement for Hoke as head football coach as long as Brandon is in place, then it makes perfect sense to say that Harbaugh (who is not really likely to take a college job anyway) wouldn't come to UM as long as DB is AD. I wonder who at MGoBlog would have such an agenda . . . .
|10 weeks 8 hours ago||But will they attend?||
There is a problem college football wide that students are not attending games in the same numbers, despite the price point of the tickets. Even if the prices are lowered to around $150 per season, where is the guarantee that the students will show up or even arrive in a timely manner? If you cut costs this low, there's an even greater opportunity for a student to sell his ticket to a non-student for profit (this will all depend on the student ticket transfer policy that gets hashed out). Is that one of the results you're looking for?
I have a lot of sympathy for anyone who thinks ticket prices at sporting events are too expensive. But just lowering them is no guarantee that student behaviors are really going to change, even if they team is playing well.
|10 weeks 8 hours ago||Does this mean no more Dennis Norfleet dancing to "Atomic Dog"?||
If they're going to remove the piped in music, does this mean no more Dennis Norfleet dancing to "Atomic Dog"? Somehow, I can't see him doing the same moves he did last Saturday to "Hail to the Victors" or "Varsity".
I do have to laugh at the plan to renegotiate the student ticket policy again after they did it last year. I suppose Mr. Dishell didn't get it right the last time.
I also wonder if lowering the ticket prices is going to mean the students actually show up before the game starts, i.e., the original problem the first change in the ticket policy was supposed to address. Or are the student behaviors going to remain the same, i.e., with large numbers of no shows or late arrivals? I wonder if Mr. Dishell has an answer to that question.
We'll see what happens. The non-conference schedule is getting better (no MAC teams until 2020), so the whining about the home schedule should come to an end. The AD is working to get the wi-fi/network access improved, so the students can take plenty of selfies in the stands and post them on their facebook pages during the game. I suppose that'll help. Perhaps they'll give student discounts on concessions, etc.
If the tickets for students do go from $295 to $150 and they sell 20,000 of them, then that's about $2.9M in revenue lower per game from the higher price. Thank goodness the Big Ten is reneogiating its new television rights next fall because whatever increases they get from that will help cover the reduced revenue from student tickets.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Bates and Manual's HC Hires||
Before Bates went to Boston College in October 2012, he was the Athletic Director at Miami (Ohio) starting in November 2002.
So for the record, the coaches Bates hired at Miami (Ohio) went 35-67 while his BC hire is 10-8 to date.
For the record, Warde Manual has been the AD at Buffalo (August 2005-February 2012) and Connecticut (February 2012 to Present). Buffalo became a Division 1-A team in 1999. Gill hired Turner Gill, who went 2-10, 5-7, 7-5, 8-6 and 5-7. Gill went on to coach at Kansas for two years and had a record of 5-19. He currently coaches Liberty University.
Manual's second hire at Buffalo was Jeff Quinn. In his two years at Buffalo, Quinn went 7-17.
At UConn, Manual fired Paul Pasqualoni and promoted OC T.J. Weist during the 2013 season. He went 3-5 in those last eight games. Manual then hired former Notre Dame DC Bob Diaco, who is 1-4 so far this season.
Also for the record, the two coaches Manual hired at Buffalo went 34-52 and during his brief tenure at UConn, his hires have gone 4-9.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||A little background on the numbers . . .||
After looking at the Michigan Athletic Department's past budgets, it looks like the 72% figure that Bacon is using is based on a comparison of the Administrative Departments FY 2011 Actuals with the FY 2015 Budget under the overall Compensation Expenses.
In FY 2011, that cost was $7.107M. Interestingly enough, that was less than the previous fiscal year when Bill Martin was the Athletic DIrector. The FY 2015 Budget has that number at $12.525M. While that increase isn't exactly 72%, its close. In real terms, the number over that time period is a little over $5.4M.
As a percentage of the overall Compensation Expenses, the Admnistrative departments expenses have gone from 17.3% in FY 2011 of the total Compensation Expense to 23.0% in FY 2015. As percentages of the AD's overall expenses, the Administrative departments were 6.8% in FY 2011 and 8.4% in FY 2015.
The FY 2011 budget showed actual revenues of $111.4M while the FY 2015 budget is projected to be $151.1M or $39.7M.
Of course, these are just numbers and Mr. Bacon does little to shed light on why the went up so high. We do know that the employee numbers went from 250 in Bill Martin's last year to around 336 this past fiscal year. The questions he doesn't touch on is what positions and personnel were added to the athletic department, why they were added to the AD and are they making the AD's operations more effective.
For example, does Mr. Bacon have a problem that the number of Academic Advisors/Counselors have gone up from 7 to 11 and that there is now a full-time person running the Academic Support Center? Or that the Athletic Department added an additional Accomuting Clerk (junior)? Does Mr. Bacon have an opinion on the nine additional personnel who showed up on the AD payroll when the Athletic Department assumed control of the golf course? Can he give us insight into why the number of secretaries went down while the number of administrative assistants went up?
Perhaps instead of throwing out a number, he can peel the onion a bit and explain why it came about in the first place.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||I guess Mike Hart's not on that list . . .||
I was at the Men's Football Experience this summer and had dinner with Mike Hart. Before he sat down, he and Brandon shoke hands, hugged and talked like they were old friends. There were a bunch of former players at the event as well.
Of course, take it for what that's worth. Hart is the RB coach at Western Michigan and I sincerely doubt he'd be on bad terms with Brandon seeing that he probably aspires to the UM job when Fred Jackson leaves.
Bacon has been gunning for Brandon ever since he lost his press pass, so you have to filter everything he says IRT the athletic department with a grain of salt. He's become just another version of Drew Sharp lately and that's unfortunate because there are things he does very well IRT UM football, particularly the program's history.
Bacon did write a very curious piece lately where he claimed the Big Ten isn't doing well or winning national championships because of a lack of leadership in the coaching ranks (he also tacked on a few other things, including less than ethical recruiting practiced by other conferences). The three coaches he named as leaders were Barry Alvarez, Hayden Fry and Joe Paterno. Well, the first two were pretty successful, but they never were in the national championship hunt on any consistent basis at Wisconsin and Iowa. Given what happened at Penn State, using Paterno as a leadership model was an even more curious example.
The two recent Big Ten NCs were by Ohio State and Michigan. JIm Tressel was OSU's head coach back then and I hope Bacon wasn't intimating that Tressel was his example of a leader. Lloyd Carr, as we all know was the other, but Carr received zero mention in this article. It makes one wonder what the relationship is like between Carr and Bacon.
|14 weeks 17 hours ago||Michigan is opening seasons with major opponents . . .||
As you point out, Michigan is opening 2015 at Utah and 2017 is the neutral site game with Florida.
UM is opening the 2018/9 seasons with Arkansas. The 2020 season opens with the game at Washington and 2023 opens at UCLA. 2024 (Texas) and 2027 (at Texas) also are season openers. The 2021 season has the game at Virginia Tech in Week 2 and it appears the same thing is happening for the two years with Oklahoma (2025/6). It looks like Brandon wants to have Michigan leading off the season with the better non-conference opponents more often than not.
It'll also be interesting to see if Brandon decides to double up on Power 5 teams in the non-conference portion of the schedule like he did with Virginia Tech and Washington in 2020/1. If he does have a second home-and-home non-conference series, it means alternating years of six and seven home games because the Big Ten starts the nine-game conference schedule in 2016. Is he trying to counter soft ticket demand for football tickets by upgrading the non-conference schedule? Is this a reflection of what the strength of schedule may mean for the post-season? Is this being driven by what the networks broadcasting college football want to see?
|14 weeks 2 days ago||Thanks for the correction . . . .||
I was quoting figures from an article about Penn State student tickets IRT the prices for UM and OSU student tickets. I actually do know the prices--mea culpa.
The point is still the same though--Ohio State and Michigan have comparable prices for student tickets (a little bit more for OSU's Block O section that has general admission). But the demand for student tickets between OSU and PSU on one hand and UM on the other is quite different.
As far as the schedule is concerned, Michigan only has the most direct control over the non-conference portion. Having two tomato cans, Notre Dame and a game against a Pac 12 opponent in Utah would be about right when those opponents were put together in the BCS era prior to Big Ten expansion. But with the loss of home games with Michigan State and Iowa, fans perceive it entirely differently. If you look at the Hawkeyes, for example, would you say they're a better team than Maryland right now or not?
A couple of things to keep in mind about the home schedule that are important here. The first is that Saturday's game against Miami (Ohio) will be the last against a MAC opponent until 2020 per the published schedules to date. It certainly appears that Brandon is moving away from that conference and bringing in schools from the Mountain West (Air Force, Hawaii, UNLV) and American Athletic (UCF, CIncinnati, SMU) to replace them.
The second is that the Big Ten starts the nine-game conference schedule in 2016. When you look at future conference schedules, it's obvious the B1G leadership wanted Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State to rotate through Maryland and Rutgers on a regular basis. UM and PSU are on one schedule rotation (Maryland at home, Rutgers on the road) while OSU and MSU are on another one (Maryland on the road, Rutgers at home) this year. Next year, that flips.
Once you've established that, the Big Ten clearly rated the four other Eastern Division schools on UM's schedule as follows: 1. Ohio State, 2, Penn State, 3., Michigan State, 4. Indiana. To balance things out, the B1G opted to have 1 (OSU) and 3 (MSU) on one schedule rotation with 2 (PSU) and 4 (IU) on the other. That's why we have UM playing in East Lansing two years in a row (and that's why Minnesota is playing at Michigan two years in a row as well).
The conference also opted to pit the teams in the two divisions over a four year period (2016 through 2019) against one another based on their relative rankings. That's why Wisconsin is a regular on the schedule those year and are on the same schedule rotation as Penn State and Indiana. Remember how Brandon publicly pointed out that the Big Ten had done Michigan no favors when Nebraska joined by putting the Cornhuskers on the same schedule rotation as Notre Dame and Ohio State. I guess he was listened to, because now you have more balance in the conference portion of the schedule by having OSU/MSU and Rutgers on one schedule rotation while PSU and Wisconsin (along with Maryland and Indiana) are another.
The last thing of significance to keep your eyes on is if and when the rumored series with Texas takes place. Brandon had Washington join Virginia Tech on the 2020/1 non-conference schedules, which means one less home game those two years, but also an overall upgrade to the schedule (with the aforementioned Ball State on the 2020 slate). If UT were to play UM in the 2022/3 timeframe along with UCLA, it would mark a real trend on his part to upgrade the non-conference schedules. You can pick your reason why--soft ticket demand, the new television network agreements, and the new post-season setup might be all be reasons why he did it. It could also be because those opponents are just more exciting and that's a value added experience for the customer--including the students.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||Agree . . . .||
I was a student from 1978 to 1982 and the only electronic media that had the game on every week was the radio. Only a handful of games were televised, so that meant the only real alternative to regularly see the games was to go there in person. So yes, the in-stadium experience does have to add value in a world of HD TV, tablets, cell phones, etc.
One way is to improve the non-conference schedule. Last Saturday's game against Miami (Ohio) is the last MAC team on the slate until 2020 when UM hosts Ball State. The "lower rung" teams on the OOC schedule will be coming from the Mountain West (UNLV, Air Force, Hawaii) and American Athletic (SMU, UCF, CIncinnati) conferences. The other thing to follow is whether or not Michigan opts to play two Power 5 Conference teams in home-and-home series. Michigan has Washington and Virginia Tech in 2020/1 coupled with a nine-game conference schedule (which means one season with only six home games). Is Brandon planning on giving up a home date every other year in order to put together a more interesting home non-conference schedule? If the rumored home-and-home with Texas is true, the timing of the games will be telling. For example, if they're played in 2022/3, that serues with UT would be paired up with one against UCLA.
None of this is to detract from the simple fact that the main attraction to Michigan football is the team on the field. If they're winning and play well, then ticket demand won't be a major problem, even at the higher end pricing. Ohio State, for example, has student ticket prices that are comparable to what UM charges plus general admission seating for their Block O sections. It certainly doesn't appear that the students in Columbus are having problems scraping together the money for football tickets given the number of sales for the 2014 season. Penn State doesn't charge the same as UM and tOSU ($218 for the season versus around $243 at Michigan and $252 at Ohio State), but they also have a GA policy and the student ticket demand went through the roof when James Franklin was hired as head coach. If that team is successful in 2014 (3-0 so far) and with the sanctions removed, their 2015 student ticket sales should stay on a high level as well.
I do share the opinion that the athletic department made a hash out of the student ticket policy in 2013, and happily, they moved away from it a year later after work though the current policy with the student government. FWIW, they're also working to make the wi-fi capabilities at the stadium better, and as I mentioned above, the future schedules are improved. Now if the football team truly regains its footing, plays better and starts winning, then a lot of the side issues that seem to concern people (like how much rawk music is played, what's played and when it's played) will be pushed to the sidelines.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||I was at that Rose Bowl game between UM and UT . . .||
I was in attendance at that Rose Bowl game between Michigan and Texas. Despite the result, it was a great game in a great atmosphere between two teams that had never played one another before.
That game also led me to think at that time, during the BCS era, that it might make sense for Michigan to rotate its major non-conference opponents and not play Notre Dame every year. That's not to say the series would be completely eliminated, but I felt there were other major programs out there which Michigan should play in September other than the Irish.
In that respect, I'm kind of glad the ND series ended, despite the timing, how it was done, and how it's been a bit of a scramble to replace that game in the near term. It really does allow UM the opportunity to plant the flag in places other than South Bend every other year.
What will be interesting to see is when these games with Texas are slated to take place. The next two open years with no home-and-home non-conference games are 2024 and 2027. That's one possibility.
The other possibility would have Michigan playing Texas along with another Power 5 Conference team like UM is doing in 2020/1 with Virginia Tech and Washington.
Texas does have a home-and-home scheduled with Ohio State in 2022/3, but OSU just added Notre Dame those two years. Are the Buckeyes going to play the Longhorns and the Irish those two years or asre the going to ask to move the series with UT? If the latter is true, perhaps we'll see a Texas/UCLA duo playing Michigan in 2022/3.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||There was an article back in June . . .||
The article linked below states that since Notre Dame scheduled Georgia for 2017 and 2019, the Irish want to push back the 2019 and 2020 games with Texas into the latter part of the 2020s. See http://www.fbschedules.com/2014/06/notre-dame-wants-to-postpone-2019-20-texas-games/
I don't know what that means for Texas vis-a-vis Notre Dame, except to acknowledge what we all experienced these past decades, i.e., the Irish act like the narcissicistic, crazy ex-friend from time to time when it comes to all things football related.
Texas does look like it's scheduling two Power 5 Conference teams per year (if you include BYU in 2014 and all the Notre Dame games) as part of its non-conference schedule. They could certainly add another Power 5 Conference team in the 2019 through 2023 seasons, so maybe a Michigan-Ohio State duo in 2022/3 could be possible. But it just doesn't seem likely seeing that the two teams are from the seame conference.
That brings up the next question--is Ohio State going to play both Notre Dame and Texas in 2022/3? Or are the Buckeyes going to ask to move that game as well now that they have ND on the non-conference schedule those two seasons?
In the end, Notre Dame could drop Michigan and Texas to play Ohio State and Georgia. Ohio State could drop Texas to play ND and Michigan looks like it's adding Texas as a ND replacement. This is getting to be like a swinger's convention, but more seriously, that scenario illustrates how crazy the non-conference scheduling process can become.
Having Washington and Virginia Tech as two home-and-home non-conference series was an eye opener. It obviously means one less home game than normal over the 2020/1 seasons, which means a loss of ticket, parking and concessions revenue, etc. OTOH, it could be an indicator as to how lucrative the new television contracts are going to be starting in 2017 (and the cynical part of me notes that Penn State is now off probation, etc. about one year before the negotations for those contracts are due to begin).
It might also mean that David Brandon is moving even further to make the home schedule as interesting as possible. My guess is he feels he needs to have more relatively attractive teams playing Michigan in Ann Arbor to keep the ticket demand and student game attendance up. Next Saturday's game with Miami (Ohio) will be the last one with a MAC team until 2020 (against Ball State). The non Power 5 teams are all from the Mountain West (Hawaii, Air Force, UNLV) or the American Athletic (SMU, UCF, Cincinnati). The home-and-home with Arkansas was scheduled before the ND series cancellation, and he's filled in the open scheduling slot caused by ND's departure with BYU (2015), Florida (2017 neutral site), Virginia Tech/Washington (2020/1), UCLA (2022/3) and Oklahoma (2025/6). I would say that Florida and Oklahoma are "ND equivalents", but the others programs are certainly attractive enough.
It will be intersting to see if he has two Power 5 Conference teams on the future non-conference schedules besides 2020/1 and how those games line up against the nine-game Big Ten schedule.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Which teams provide the "wow" factor Notre Dame provides?||
Brian must have a pretty high standard concerning "wow" factors IRT teams that are ND equivalents in that respect.
I would certainly put Oklahoma and Florida in the same "wow" category as Notre Dame, given their success in the BCS era and their program traditions/longevity. BYU, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Washington and Arkansas (which was scheduled prior to the ND series breakup) would be a level down from all that, but those team's aren't chopped liver (and I wouldn't want to play those first three this season given their success to date).
Outside of the BIg Ten, how many "wow" ND equivalents are out there? From the Pac 12, I'd say USC and perhaps Oregon (again, given their current levels of success and not decades long traditions). Stanford, maybe? The Big XII has Texas and Oklahoma, IMHO. The ACC has Florida State and maybe Miami-FL, but the Hurricanes have been treading water for awhile now. Clemson?
If Florida isn't a ND "wow" equivalent, then who in the SEC hits that mark? Alabama and perhaps LSU would get Brian's okay. Georgia? South Carolina? Tennessee? Auburn? Texas A&M? I wouldn't mind a home-and-home with any those seven schools (and yes, I wish the UF game was a home-and-home and not in Dallas).
It will be interesting to see when these games are scheduled. The link says at some point in the 2020s. One option would be during the next two "open" years when UM doesn't have a home-and-home in the non-conference schedule, i.e., 2024 and 2027. The published schedule for Texas goes up to 2023--see http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/big-12/texas-longhorns.php. A second option might be 2028/9.
The third option would have Texas doubling up with another home-and-home like Michigan has set up or the 2020/1 seasons with Virginia Tech and Washington, but I don't know if that's likely. UT has a home-and-home scheduled with Ohio State in 2022/3 and I doubt the Longhorns would add a second non-conference series with a second Big Ten team. That said, Ohio State and Notre Dame just scheduled a home-and-home for those two years, so is OSU going to play both UT and ND those seasons? If that UT-OSU series is pushed back, then maybe we could see UM playing UCLA and Texas in 2022/3.
Texas and Michigan scheduling one another wouldn't be a surprise. I was at the Rose Bowl when those two teams met and it was a pretty electric atmosphere. UT is certainly a ND equivalent, so they have that going for them as well. Finally, of course, the Big XII has no conference championship game, so it's incumbent for Texas to have a relatively tough non-conference schedule.
If Texas schedules Michigan to a home-and-home, does that mean UM's a national program again? Or does UT think it's an easy win? I guess we'll find out next decade.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Brandon said in an article earlier today . . .||
In a Detroit News article earlier today, Brandon said that Michigan had home-and-home games scheduled or contracted or verbally committed through 2027.
The ones that have been been announced so far starting in 2018 are Arkansas (2018/9), Washington & Virginia Tech (2020/1), UCLA (2022/3) and Oklahoma (2025/6). If you take Brandon's statement at face value, then there is at least one more home-and-home series for the 2024 and 2027 seasons.
We'll see what happens in due course. It'll be interesting to see if Michigan schedules two home-and-home series with Power 5 Conference teams in the future like we're seeing for 2020/1. Notre Dame is trying to move the games it has with Texas because of their series with Georgia in 2017 and 2019. Perhaps that will open up an opportunity for UM to play UT before the decade is up.
|16 weeks 1 day ago||Let's face it . . .||
Notre Dame is now a semi-independent in football in contrast to Brigham Young. BYU has one rivalry opponent in Utah and now they aren't playing each year. The rest of BYU's games this year are with opponents on the West Coast (California), Texas (UT, Houston), East Coast (Connecticut), the Southeast (UCF, Middle Tennesee, Savannah State) and the Mountain West. Not all the opponents are compelling, but they are diverse.
ND has a de facto conference with its five contracted games with the ACC, the annual contests with Navy and USC plus the desire to play on the West Coast each year (which currently translates into playing Stanford). That's eight games each year with four home and four on the road, which means Notre Dame needs to schedule four more games each year.
If they opt to continue the Shamrock Series (SS), then that means six games in South Bend, one neutral site game that counts as a home game, and five road games each year. That leaves Notre Dame with one slot open for a home-and-home series that they have to schedule annually.
Here are the four games they have to schedule going forward:
2014 - Rice, Michigan, at Arizona State, Northwestern
2015 - Texas, Massachusetts, at Temple, Boston College (SS/Boston, MA)
2016 - at Texas, Nevada, Michigan State, Army (SS/San Antonio, TX)
2017 - Georgia, at Michigan State, two TBD
|16 weeks 1 day ago||Notre Dame scheduled the home-and-home with Texas . . .||
Notre Dame scheduled the home-and-home with Texas years before it joined the ACC. If you look at old schedule lineups, you'll see that ND had UT and Michigan in Weeks 1 and 2 of the 2015/6 seasons. Seeing that those games were put together in the BCS era, I thought it was pretty suicidal on the Irish's part to open those seasons with those two programs.
Because of that, it's no surprise that Swarbrick moved so quickly to cancel the series with Michigan so that the last game was in 2014. Instead of playing the Wolverines the following Saturday after opening with the Longhorns in 2015/6, Notre Dame will now play at Virginia in 2015 and Nevada in 2016.
I wouldn't be so sure that Michigan and Notre Dame will resume the regular season series in any way, shape or form during the next decade. UM AD David Brandon has home-and-home series with Virginia Tech and Washington in 2020/1, UCLA in 2022/3 and Oklahoma in 2025/6. He's also stated that he has had no talks with Notre Dame for future games and isn't planning on doing so either.
FWIW, Notre Dame is looking at pushing back the 2019/20 games with Texas because of the series with Georgia. Swarbrick doesn't want to play both UT and UGa in 2019. See http://www.fbschedules.com/2014/06/notre-dame-wants-to-postpone-2019-20-texas-games/
|16 weeks 1 day ago||Notre Dame's new "footprint"||
With five games against ACC opponets each year plus the annual Navy contest, semi-independent Notre Dame's new "footprint" is now East Coast centric with many of the universities they're now playing in areas with lower population growth (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College) that they also played when they were part of the Big East.
Add in two West Coast opponents per year (USC, Stanford), at least one or two Big Ten teams, one other home-and-home (Texas, Georgia) and a fill in the blank team (Rice, Army, Temple).
Michigan, OTOH, plays in a confernce that spans from Nebraska to the same mid-Atlantic region that overlaps part of the ACC region Notre Dame will be playing in as a semi-independent. Future schedules include non-conference games with SEC teams (Florida, Arkansas), Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Brigham Young and five Pac 12 teams (Washington, UCLA, Oregon State, Colorado, Utah). Even the non-Power 5 competition largely resides outside the Midwest with Hawaii, UCF, SMU, UNLV and AIr Force on future schedules (Cincinnati would be the exception to the rule along with Ball State).
One of the real benefits from the lapse of the Notre Dame series is that Michigan can become more national in terms of geography. That's not to say UM-ND isn't a national rivalry or a game that gets big ratings, etc., because the opposite is true. But now Michigan gets the opportunity to expand its non-confernce schedule footprint, even with just three OOC games starting in 2016.
What will be interesting to find out is if David Brandon is willing to have two home-and-home series with Power 5 Conference teams like he has set up in 2020/1 with Washington and Virginia Tech. Because of the relatively short time frame for non-conference scheduleing, he might not be able to do it in 2018/9 when Arkansas is opening contest. But there may be a possibility to pair up a second Power 5 team when Michigan plays UCLA (2022/3) and Oklahoma (2025/6).
|16 weeks 2 days ago||I don't think the see "other out of conference options" . . . .||
I don't think the seek "other out of conference options" narrative is correct.
In a May 2010 article, the then new Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon indicated that the contract announced in 2007 for the two teams to through to 2031 had never been signed. Two months earlier, UM put out a press release announcing (1) the first night game in 2011, (2) the continuation of the series annually through 2017 with a two-year break to play other teams (for Michigan, this would be the home-and-home with Arkansas), and (3) the rivalry would resume in 2020. See http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/michigan-notre-dame-never-signed-contract-to-extend-rivalry-series/
In the Michigan press release dated 25 September 2012, UM AD David Brandon announced the end of the series and the cancellation of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 games. Here's his quote from the press release:
"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours," said Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries."
Perhaps that's where you got your quote about "seeking out other conference options". The press release above also stated that the future of the games "scheduled to be played in 2020 and beyond has yet to be determined". So at that time, at least, Michigan officially hadn't announced any cancellations for the ND series beyond the three years discussed above.
In a September 2013 article, the following was reported:
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Wednesday that he is currently having zero discussions with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick about any type of rivalry rebirth after next season. And, unless something strange happens, these two schools are done playing for a long, long time. “No, our schedule is booked going out into the early (2020s), and my understanding is, there’s is as well,” Brandon said. “The only way we’re going to play Notre Dame after next year would be if we run into (them) in a bowl game, or if our schedules allowed us to have some sort of neutral-site one-off game.”
If all the quotes don't convince you, then keep in mind that the two largest attendance games in Michigan's history were the 2011 and 2013 night games against Notre Dame (UTL I and UTL II). For lack of a better way to describe it, those contests were marketing gold for both universities and for the television networks. This was not a series that Michigan wanted to give up, but with that said, it's clear that UM and ND are moving on in terms of non-conference scheduling.
For 2015, Michigan replaced Notre Dame with Brigham Young (at Utah and Oregon State are two of the other non-conference games along with UNLV). Since the Big Ten went to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, UM didn't need to replace ND with another program since the Wolverines already had three other teams on the schedule (Hawaii, UCF, Colorado). In 2017, Michigan replaces what would have been a home game with ND with a neutral site game against Florida in Dallas (the two other non-conference games are Cincinnati and Air Force).
As I mentioned above, there was a scheduled hiatus in the series for 2018/9 when Michigan opted to play Arkansas in a home-and-home series. Razorback AD Jeff Long has major ties to the UM athleti department, which accounts for why those two games were scheduled.
In 2020/1, Michigan will have home-and-home series with two Power 5 Conference teams--Washington and Virginia Tech. UCLA is on the schedule for 2022/3 and another home-and-home series was recently announced with Oklahoma in 2025/6.
ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg discusses in his post today at http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/106464/b1g-schedules-enter-new-exciting-phase
|16 weeks 2 days ago||Does Funk get credit for Lewan and Schofield?||
Lewan and Schofield were both redshirted during the 2009 season, so they both played on the field from 2010 through 2013. Three of those four seasons they were on the field were under Funk's guidance.
So does Funk get credit for the development of Lewan and Schofield? By extension, even though he came in a year earlier, what level of credit does he get for the development of Omameh? Omameh did come on the team a year earlier and he may be the starting guard at Tampa Bay this season. If you look at the 2012 offensive line starters, three of the five are in the NFL (I believe Ricky Barnum and Elliot Mealer aren't on pro rosters).
I'm pointing this out because the sample size of offensive linemen that have been coached by Funk throughout their careers at Michigan is essentially nil at this point and only two on the current roster are upperclassmen (Miller and Glasgow). A handful of guys who were under his tutelage that I listed above are in the pros--does he get credit for them or not?
|16 weeks 2 days ago||It's a nice video . . .||
It's a very nice video, but I don't completely share the sentiment that many have regarding the end of the series.
I grew up in the Chicago area as a Notre Dame fan, but when I attended Michigan, all that went out the window. My freshman year in Ann Arbor was 1978--the same season that the modern version of the UM-ND series was renewed.
There have been lots of great games over the years and despite their up and down years (especially since 1993), Notre Dame is still a major brand team (insert David Brandon joke/comment here!!!). Any UM athletic director pretty much loved having them on the schedule because of the publicity and television ratings (although Schembechler apparently thought very hard about cancelling it while he was AD when ND opted to schedule a game before what was supposed to be the mutual season opener for both teams).
But when the BCS era started and in the wake of PSU's entry into the Big Ten, Michigan began lightening up the non-conference schedule. The 1997 season had ND along with Baylor and Colorado, but in the years following, we began to see more MAC teams and lower level competition being put in place. What all that meant was Notre Dame was likely going to be the only major non-conference opponent in any one year (there were obvious exceptions, but that was the general trend). When that started happening, I wanted to start seeing ND rotated with other major non-conference programs.
The thing that really tipped it for me was when I attended the Rose Bowl game in 2004 (?) against Texas. Michigan had never played UT and that contest showed that there were other high profile opponents out there (many which UM had only played occasionally, or in the case of LSU, never), that could be rotated into the non-conference schedule in lieu of Notre Dame. It was also one hell of a football game--even if it was a loss.
That's pretty much my opinion on the matter now that we're in the four-team playoff era and the Big Ten is about to embark on a nine-game conference schedule. Could I see Notre Dame as part of a rotation of programs to play home-and-home non-conference games with? Absolutely. But I'd still like to see Michigan play games with other name teams throughout the country (sort of like Ohio State). The home-and-home with Oklahoma in 2025/6 is a perfect example of that. Texas would also be on that list along with LSU, Florida State, Georgia, etc.
We'll see what shakes out as David Brandon fills out the future non-conference schedules. It'll be interesting to see if he opts to have two Power 5 teams on the non-conference schedule like he did with Washington and Virginia Tech in 2020/1. It'll also be worth seeing if he plans to have those major non-conference games to start the season (such as the neutral site opener with Florida in 2017, the season openers with Arkansas in 2018/9, etc.) much like Schembechler wanted to have happen with Notre Dame over two decades ago.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Green looked much better to me the second time around . . .||
I suspect Brian is going to reevaluate his initial comments on Green once he watches the game tape as he puts together the UM offense UFR. I watched him make some nice cuts and break tackles out there against Appalachian State. When he didn't make yardage, most of the times you could see there was a missed blocking assignment by the offensive line which would have given any running back problems.
I'll also look forward to a future with no more complaints about the non-conference opponents Brandon puts on the schedule. Of cousre, I know there are going to be beefs about the neutral site game in Dallas to open the 2017 season with Florida (which would have been a home game with Notre Dame based on the scheduling rotation with the Fighting Irish). But DB is moving away from MAC opponents (the next one is Ball State in 2020) and the combination of Virginia Tech and Washington in the 2020/1 seasons shows he may be willing to have two home-and-home series on a consistent basis even when the Big Ten adopts a nine-game conference schedule. It'll be interesting to see what Brandon does in 2018/9 when Michigan has the home-and-home with Arkansas. Does UM schedule a second home-and-home those seasons with another Power 5 conference team?
|17 weeks 15 hours ago||Ohio State's student tickets are essentially as expensive . . .||
Ohio State offers four different ticket packages to their students, so it might be a case of comparing apples to oranges in terms of how many OSU students can attend any one game in comparison to their UM counterparts. That's because Ohio State offers a Reserved Big Ten Student package that covers only the four B1G games on their schedule.
Ohio State's 2014 home games are Virginia Tech, Kent State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The Reserved Full Season Ticket package for those seven games in $252 plus a non-refundable $14 processing fee, making the full cost $266 or $38 per game.
OSU students can also buy a Reserved Big Ten Student Ticket package for the four B1G games. The total cost (including processing fee) is $152 or $38 per game.
The other two packages are for the Block O North and Block O South (which has general admission seating. i.e., first come, first serve) in the endzone areas. These cost $272 for the season plus the $14 processing fee and a $20 "Block O" membership fee for a total cost of $306 or $43.71 per game.
See http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/tickets/pdf/m-footbl-student-info.pdf for more information.
Michigan has a uniform price for students attending the seven home games this year, i.e., $295 or $42.14 per game. UM's home games are Appalachian State, Miami (Ohio), Utah, Minnesota, Penn State, Indiana and Maryland.
Part of the recent increases in ticket prices include a $7.50 per game fee to pay for six recreational building and union renovations. That's what led to the price going from $232.50 to $240 for the 2013 season ($40 per game).
See http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/i-feel-like-im-getting-shafted-michigan-students-upset-over-new-football-seating-policies-prices/ and http://www.annarbor.com/news/funding-university-of-michigan-gym-renovations/
|17 weeks 1 day ago||From three years ago . . .||
Three years ago (see http://www.footballscoop.com/news/78-archive-news/3500-michigan-ad-they-said-dont-put-the-damn-advertising-in-our-stadium0
Athletic directors are always searching for new revenue streams. Unlike most athletic departments, Michigan is one of the few schools that doesn’t make much money off in-stadium sponsorships at the Big House.
Apparently, it will remain that way in Ann Arbor.
AD Dave Brandon says the Michigan fans don’t want to see advertising in the stadium. They certainly don’t want the feel of a minor-league baseball stadium.
Brandon explains, “The first instinct is to play commercials and display advertising (in Michigan Stadium). We did research with our customers and they said don’t put the damn advertising in our stadium.
“Would I like the advertising streams? Yes, and does everyone else do it? Yes. Our customers didn’t want it.”
From November 2011 (see http://www.michigandaily.com/sports/brandon-talks-economics-michigan-athletics-sport-and-economy-symposium):
Eleven months ago (see http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2013/09/university_of_mich...):
In an interview Monday, Sept. 9, Brandon reaffirmed an assertion he's made time and time again: advertising in the stadium will remain minimal.
"I don't believe we should be doing commercials, we should have billboards, we should have ribbon boards and throw in ads everywhere," he said. "I'm not in favor and would not advocate ever bringing the advertising that you see in virtually every other stadium in the country into Michigan Stadium."
Michigan Stadium is one of the only major football venues in the country that doesn't have ribbon boards with advertising. Notre Dame's stadium also doesn't have ribbon advertising.