This Week’s Obsession: How Do We Fill Crisler?

This Week’s Obsession: How Do We Fill Crisler?

Submitted by Seth on January 30th, 2018 at 2:07 PM

38818199795_eb58057403_o

Seating available [Marc-Grégor Campredon]

THIS ARTICLE HAS A SPONSOR: You should stop waiting. I know it’s been on your to-do list for awhile. It’s time to talk to Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management and get your future squared away instead of thinking about it all the time.

Our deal is Nick is the guy I go to for financial strategies, and he gets to ask us Michigan questions on your behalf. Anytime it’s a Nick question, we’ll let you know. Anytime you’ve got a financial question, let Nick know. And when you’re ready to figure out how you’re going to plan your retirement and pay for your kids’ college when you just got done paying for your own, don’t wait to do something about that.

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

-------------------------------

The Question:

The absence of team partisans has been a problem for awhile, and this year especially. What should be done?

-------------------------

The Responses:

Ace: The lower bowl rarely fills even for big games these days, despite renovations and a decade-long tenure under a great coach whose program plays a fun brand of basketball. I’ve been screaming about expanding the Maize Rage’s courtside section for ages now. They show up earlier and more reliably than townies; they’re louder and more fun; they’ll buy more tickets if they know they have a chance at courtside seats. (Having practically zero shot was a huge deterrent when I was in school.)

There are more issues, but that’s the number one thing for me. When you see the Maize Rage on TV compared to other student sections, it’s a little embarrassing, and that’s not on the Maize Ragers.

It gets extremely frustrating to see them fill several upper bowl sections for big games while townies skip out on lower bowl seats.

They’re also best-equipped to work through the constant excuses I hear for why people don’t show up: bad weather, games too close to dinner, games too late, games too perfectly timed in the evening, etc.

Brian: While I agree that the maize rage should be expanded that takes a huge philosophical leap for the department where something other than the bottom line matters. I thought things would get better with Warde Manuel in charge, and I guess they have. Nobody's trying to put a giant noodle in Michigan stadium or momentarily banning seat cushions.

But I have to admit I'm pretty disappointed that Manuel is just a guy. His tenure at Michigan is a complete blank so far. He has not taken any steps to un-do the damage Brandon wrought, and has continued to maximize ticket revenue at all costs. Without taking a step back there it will remain as it is for all time.

Because it will cost money to make Crisler a better environment.

Ace: I really want someone to show him this:

image

image

The staid atmosphere hurts the team. Michigan is 12th in the conference in home-court advantage by KenPom’s rankings.

[How can we incentivize you to hit THE JUMP?]

crilser1

The kids are alright. [Marc-Grégor Campredon]

Unverified Voracity Brings Out The Joe Tiller In You

Unverified Voracity Brings Out The Joe Tiller In You

Submitted by Brian on June 19th, 2015 at 3:59 PM

downloadHTTV on Kindle! We have a Kindle edition of the book. We had to drop a lot of the pictures and formatting because of Kindle restrictions and we don't have to print it, so it's a bit cheaper than the book itself at $9.

If you are a Kickstarter backer who would like the Kindle version in addition to the DRM-free digital copy provided to all backers, please give us a little time to figure out how to give it to you. We'll send out an update when we've figured it out.

Books themselves are being lovingly folded right now and should start shipping soon. Because of the way this works there will be a sizeable spread in delivery times (they get mailed out in batches as they're finished), but we are going to hit our mid-July goal.

More Battle. Apparently this is serious:

It is difficult to imagine that Syracuse is suddenly the choice since they have a coach who's already announced he's retiring and are stung by NCAA sanctions, but that's basketball recruiting for you. If Battle does indeed defect and this head-fake costs Michigan Josh Langford I'm going to be pretty pretty annoyed.

Sounds like work. Kirk Ferentz is the first—only?—Big Ten coach to come out against satellite camps.

“What it really gets down to is just how you want to use your time. Me personally, I’m hopeful — and the NCAA will probably react — my personal preference is I’d like to see camps probably be limited to campus. On top of that, I would support not allowing any outsiders coming to work your camp.”

Iowa has actually done two or three of them already, but…

"We did three this year, and I don’t think we made the news for any of them. We don’t really broadcast it."

The noise you are hearing is an Iowa fan snapping a pencil with his mind.

Cost of attendance calculations. The NCAA's "Power 5" conferences adopted legislation to extend scholarship benefits to cover the full cost of attendance. What does that mean? There is a number that schools maintain called "cost of attendance" that has nothing to do with sports. It's for calculating financial aid, that sort of thing. Now that it's been dragged into a realm it doesn't really belong, people are noticing that the numbers vary a lot—and not very sensibly. Massive rent areas like Palo Alto or Ann Arbor often have nearby universities with low COA numbers; meanwhile Auburn has one of the highest numbers in the country.

How did they come to that conclusion? A lengthy Montgomery Advertiser article explains why. It has essentially been indexed to inflation from a large number determined a long time ago:

Reynolds, who has worked for Auburn for 16 years, said he inherited a cost of attendance figure when he began working for the university and has routinely increased the tuition, board, and personal figures in accordance with the Consumer Price Index, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with transportation being increased in accordance with the CPI inflation rate, and room being the average cost of all available on-campus housing, currently 4,539 beds.

"This is a financial aid budget," he said. "This isn't an athletic scholarship budget."

The $5,586 in Auburn's cost of attendance is divided into $2,728 for personal expenses and $2,858 for transportation, according to the budget Reynolds provided to theAdvertiser, and remains unchanged from a year ago.

At some point the Power 5 is going to have to come together and figure this out, because there's no way they're going to let a four-year gap of up to ten thousand dollars stand.

A nation of Joe Tillers. Back in the day, (probably) Joe Tiller used to bomb his colleagues behind their backs in entertainingly catty anonymous Athlon articles. It hasn't been the same since he retired to wherever walruses fade away, but the re-emergence of Jim Harbaugh in college has revitalized the genre. ESPN's Travis Haney interviewed a dozen or so  coaches, offering anonymity in exchange for salt($). He got some. Bret Bielema asked to be identified and said Harbaugh was rad:

“I have had great respect for Coach Harbaugh for what he built at Stanford and as a man who isn’t afraid to speak his mind,” said Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who specifically asked to be identified on the record. “Too many people in today’s world love to voice opinions and beliefs when convenient. Few represent who they are and what they believe daily.”

And… I developed respect for Bret Bielema? Odd day.

Others did not think Harbaugh was rad:

“I think he’s nuts. He loves to stir the pot. He’ll have a very short shelf life – but he’s a very good football guy. I will be interested to see how he does there,” a Pac-12 coach said. “[Former 49ers and current Bills offensive coordinator] Greg Roman has always been the brains behind the operation. [Harbaugh] has been at private schools before so I’m interested to see how he does at a public school. There’s a huge difference in how things are handled.”

Greg Roman, Brains Behind The Operation. No offense to Greg Roman but all you have to do to dispel that is look at Harbaugh's coaching tree, which is already more impressive than most.

Others refer to Harbaugh as "Rain Man-ish," which… okay, accurate. Whole thing is insider but worth it.

Speaking of Rain Man-ish. Former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker:

"He dressed up in full gear and practiced the whole practice – pads, helmets, everything on. He had the whole uniform on,'' Walker said of Harbaugh. "We came out and said, "Who is that dude out there? And it was Jim Harbaugh. He had some old high top cleats on.

"He did pretty good. He just couldn't throw the deep, deep pass."

Walker thinks Greg Roman is not the brains behind the operation:

"I think he is going to be great (at Michigan),'' Walker said. "People buy into his philosophy. Every team he has ever been on has been good, right? So you tell me what he is going to do. Young kids love to have a coach who is crazy."

Also fans.

Just like Domino's clap clap clapclapclap. The Michigan athletic department's annual budget shows a shortfall for the first time since Tom Goss was athletic director:

Michigan's athletic department had a deficit of nearly $8 million this year, marking the first time in about a decade it operated with a loss, according to interim athletic director Jim Hackett, but he assured the budget for 2016 will be balanced.

Since Goss was working without PSLs or the Big Ten Network, that is truly impressive. Hackett explained why there was such a big shortfall:

"The result of football ticket sales being down (and) added compensation for settlements this past year caused us to have a deficit of about $7.9 million. We covered that with operating reserves, but we've got a balanced budget proposed for next year."

Michigan had to give away almost 20,000 tickets for the Maryland game, then pay Brady Hoke after they fired him, then continue paying Brandon his 100% guaranteed contract, then gather up every nickel in a five-state radius to present to Jim Harbaugh. The first three are Dave Brandon's fault. The last is a pretty good idea:

"We can tell you today, season ticket sales, which are just a portion of the stadium, will probably hit an eight-year high. We just started selling our packets, with combined games (Wednesday) online, (and) we've had almost 18,000 tickets that were sold for some of the single games. We're very optimistic about our fall and what promises there."

Michigan should get out of paying much or all of what it owed Brandon, as well. That dude somehow scoring a CEO job that should pay him more than he was getting as AD means that Michigan won't have to compensate him unless he gets fired from that gig too.

Which… well…

He's worse! /checks coaching hires… He's not good! Chip Brown lays the wood to Texas athletic director Steve Patterson in a 5,000 word piece with startling revelations like:

Steve Hank, chief revenue officer of Texas athletics, told HornsDigest.com the 6 percent average increase (actually 5.7 percent, he said, but it was rounded up) was based on a formula that involved the value of each seat “spread across” the entire, 100,119-seat capacity of Royal-Memorial Stadium.

But when comparing exactly what football season ticket holders paid in 2014, including their contribution to the Longhorn Foundation to retain those tickets, to what they are paying in 2015, season tickets were increased an average of 21.5 percent.

And:

Sources said football coach Charlie Strong, who saw his and his coaching staff’s personal ticket allotment cut from eight to four last year, fought to increase the salaries of his eight quality control coaches from $24,000 to $50,000 after last season.

Texas has the lowest salaries in the Big 12 for its quality control coaches – even behind last-place football finisher Kansas ($45,000).

Strong’s request was denied by Patterson, and six of Texas’ eight quality control coaches who had built relationships with the rest of the staff, left to find better paying jobs, the sources said.

But he did hire Charlie Strong and Shaka Smart. Despite being quite evidently an idiot. People in charge of things are just in charge of them.

Etc.: Nick Boka draft preview. Hiring Les Miles was never a good idea. Denard After Dentist game at 8 tonight on BTN. The Mack Brown-Matthew McConaughey connection.

Hunter Lochmann Out

Hunter Lochmann Out

Submitted by Brian on December 17th, 2014 at 10:48 AM

UM-ND-12[1]

Lochmann on the left

Jim Hackett ain't having it. A "Chief Marketing Officer" who can't even market his own brain effectively is not long for the AD:

"He resigned his position to pursue other opportunities," said Dave Ablauf, Michigan associate athletic director.

Lochmann was the living symbol of Dave Brandon's incompetence, a buzzword-spewing yes man whose only ideas were bad ones. The fact that Brandon hired a CMO whose twitter handle was "LochDogg" for at least a year after he was hired says somethin' about somethin'.

Under Lochmann's watch, Michigan aggressively polluted its gameday experiences with relentless noise, chintzy contests, and above all money-grubbing. Michigan came to be defined by the bad ideas Lochmann rolled out only to quickly reverse course on and bad ideas it was too late to do anything about except lie. Michigan lied about hiring skywriters; they claimed the Cokes-for-tickets thing was a failed "retail activation," which isn't English. Michigan increasingly focused on roping in "families of four from Grand Rapids who go to one game a year," as he told a prominent member of the alumni association, taking the core fanbase for granted.

That fanbase rebelled against his boss thanks in no small part to Lochmann. Ticket sales now hover on the edge of collapse and Michigan Stadium is just another generic sports experience.

The best news of all is that Michigan doesn't know if they're going to bother to replace him. Air would have been more effective at marketing Michigan than Hunter Lochmann was, and less expensive.

Unverified Voracity Can't Find Darrell

Unverified Voracity Can't Find Darrell

Submitted by Brian on October 20th, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Oh no. This is is getting passed around various message boards:

45-34-31-28-21-20-17-14-12-6

This isn't Brady Hoke's luggage combination (we know what that is). It's the number of points Michigan has scored against MSU over the last decade. It goes in one direction.

Oh.

I see.

Coachbot is malfunctioning. Someone give him a whack.

Purdue coaches all look alike. Jerry Kill doesn't know what Darrell Hazell looks like.

So Michigan has lost to the Ebola coach and goofy Minnesota uncle this year.

Also in Minnesota, I would pay to see Jerry Kill do this:

The status (please don't be the status). Sam Webb laid out his opinion of the way things are going to go on the Scout message board in an extensive post. In brief: his guess at the moment is that Brandon is relieved sometime after the season and this delay may end up buying Hoke another year.

I find it implausible that Michigan would risk that. The fanbase is right on the edge of dropping out in droves—a recent Free Press story touting the fact that Michigan only lost about 700 season ticket holders ignores the fact that Michigan has now completely burned through its once-legendary waitlist. Hoke's return threatens to create a serious dent, and once you break the habit it's hard to get people back in it.

Recruiting shouldn't override common sense here. Even if Michigan goes with another Process that sees them hire a coach in the middle of January the recruiting impact won't be enormous because this class is so small. If Michigan hangs onto 8-10 guys they could add a few fliers and be fine. The guys they hang onto are actually touted recruits instead of the mess that was Rodriguez's last class.

Maybe I shouldn't worry. A lot of these projections come with disclaimers like "if Michigan splits with MSU and OSU". MSU opened a 15.5 point favorite—the most MSU has ever been favored in the series—and that was quickly bumped up to 17. That gives Michigan a less than ten percent chance to win. OSU just bombed Rutgers 56-10; that spread is likely to be in the same range.

/stares blankly at wall. So this happened:

Tony Gibson, the first-year West Virginia defensive coordinator, had an interesting dilemma midway through the second quarter facing the dynamic Baylor offense. The Bears had arrived in Morgantown averaging an FBS-leading 623 yards per game and 67 points in their past two meetings with the Mountaineers. Baylor had just retaken the lead, 20-14, on a 63-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Antwan Goodley.

On the play, WVU's Terrell Chestnut took a vicious block from Corey Coleman to spring Goodley. The WVU cornerback was down on the field for minutes and done for the game due to a concussion. The Mountaineers also had lost their other standout corner, Daryl Worley, for the game at the start of the second quarter after he injured his ribs on a punt return.

WVU blitzed 46 times, Petty got discombobulated, and WVU ran away with a win over #4 Baylor after holding the Bears to just 315 yards—their lowest total in four years. Without both starting corners. With Tony Gibson their defensive coordinator.

Good one, universe. Just when I think I can't feel your steel-toed boot you find the last possible nerve that feels anything.

Join us in our misery. Iowa, come on down!

On the one hand, Iowa is 5-2. On the other, Iowa isn't any good and can't get a new coach. We might be able to get a new coach. I think I'd rather be us? Yeah.

Texas A&M, come on down!

14-10-19-bama-am-halftime[1]

That was halftime.

Florida, come on down!

I hope this has made everyone feel momentarily better before we go into the dark this weekend.

Etc.: Indiana is a 3:30 kick, so you have to wonder if you'll ever get to see most of a college football weekend again. Hooray Denard rushing for 129 yards in his first start. Canadian junior hockey facing a lawsuit for violating minimum wage laws. If you're not familiar with the hypocrisy of the CHL, imagine the NCAA without the education. Women's soccer is rounding into a real program. These numbers are beyond ugly.

What do you do when you're getting a ton of quarters coverage? Go deep in the slot. Roy Roundtree knows what's up.

Dear Diary Has a Day

Dear Diary Has a Day

Submitted by Seth on August 29th, 2014 at 12:21 PM

AC

…more day till the scrimmage that's a week till football [SI]

21 versus 1. Three weeks before the season is when I start getting amped. Three weeks is that it-doesn't-feel-that-far spot when you realize you have that thing this weekend, and you get next weekend, and after that the weeks have numbers.

I had this question posed last night: Who's the most exciting player you've ever watched?. Obvious first candidate was Denard. Then the people old enough to remember Carter were like "It's Anthony Carter hands down!" Nobody bothered to listen to my feelingsball about when you'd scan a Grbac ball's trajectory, hoping, and then you'd see it was in fact Desmond, and that moment you realized you are once again about to be treated to things that happen when Desmond Howard interacts with a football. No, I am told: that was AC. With 21 you feel it coming; when it's 1 you can almost touch it.

Announcements

Playing time. HELLO to a 10-pound baby-in-South-Bend (not actually in South Bend). Bry_Mac's (2nd) kid joins mine, Fuller's, and Schnepp's to round out MGoBlog's huge 2014 class. That should close out the year in MGoOffspring.

Tickets are going cheap. You may have noticed a slight reorganization of the menu bar this week:

tix

We're partnering with TiqIQ this year. They're an aggregator so they'll pull listings from a bunch of secondary markets plus direct from the box office. The current schedule will link to tix. The nice part about them is they have a free, Facebook-based fan exchange (SellerDirect) we can incorporate into the spreadsheet. Hopefully that should clear up some of the security problems the open google doc had. Right now the App State tix are going for $27; the Miami (NTM) are $23 and Maryland is $30. #thisseasonman.

Diaries

2013 in Gifs. Drkboard is now Red_Lee. Last year he was giving us a spectacular gif per game until everyone switched those off, and those are collected in one diary. Along with, well… Well since the point has already been made and bandied about how the fanbase feels about the AD we've been making a conscious effort to save the griping for gripes. Also the free, open scrimmage a few weeks ago was very appreciated by the hardcore fans who attended, despite the abandoned attempt to get people to register for it. We're trying to be good, but you know what: it's the day before an opening game that only an insane person would schedule, and the gif guy makes it so easy to be bad! Compromise: it's after [the jump].

Unverified Voracity Goes Family Circus

Unverified Voracity Goes Family Circus

Submitted by Brian on May 30th, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Everything in Minecraft. Michigan Stadium in Minecraft.

I like healthy butts and I cannot lie. Jake Butt is jogging again:

"Went for my first little run yesterday and my knee feels great!" Butt tweeted.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Feb. 13 during conditioning drills before spring practice began. Butt underwent surgery to repair the torn ligament on Feb. 28, exactly three months ago Wednesday.

ACLs are six-month things these days so Butt could be back even earlier than the third or fourth game, as Hoke projected a couple months ago.

Yes, this is a good idea. Auburn's having a big ol' recruiting weekend, so naturally they've painted the path of the Kick Six on their field.

Bo5Hv71CUAEs8wN[1]

If I find out they've also got a cardboard cutout of Nick Saban in tears, I will commit.

In unrelated news, Bret Bielema took a job at Arkansas. Bielema demonstrates his mastery of making himself look bad with his mouth:

Bret Bielema why he made move from Wisconsin to Arkansas "SEC will get minimum of 2 teams in 4-team playoff"

None of these are ever going to be Arkansas, is the thing. The other thing is that give or take a tough decision, the SEC would have gotten two teams in a four-team field about 25% of the time since the dawn of the BCS era. Three is off the table.

Hooray for three months of this. If there was a single moment when Dave Brandon completed his heel turn with the Michigan fanbase, it was when he picked up the steel chair of Appalachian State and beat us over the head with it by scheduling a rematch. While the blessed event is still three months away, first extensive article on the Horror has been published. I refuse to read the thing, so here's a paragraph at random:

It’s no secret around campus that the football success of 2005-07 was a boon for the school’s “PR value” and “notoriety,” in the words of ASU athletic director Charlie Cobb. It helped bring enrollment increases, academic improvement and more.

I can't wait for replays to be on my television 24/7. Reliving the moment Michigan football went from national power to… this… is not high on my list of desirable activities. Here it comes anyway.

Possibly related. The student section has dropped alarmingly:

"We're projecting that number to be somewhere between 13 or 14,000 for student ticket numbers this year," Michigan associate athletic director of media and public relations Dave Ablauf said. "(That number was at) about 19,000 last year. We don't have a finalized number (yet), that's just an approximation because all the incoming freshmen haven't put in their orders yet."

This is partially because students can just buy tickets next year without long-term punishments and this home schedule is not worth the 300 dollars they're asking for it, let alone the regular price they're charging everyone else. It is also partially because last year was no fun and partially because the students don't like Dave Brandon at all.

The alarming thing is that this is probably going to happen every other year going forward unless Brandon can find a home and home series that actually moves the needle. Arkansas and Virginia Tech do not have anywhere near the appeal that Notre Dame does, and since Michigan got totally boned by having MSU and OSU away in the same year, every other year has no schedule anchor.

Even for you, this is surprising. Zach Travis has a column on the student section drop that you should read. The themes in it are things we hit on frequently here. In the comments, though, TOC contributor MSUDersh relates a story about the things happening to the UM wings of his family that is sadly believable. His dad and uncles are old-timey ticket holders in section one with tickets that go back 50 years:

A few months ago my uncle who splits tickets with my dad & another uncle rec’d an email about their tickets. The university told them that it appreciates their loyalty and also wants to ensure that they continue to have those great seats going forward. And in order to do so, the school recommended that they purchase four more season tickets (plus PSLs) in a completely different area of the stadium. Despite there literally being decades of my family history with the school & athletic department, including an endowment from my great grandparents in the 60’s that continues to fund scholarships today, Dave Brandon’s team is threatening to pull their choice seats and relocate them if they don’t purchase more.

I just had a wow experience. Has anyone else received an email like this? I'd like to confirm that the AD is stooping so low.

I motion to not do this and have ice cream. Latest O'Bannon wrangling:

Lawyers for the NCAA asked the appeals court to vacate U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken's order for the trial to start June 9. The NCAA also wants the appeals court to rule that the O'Bannon antitrust trial should not be held before the Sam Keller right of publicity trial involving videogames, a related but now separated case scheduled for trial in March 2015.

The filing late Thursday night marks the fifth attempt by the NCAA in recent weeks to delay and/or redefine the case. A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previously rejected one of the delay attempts without comment.

Our local law-talkin', football-playin' dog weighs in:

The NCAA is also asking the courts not to consolidate the wave of anti-trust lawsuits filed by former players claiming they were cheated out of compensation above and beyond the value of a scholarship, and trying to get anyone other than Claudia Wilken as their judge, because Oakland is "spectacularly inconvenient" for a trial. A flight's a flight, according to the NCAA's own rules for seeding the NCAA hockey tournament.

Incoming. Dylan Larkin NHL draft profile ahoy:

“Larkin has shown he can be an elite-level power forward in addition to showing a high level of offensive ability. His ability to take the puck hard to the net allows for unique scoring chances most players would not be able get because of a lack of size and strength.”

Etc.: You definitely shouldn't watch Mitch McGary's draft workout video unless you want to be real sad. Nussmeier's position now sponsored by rich dude. Barking Carnival's boot camp series continues with leverage.

Season Ticket Sales: Solutions

Season Ticket Sales: Solutions

Submitted by BiSB on April 24th, 2014 at 9:06 AM

There are no more opponents to watch, and the Twitterverse is a sad, scary place these days. As such, I am a man without a column. Anyone with ideas should tell me what to write about. In the meantime, I shall snark upon whatever suits my fancy. Today, that topic is Microeconomics.

HalfEmpty

So, as you may have heard, season ticket sales are really, really not going well for the University of Michigan men’s American Football teamsquad. Now, some might see this as an opportunity for a hearty I-told-you-so. Or to remind certain people that you can shear a sheep many times, but skin him only once. Or to recite The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs in a somewhat condescending manner (I do a really good goose voice). But we try to be solution-oriented here at MGoBlog, and Aesop doesn’t know crap about marketing, so instead I’d like to offer a few suggestions for improving ticket sales:

Play Someone Interesting – This may seem counterintuitive, but some fans have suggested that the quality of the opponent bears some relationship to their willingness to pay to witness them in action. Now, I question the premise here, as those Twilight movies made a metric crap-ton of money despite that actress being the theatrical equivalent of a botox injection, but nevertheless the program might want to consider a few more intriguing foes:

  • Kansas Jayhawks – Kansas is a power conference team, which makes them automatically a big name, and a chance to watch Michigan beat up on a Charlie Weis team is almost always worth the price of admission. Also, reminding people about the Trey Burke things doesn’t hurt either.
  • Arizona Wildcats – A matchup against a former head coach? What is there to NOT like about this? Think of all the plotlines. The game practically markets itself.
  • Minnesota State Screaming Eagles – Not a traditional powerhouse, but they made a surprising national championship run a few years back. It would probably produce a win, too, as the Screaming Eagles are still in a transition phase after losing head coach Hayden Fox to the Orlando Breakers in a move that didn’t make a damn bit of sense to anyone.

    MinnesotaState
    But Jerry Van Dyke was still awesome.
  • Harlem Globetrotters – Another tradition-heavy program, and bring the WOW Factor Michigan needs in an opponent. Again, this one should produce a win, as the Globetrotters style of play lacks discipline and they are limited by a 28-man roster, only two of whom are over 225 pounds.
  • Appalachian State Mountaineers – How about a rematch that reminds people of one of the lowest moments in the history of the stadium you are trying to fill? Wait, never mind. That sounds terrible. Don’t do that. And whatever you do, don’t LEAD with that.

Move Michigan Stadium closer to the fans – Dave the Brandon recently opined that he wants to improve the “driveway to driveway” experience for fans. And I know my experience would be a lot better if my driveway was closer to the stadium.

Move the fans closer to Michigan Stadium – Related to the previous point, a fan relocation/resettlement program could get people closer to the stadium, and therefore make them more willing to buy tickets. But given real estate prices in the Ann Arbor area, moving an 87-year-old football stadium in every direction simultaneously might be the more feasible and cost-effective solution.

Promotional Giveaways/Tie-ins

Everyone who attends home games should receive the following:

  • App State – A hand-held memory-erasing device (a la Men In Black), or, if that technology isn’t developed in the next four months, a handful of forget-me-nows and a flask of moonshine.
  • Youts

    Two hwaht?

    Miami (Ohio) – A free iTunes download of a replay of Michigan beating someone good. Presumably those can be uploaded from 8mm tape somehow.

  • Utah – A Joe Pesci bobblehead
  • Minnesota – Smelling salts.
  • Penn State – A copy of the award-winning documentary “27 for 27”
  • Indiana­ – Three catches for 41 yards against the Indiana secondary
  • Maryland – 38 pounds of pointy scrap iron.

Name a Starting Quarterback – Okay, this one is unrelated. It would just make us all a lot happier. It’s Gardner. We all know it’s Gardner. Just say it.

Cooler Game Monikers – "Under The Lights" was cool. So was the "Big Chill." And "Under The Lights II." And "Michigan vs. Notre Dame." No one gives a crap about Michigan vs. Miami (Ohio), but who wouldn’t want to attend the Battle of Bo?  Or “App State 2: The Revengening”? Or the “Footprint Classic” against Maryland?

Hashtags – Like game monikers, everyone loves hashtags. Fortunately, Jim Delany had the foresight to bring in a couple of schools who really get this whole social media internet thing.  There is much genius to be gleaned from #BlackoutSparty and #ChopMichigan.

BlackoutSparty

ChopMichigan

#GopherTheJugular

#HoosierFreeSafetySupposedToBeCovering

#TerrapinsAreTerribleMascots

Fan Involvement – Give season ticket holders the chance to win some cool prizes. For example, have a randomly selected student be a “Player for a Day.” They would basically be an honorary member of the team, and do everything the team does on game day. They would dress with the team, run out of the tunnel, warm up, and then play sixty snaps at left guard. Or they could bring Score-O to the football field; have a couple of adults try to throw a football through a hoop from 20 yards, and then have a young kid try from like 5 yards and then the kid plays sixty snaps at left guard. Or stage an alumni golf tournament where your handicap is 100 x how much your name is Steve Hutchinson, and the winner gets to play left guard.

Contra
Tell me you wouldn’t pay a PSL for this.

Better use of the Jumbotron – Michigan is overlooking a huge and largely untapped asset: the two giant-ass televisions in the stadium. At this point, between plays they are mostly wasting those screens with the occasional replay and a bunch of videos of players telling me to get up get up I can’t hear you get up. They could be showing other, probably better games. They could be showing reruns of The Big Bang Theory (surely the stadium must have TBS). They could hook them up to an old school Nintendo, and then let people play huge games of Contra; if no one uses any cheat codes, all 112,000 should be able to play a turn. The possibilities are endless.

Monkey Rodeo – Obvious.

Obvious.

Ticket Prices – Maybe, and only if all of the above items fail, just MAYBE the Athletic Department should look at ticket prices, and whether it is a great business idea to double or triple ticket prices over the last decade, especially when the product on the field has gone to shit and the best games are shipped off to Dallas and you allowed the Big Ten to give you alternating years without either of your rivalry games at home and people can’t even bring a goddamn bottle of water into the stadium and the band has been largely replaced by BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP and you just implemented and then rescinded a disastrous attempt at the FREEKING EASY concept that is General Admission seating and you implemented a “dynamic pricing” scheme that acts as a one-way ratchet on single game tickets and Athletic Department revenue is soaring as is the Athletic Department’s spending on the Athletic Department and you have otherwise done just about everything imaginable to milk every possible nickel out of our brand loyalty. Just a thought.

WiFi – Never mind, just get some free WiFi working in the stadium. That’ll fix it.

Student Ticket Sales Aren't Going So Well

Student Ticket Sales Aren't Going So Well

Submitted by Ace on April 18th, 2014 at 2:12 PM


If you aren't already, get used to this, and I wouldn't blame the students.

In news that will come as a shock to many, charging students $295 for a home schedule in which the best game is against Penn State and the race for second is between Indiana, Minnesota, and Maryland doesn't go so well—especially a year removed from alienating much of the student fanbase with an unpopular, poorly implemented, and subsequently scrapped general admissions plan.

The deadline for renewing student tickets came and went on Tuesday, and in years past there's never, to my knowledge, been a need to extend the deadline. Student/poster bdsisme noted an email went out today urging some students to renew their tickets for the fifth time—in the three years prior, according to him, there'd been just four combined emails of that nature, which is consistent with how it was when I was in school ('06-'10)—and offering an extension to "Michigan Football SuperFans":

Dear [Student],

Thank you for being a Michigan Football SuperFan! According to our scanned data, you attended 5 or more home football games on-time last season (prior to or at kickoff). As a result, you have been granted SuperFan priority for the 2014 season.

Earlier this week (Tuesday, April 15) was the deadline to renew your season tickets for the 2014 season. However, since you have proven your loyalty this past season, we would like to offer a one-time extension of the season ticket renewal deadline in order for you to continue your devotion as a Michigan Football Superfan.

We know you are busy closing out the Spring semester and may have questions regarding the new seating policy for the 2014 season. By extending the renewal deadline to Friday, April 25, we hope you are now able to guarantee your seat as a Michigan Football Student Season Ticket Holder.

How magnanimous of them.