Brandon: Aggressively seeking "Big Games" in future football scheduling

Submitted by StephenRKass on August 30th, 2012 at 5:14 PM

In a brief article this afternoon at the Free Press, Dave Brandon shared that he is aggressively seeking to schedule big football games in the future.

Dave Brandon said today that he soon will announce games, possibly out to 2018. He implied that they’ll be against high-level opponents.

“You’ll see some matchups, particularly in the nonconference schedule, that will be a notch above some of the things we’ve done in the past. 

We are taking the approach that strength of schedule is going to be important (to the new playoff selection committee). Not just for fans because they love these great matchups, it helps sell tickets and keeps interest high. Not just because the networks love it, because they get more interest around the games or the broadcasting. We really want to put our program in a position where we can be rated against the best programs in the country, so we can compete at that level.”


Apparently, they were waiting until things shook out with the relationship with the Pac-10 (and whether or not we would be playing a game vs. the Pac-10 on an annual basis.) They also waited until things were settled as to whether the Big 10 would play 8 or 9 conference games annually.

I think the excitment over the Alabama game underscores the interest fans have in playing legitimate opponents (rather than "snacky cakes.") It will be interesting to see if Brandon is willing to make less financially on an annual basis in exchange for the benefit of scheduling competitive home and home games versus marquee opponents. I personally would love to see home and home games with top 10 teams across the country. This would also allow UofM alumni from California to Florida the opportunity to see the Wolverines in the neck of the woods where they live.



August 30th, 2012 at 8:43 PM ^

I read an article* that had said Michigan approached Oklahoma trying to schedule them, but they said "no thanks".  The article didn't specify what year though, and DB has said multiple times that we have a contract to play Uconn, so Michigan is going to play UConn because Michigan "doesn't buy-out of games, they honor their contracts".  

I also know that Oklahoma already has a home and a home scheduled with Ohio for 2016 & '17, so that could be why they said "no thanks" to us(or they are just scared of us, yeah that's it!) 

*Sorry, I can't link it because it was an Insider article where you need a subscription that I don't have so I don't have access to it myself.


August 30th, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember only a portion of the Crisler Plan - the PDC - being in the schedule.  I think the exterior/concourse renovations were a DB thing from the start. 


August 31st, 2012 at 1:36 AM ^

We may never know about Harbaugh (I believe we did offer but neither party will confirm), but we definitely did not offer Miles the job in 2011.  Every insider is adamant about that.

It's not exactly clear where Hoke was in the pecking order (there was some noise about Pat Fitzgerald for a little while, but it may have been a false lead), but regardless, the bottom line is he's here now.  It's a results-based business.  Don Canham originally preferred Joe Paterno to Bo  - how lucky are we that that one didn't happen?




August 31st, 2012 at 2:35 AM ^

In his defense, he never came close to offering the job to Harbaugh or Miles. And the thing you claim we're "pretending" is actually, you know, the truth. You make it sound like he had hundreds of choices, got turned down by all of them, and ended up with Hoke by default. Nobody knows where Hoke was on the list(he certainly was ahead of Harbaugh and Miles since, again, you're lying to yourself if you think they got offers), but if he wasn't at the top he wasn't far from it either. He chose him, he didn't back into him.

But go ahead and keep telling yourself DB is horrible if it helps you sleep at night. I look forward to the nonsense that gets pinned on him, like when he was called cheap for not sending the Banner to Dallas....despite the fact that it would both be cheap and be unprecedented for Michigan as they don't take the banner to road games. Yes, I am aware that these people were just mad that DB robbed them of the chance to rant and scream about how he's destroying Michigan's traditions by taking the Banner on the road.


August 30th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

If on the schedule I see:




Florida and/or FSU

Texas and/or Texas Tech and/or Texas A&M


I will be thrilled. In fact, if I see any one of them, I'll be thrilled. But I won't be dissapointed if "a notch above" is like, Clemson and BYU. It's still Big Name football.


August 30th, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

All of those would be great. I'd also be thrilled to see games against Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Washington, Oregon, and Arkansas. One less game in Ann Arbor would be ok, and would sometimes be an excuse for a road trip!


August 31st, 2012 at 2:58 AM ^

The 2003 game wasn't as ugly as the 2007 game, but the 2007 game is just one of those games you try to pretend never happened. The 2003 game still haunts me. Such a frustrating game, from barely having the ball in the first half before the second half comeback, actually recovering an onside kick with 2 minutes left, but come up just short. They could have and should have won that game...and if they did, they probably play Oklahoma for the National Championship that year instead of LSU. They may have even been ahead of USC in the human polls and could've prevented a split title with a win.


August 30th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

I would assume FSU has UF schedule in 2017-2018.  Sometimes they'll add another top non-conference game (like Oklahoma recently), but they tend to be like Michigan in watering down the rest of their noncon schedule because of a big traditional rivalry.  Not saying FSU is impossible, but chances are they'd rather schedule a UCF or USF to go along with UF and their two I-AA teams instead of Michigan.

tn wolverine

August 30th, 2012 at 11:09 PM ^

You can forget about Florida. They were talking on local radio (here in Tenn.) about how they never schedule out of conference games out of the South. The last time they did Syracuse destroyed them. Until they get a new AD they will no longer go over the Mason Dixon line or play any real teams other than Florida St.


August 31st, 2012 at 7:19 AM ^

UT in this case is Tennessee.

And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I go to UT currenty; I will more than likely be long gone before the game would arrive. It has always seemed like such a natural game. The schools who have comperable histories (Going back to the seventies; they were the same program, essentially, in the 90's. Actually, the more I think about it, they really were. Top notch defenses, lots of conference titles, one national championship, a coach who rubbed people the wrong way, we had Brady and they had Manning, tons of payers from both teams populated NFL depth charts. Infact, since about 2003 or so, we are really really similar), stadiums, fanbases, and even both wear adidas. 

M Fanfare

August 30th, 2012 at 5:25 PM ^

With the way the schedule aligns OSU, ND, and Nebraska all being home or away in a given year, I think it's in Michigan's interest to pursue big non-conference opponents to play at home. If you schedule a home-and-home with, say, Virginia Tech, you play them in Ann Arbor in a year like this one, then head to Blacksburg in a year where we have the "Big 3" at home. This is especially important in regards to season ticket holders--as the fees for them go up, you need to justify that cost every year, not every other year.


August 30th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

I use to think this was a bad idea and made me nervous. But we're playing Alabama in two days In  Cowboys Stadium. It doesn't get any more intimidating. Bring on the best, Hoke and Michigan will be ready to take one anyone, anywhere very soon.


August 30th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

At least according to Brandon, "We really want to put our program in a position where we can be rated against the best programs in the country, so we can compete at that level."

I would think that "best programs" would not include Kentucky. Of course, the proof will be in the scheduling.

But reading between the lines, I'm wondering if the big programs are realizing that if things are bunched closely at the end of the year when the playoff is being set, and four teams have played a competitive schedule, but two or three have played against Akron or North Texas or South Alabama, or even worse, against Cal-Poly or Deleware State, or Appalachian State (now who would do that?) well, the strength of schedule will determine who goes, rather than strict win-loss record.

Let's use the Cowboy Classic as an example:  whoever loses, whether Michigan or Alabama, if it is a close game, could still play in a BCS Bowl, or even the MNC, if they win the rest of the schedule. And their loss wouldn't matter that much when stacked up against a team which didn't lose a game but didn't play in a competitive conference (or against competitive non-conference teams.)

EDIT:  In reply to bdsisme. I hate when I mean to reply and put up a new post instead.


August 30th, 2012 at 5:36 PM ^

Cornell 6-12

Chicago Athletic Club 0-1

Cleveland Athletic Club 0-1

Wesleyan 0-1

App State 0-1

Arizona State 0-1

Army 4-5

Brigham Young 0-1

Miss State 0-1

North Carolina 1-2

Oklahoma 0-1

USC 4-6

Tennessee 0-1

Texas 0-1

Toledo 0-1