Brandon on WJR 8/26 (Subj: Realignment)

Submitted by Aequitas on August 26th, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Dave Brandon was on WJR this morning on the Frank Beckmann show.  Happened a few hours ago, but I haven't seen it posted yet, and not everyone on this board can get AM 760.

Here's the highlights that I remember:

  1. DB DOES want MSU and OSU to play UM each year.
  2. DB does NOT want Michigan to play OSU at the end of the year going into a championship game.  He said no coach or TV person wants to see the same two teams match up in consecutive weeks.
  3. The conference's primary means for determining which schools go into which divisions is based on each programs performance.... # of wins, conference titles, bowl appearances, etc.  Geography is NOT a consideration.
  4. The year that Penn State came into the conference is as far back as the conference is looking when evaluating programs.
  5. The top 4 teams are OSU, UM, Nebraska, and PSU.
  6. UM and OSU are NOT going to be in the same division.

Reading into what he said, it looks like MSU will probably be in our division and OSU will be a protected match-up scheduled some time before the last regular season game.  He said he's fighting very hard to have us play those two schools each year and I can't see them giving UM two protected teams on the schedule, thus MSU in the same division.

He did stress several times that the divisions will be formed based on past performance (dating back to PSU's entry into the conference) more than anything else; and he reiterated that geography is a non-factor.

Dave Brandon's a straight shooter and doesn't mince words.  He did add that Coach Rod's future is not determined by a "number" (of wins).  He's the AD and he has access to far more metrics than win / loss stats.  Those metrics (and he listed a bunch) are what DB looks at.



August 26th, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

well, it looks like this must be it:

Division Bo
Michigan State

Division Woody
Ohio State
Penn State

Section 1

August 26th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

I have come to the admittedly subjective view, that the Conference-wide view in the Big Ten is that Michigan and Ohio State must be separated.  And it isn't for "competitive balance," per se.  I think "competitive balance is vastly overrated.

It is because of history and prestige, and no Big Ten school wants to be in a division that lacks both Michigan and Ohio State.  Regardless of W-L records in any given year, "Michigan" is just about the biggest game on any Big Ten team's home schedule.  And recently, quite naturally, "Ohio State" is a huge week on any Big Ten team's home schedule.

Across the conference, fans want one or the other; Ohio State or Michigan.  And they will not tolerate anything less.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

"It is because of history and prestige, and no Big Ten school wants to be in a division that lacks both Michigan and Ohio State."

But I think that's a huge part of it.  Sparty puts up billboards celebrating a victory over a 3 win team when it's Michigan.  Imagine how bummed and left out the non-divisional schools would feel if UM and OSU were in the same division and Michigan got right and started winning again?


August 26th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

Nobody is going to be completely happy with the realignment, but at least Brandon and Co. will lay it out there for everyone.  Personally, the rivalry between OSU and UM supersedes the date, even though it is obviously great to have it at the end of the year.  Sure, it's a play for more money by the networks, but I guess I'm not surprised that is the case anymore.

Mitch Cumstein

August 26th, 2010 at 1:21 PM ^

We could get Nebraska as our rivalry week opponent to end the season?  I wouldn't like it, but this would sit better with me than having MSU as our end of season opponent.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:36 PM ^

I'm wondering if the last 3 weeks of the season would be Cross-Division rival, Division rival, Power team vs. Power team. So Michigan would play OSU, MSU, Nebraska. OSU would play Michigan, Illinois, PSU. PSU would play Nebraska, Iowa, OSU. Nebraska would play PSU, Wisc, Michigan.

It would be a killer 3 weeks of football but it would so much fun to watch. Lose any of those three games and it severely hurts your chances of going to the championship game. If they open up play to the Saturday after Thanksgiving as well, OSU would only move back one week, and we would play Nebraska on Thanksgiving weekend.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:21 PM ^

The season cant get here soon enough. im having so many mixed feelings and emotions. I just wanna watch some damn football, everything will be easier to swallow once michigan starts winning

Greg McMurtry

August 26th, 2010 at 1:47 PM ^

that reason is a load of crap.  Every other major sport plays "best-of-X-games" series where you need to beat a team up to 4 times just to win the championship.  But two games in a row is supposedly unheard of in football.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:55 PM ^

If it was best of 3, your point would be valid, but it's best of 1. If both teams have their divisions locked up at 10-1 going into the first game, it has no bearing on the season whatsoever and the teams will just save all their stuff to play the following week.


August 28th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

since the BXII did the same thing to us with the NU-OK game.

If Big Ten TPTB asked Tom Osborne's opinion, he'd argue in favor of keeping it, just like he tried to keep the NU-OK game, dropping that was one of the reasons he wanted us out of the BXII.

There's not a Husker fan out there that isn't shaking their head over this, history repeats.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

Wonderful!  In 10 years, when someone asks me when I began to stop caring about college football, I can point to the day the divisions come out.  "See, son, we used to be special, and not like other sports.  The last game of the year was OSU, and it meant everything.  Then we added Nebraska, split up into divisions, moved the game, and tried to convince ourselves that making it to the Rotel Big Ten Title Game was a big deal."  This will be said in the car on the way to an MLS game, which in my eyes is the only league that doesn't actively try to piss off its fans.  We also won't have a choice, because the NFL and NBA will be on strike, and MLB will start all games at 9:30 east coast time. 

/old man rant

(I'm 28)

Captain Obvious

August 26th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

I'm starting to hate Brandon.

He's done everything right up to this point, but it doesn't mean shit when he screws up our most important tradition.  This is right on par with messing with The Victors, IMO.  I'd rather him plaster the Big House with ads and mandate ALL MAIZE home uniforms than mess with The Game.

It only makes it worse that he's hiding what everyone already knows--this is all about money.  Money should be a consideration but he has put it at the forefront and is willing to sell out our most important traditions to bolster the bottom line.  Not the kind of leader I want.

Mitch Cumstein

August 26th, 2010 at 1:35 PM ^

I honestly think this is completely out of his hands.  The part that pisses me off is he is peddling it like its such a good thing.  I'd much rather him come out fighting and throw Alvarez and Delany under the bus and tell everyone they're responsible (if they in fact are, just an example).  He should be siding with the fans on this one, not trying to be a politician and telling the fans that they know better.

Captain Obvious

August 26th, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

He represents the University of Michigan and is supposed to do everything in his power to get the best result for us.  If he concedes on this issue he is 100% useless.  It's even worse that he is out there promoting it.  I don't care if he can't change it singlehandedly.

He needs to throw his weight around.  Switch to an adversarial negotiating strategy if necessary.  Make (financial, obviously) threats to the conference.  What are they going to do-kick us out?  Show the others how important this is to us and that we refuse to budge.

The problem is that Brandon wants the change.  He won't do any of the above because he is not motivated to do so.  He is motivated by money alone.  And that is why I'm off the bandwagon and calling for his head.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:34 PM ^

I seriously do not understand why the ADs can't see past the money in this. Look at the SEC, each division has a gigantic rivalry game (Florida-Georgia, Bama-Auburn), but they didn't muss around with splitting them up. Ugh, this is going to be such a load of suck.

Michigan Offense

August 26th, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

No coach or TV person wants to see that?  I respect DB, but this logic (whether he truly supports it or not) is mystifying.  How often do the conference ADs, presidents and administration really expect M and OSU will meet in the conf. title game?  And isn't that an implicit F.U. to the other programs?  I'm not sure what's more offensive: the complete and unambiguous removal of the fans in these considerations or the disruption of  a century of traditions.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

but this was proposed to me by a buddy.  Think about it, it NEVER happens in football that you play two weeks in a row, barring the NFL week 1 playoffs.  Think of the bad blood that would brew before that second game knowing that you JUST played them.  You have a chance to atone for every mistake you made, and if ANYTHING happened in the previous game that you took offense to, you have a chance to pay them back.

I think what most people are worried about is that if they play in back to back weeks that the game will mean nothing.  However, the only way for that to happen is for both teams to have wrapped up their respective divisions at that point.  If the odds of us rematching in the champsionship game are about 1 in 10, as people have been speculating, then what are the odds of that?  One in 50?  Almost always, that game will determine if one of the teams makes the championship game, and the bad blood that would be HUGE if there was a rematch the next week.  Screw the TV people, the fans would love it.


August 26th, 2010 at 1:56 PM ^

He's a business man. He's not anything higher or lower than that. He's not a "straight shooter", or a "Michigan man" or a "no nonsense" guy. He's not an absolute anything.

He may not allow ads at Michigan Stadium and call it tradition, but it's all just a calculated business decision on what would hurt the brand and what wouldn't. But I think he's finding out that he's seriously underestimated people's ire over this issue. The decision was made, probably not at his behest but with his acquiescence and he thought he could sell it to the public better than he is. He is hurting the brand, by diminishing the Game.

The most annoying thing about this process is that he speaks in terms of fiat: "no one wants the same matchup in consecutive weeks"; "no one wants UM/OSU to never be for the Big Ten title again". He bases this on nothing. He's nothing special and nothing terrible. He's just a businessman who has made some smart moves and (apparently) some really dumb ones.


August 26th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

I'm not crazy about the generalization that "no one wants the same matchup in consecutive weeks", but I also wouldn't go so far as to bin him as just a businessman, like Martin or Goss.

He's been out front of just about every issue, and he seems, to me at least, like he wants what's best for Michigan.  I'm just not seeing what he's seeing on all of this, because to me, this sucks.

STW P. Brabbs

August 26th, 2010 at 2:45 PM ^

Apart from doing a great job with PR in relation to the NCAA investigation, what on Earth has Brandon done to convince you of his love for Michigan? 

If he fucks up The Game, please tell me how he'll ever match the legacy of Martin.  Hell, he'd have to do a lot just to get up to Goss' level after that. 

Dave Brandon is just a businessman, one who's good at massaging public opinion.  He's done fuck all to show his undying loyalty for Michigan, but because he's good in front of a microphone and played for Bo he's pulled the wool over people's eyes - apparently including yours.  Bill Martin was a little dweeby real estate investor with a sailboat, but it does the man a great disservice to insinuate that he did less for the university than Brandon will.


August 26th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

"but because he's good in front of a microphone and played for Bo he's pulled the wool over people's eyes - apparently including yours"

Save the drama.  I'm just a fan, too.  And I'm fucking seething over what I heard this morning, and the last thing I need right now is to be drawn into an e-pissing contest over which AD sucks worse.  I wanted to believe in Brandon, and he seemed like a stand-up guy to me until now.  I'm genuinely baffled how a guy who played for Bo...

Regardless of how much input or control you or I think Brandon actually has, regardless of whether he's being a good little soldier, or actually believes what he's said; if the game is moved, David Brandon will be forever remembered as the AD who slept on his watch while UM, OSU and the Big Ten prostituted one of the finest traditions in all of sports.


August 26th, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

Ohio State vs. Penn State will become "The Greatest Rivalry in College Football" by 2015 and Michigan will meet OSU in a Big Ten title game once every five years for a rematch in one of the worst conceivable settings.  This is an epic blunder, and it is completely fucking obvious!

Thank you David Brandon!

The FannMan

August 26th, 2010 at 2:06 PM ^

I am just accepting this as the latest in the conference and U of M being forced to change tradition for $.  You have to be kinda old to remember it, but the conference used to actually have 10 teams.  We used to play nine conference games.  The unforms used to be plain blue, then Nike wanted to put a swoosh on them and we said OK.  ($).  Then we dropped to eight confernce games to add another OOC ($).  Penn State came in ($$).  Then we all wanted to add a 12th team ($$$) so we could get a title game ($$$$).  Hell,in June and July we were talknig about adding 5 more teams ($$$$$).  Now, OSU as the last game is (apparently) the latest tradition to fall.  It is sad, but it is really all that different?   Just be glad it's not  (yet) "The Game - OSU v Michigan live from Las Vegas brought to you exclusively on Pay-4-View by Tostitos!  I'm your host Ryan Secrest."