Gary Danielson on ND/Mich

Submitted by SWFlaBlue on December 7th, 2009 at 6:28 PM

On the local radio show today (southwest Florida), Gary Danielson said that Michigan needs to drop Notre Dame off their schedule ASAP because of the disadvantage it creates for them - too regional, no opportunity to schedule good teams outside of them given the current BCS make-up, etc.

Now I'm normally one to dismiss anything he says as quick as it's uttered, but I think he's right in this instance. His example of how Ohio State can work their way around the country scheduling Texas, USC, et al for home and homes is the best way to do it given the current situation.

The days of scheduling a UCLA or Oregon in addition to the Domers just won't happen anymore. So I say let's drop them and whoever their new coach will be.



December 7th, 2009 at 6:33 PM ^

to completely drop them, but i'd like to see us play them every other year, and schedule another traditional power in their place the year we don't play them.


December 7th, 2009 at 9:42 PM ^

Just wait in a few years when their new coach gets them to a top 25 level and we have RR consistently having us in the top 25, it will be like it was in the 70s and 80s when the game either vaults us to the top 10 early or drops us out of the top 25. Plus its a really good rivalry and I really enjoy the feeling of beating them and I get so pissed when we lose. ND vs Michigan may be one of the top 10 rivalries in college football.

[email protected]

December 7th, 2009 at 6:34 PM ^

I could not agree more. I like the idea of playing them in spurts and then having breaks to schedule other teams. The idea of playing them every year until 2076 (or whenever the contract expires...) is depressing.

I'd much rather see some variety.


December 7th, 2009 at 7:32 PM ^

Delaware State for another shot at Oregon, or at Texas (in two or three years). I should think that would help sales, rather than hurt them. Back when folks were discussing the excess of red at the OSU game, weren't there reports about bundling the DSU game tickets with OSU tickets at discount prices in order to get rid of them? Wouldn't a solid home-and-away be just as profitable? (I'm sure the finance dept. has already looked at this.) (Or do they figure that ALL games will instantly sell out when RR starts winning?)

Talk of dropping ND seems short-sighted, or maybe premature, to me. Depending on how their next hire works out, ND should be peaking maybe a little behind us. And our record against them (since 1943) isn't THAT overwhelming, yet. I don't think we're ready yet to complain that a Div. 1 team is too weak for us to play. As DSU showed us, there's weak and there's WEAK.


December 7th, 2009 at 10:08 PM ^

I think that the schools with Nike win. As much as a lot of people hate what they do with their jerseys, a lot of 17 and 18 year old kids love the way Nike looks ala ProCombat. Nike just provides more opportunity to change things up and give kids excitement about the jerseys.


December 7th, 2009 at 10:11 PM ^

You can't judge the wants or emotional needs of a 17 year-old by what you value as an adult. The value of a UM education is not really high on the list of things recruits want. They want PT and a chance at the NFL the most, and liking how the unis and helmets look probably does play a role for a lot of kids. "Escorts" and Escalades help, too, but UM doesn't do that.

Kids usually learn what adults want to hear and parrot it whenever it serves them well. But it isn't what they are really thinking.


December 7th, 2009 at 10:33 PM ^

As I said - ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, if it comes down to Nike school v. Adidas, Nike wins. I would say being 22 lets me speak a little more close to this issue, maybe I am years older than them, but I can remember when I played high school football (when you had to buy your own stuff) really no one wore adidas cleats or gloves. When I played varsity, Nike cleats were more comfortable and frankly look better. That being said, that was 5 years ago for me, but I knew some football players who were upset about the switch, not enough to transfer or anything, but nonetheless didnt like it. Even the female athletes (soccer and golf) I knew at Michigan didn't like Adidas. Granted they are getting free stuff either way, but they said they did like Nike better. So, whether it has a measurable effect or not, who knows? I would just say from my purely anecdotal evidence, Nike > Adidas


December 7th, 2009 at 6:47 PM ^

that Sailboat Bill has done as AD. However, I've heard and/or read that it's not literally a legal contract but rather an agreement. If that's the case, I'd totally support the new AD if he/she were to say to ND, "playing every year through 2031 is nuts, and we won't do it. We'll play 4 years on, and then two years off instead."


December 7th, 2009 at 6:49 PM ^

heartbeat. Playing another team from the MidWest, and a team not associated with any conference to boot, provides no value to UM. Let them go play the National Guard.

NOLA Wolverine

December 7th, 2009 at 7:06 PM ^

Michigan needs to play real teams out of conference, the Big Ten schedule isn't enough, we need to go out west or south and play more real teams per year. Nothing would help a rebuilding process more than to play real opponents.


December 7th, 2009 at 7:13 PM ^

On one hand, if we dropped the ND series for a couple of years, we could play games against powerful programs like Alabama, USC, Texas, etc. Even if we lose to those teams, we could gain exposure and potentially valuable recruits by expanding into SEC & Pac-10 country. Plus, it never hurts to test your football team against the nation's elite. In fact, I think it would be good for us.

And in terms of history, I think there's a better case for playing Minnesota every year than ND. They were one of our earliest rivals and I personally love the battle for the Little Brown Jug. To be honest, I wish the Gophers were actually a better team so that there could be more of a contest in the rivalry.

On the other hand, there's also a great deal of history in the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry and it gets me fired up (along with a lot of other Michigan fans) every time the two teams play each other. ND has a national fanbase and a traditionally good program that's been on the decline as of late. Nothing's guaranteed, but I think we have a good chance to push our series lead higher in the next few years. Plus, if ND fields a good team, beating them really helps out our strength of schedule.

Plus, there's no guarantee the new AD wouldn't just remove ND and schedule a cupcake in their place, which would negate the point of clearing them off our schedule. So at this point, I'm more inclined to favor keeping ND on our schedule as opposed to dropping them, but I realize the rivalry has had large gaps between meetings before. I could probably accept a few years off between meetings, but it would be weird at first.


December 7th, 2009 at 8:05 PM ^

Plus, there's no guarantee the new AD wouldn't just remove ND and schedule a cupcake in their place

Amen. Right now, the BCS-div. AD rage is all Div. 2 cupcakes at home, all the time, and any space opened up by mucking with the schedule will likely devolve to more of the same. Let's wait until the BCS rule about counting D2 victories toward the BCS changes before we start clearing traditional rivals off our schedule.


December 7th, 2009 at 7:20 PM ^

Goes without saying that the money is pretty good for both these teams.
What's wrong with keeping ND along with picking up another big name and easing up on the MAC teams.


December 7th, 2009 at 8:13 PM ^

The door was opened when the BCS allowed games won against D-2 opponents to count toward the BCS. I haven't researched it, but this sounds like the kind of thing that ADs would have wanted. Ultimately, (speculation) money is the root cause of this D-2 business. But to put things in perspective, there would be no Mich. Stadium if money weren't a factor in the sport at least as far back as the 1920's.


December 7th, 2009 at 7:41 PM ^

I think an on/off rotation of some kind is the best option here.

It would help prevent the rivalry from becoming stale, allow both teams to fill that slot with another opponent of their choice, and allow Michigan to get some exposure in places other than the midwest.

Notre Dame is my second most hated team and the rivalry formed between the two most historically significant teams in college football history is excellent.

But it doesn't hurt anything for these teams to take a few years off every now and then.

If anything it will make the rivalry more intense. Just imagine if ND had to wait 2 or 3 years to get back at us after their heartbreaking loss. It would be important as ever to make this game count because you would have to live with the results for a long time. Or imagine if we had lost to Minnesota last year. We would still be waiting for our chance to get the LBJ back. I would be pissed!


December 7th, 2009 at 7:48 PM ^

don't seem realistic to me. The way to succeed "given the current BCS make-up," per Florida, Alabama, and to a lesser extent, us, is to schedule as few real teams as possible and as many cupcakes (all home games $$$), and to try to go undefeated, run up the scores, win the conference, and get an automatic bid to the BCS game.

I'm not a fan of this approach. I'd actually like to see real teams on the schedule and I'm not ready to count out ND being one of them by the time we're ready for one.

BCS beauty pageantry is debasing the sport, and I hope we can resist its influence (cupcakes) in the short term and see the last of the BCS in the long term.


December 7th, 2009 at 8:16 PM ^

Teams pick one game against a potentially tough team and then shcedule patsies because of the business side (home games) and the BCS side (wins). Florida always plays Florida State, which clearly recently has been to their great advantage.
The problem with MIchigan playing ND is that is it a midwest team during a time when the game has clearly shifted away from being a midwest game. He felt that Ohio State and Penn State has no year in-year out rival and therefore we better positioned.
God, I can't believe I'm defending Danielson, but this may be a version of the acorn effect.


December 7th, 2009 at 8:08 PM ^

I can understand the AD not wanting to lose the money a home game generates, but I think that people have to consider the other side of the coin.

If Michigan gives up a cupcake to play an elite program, there's potentially a great deal of prestige for the school involved. If we knock off a really good SEC team at home, we win in terms of apparel sales, national TV exposure, prestige, and critically, recruiting. And even if we lose, we still gain valuable experience and a chance for revenge in a one-and-one.

Sure, that's not immediate revenue for the university. But it potentially could be huge in the long term - I'm not so sure a victory over, say a hypothetical #1 USC or a #4 Texas wouldn't be worth MORE than a win over a Nowhere State/Never-heard-of U when all is said and done.


December 7th, 2009 at 8:41 PM ^

OSU didn't schedule ND in the 60's because he didn't want to risk losing Catholic OSU fans (per paragraph 8,

There's no reason we can't schedule Oregon and ND in the same year -- see '07. And that still leaves room for Div. 2 (Appy State?).

We can schedule other real teams w/o dumping ND to do it. Danielson: bad idea.


December 7th, 2009 at 10:43 PM ^

I don't have a problem playing them, but every single year makes it too tough to get games against other big-name schools. I'd much rather play them for two years, drop them for two years, and in the years without them play a USC or a Texas, etc.


December 7th, 2009 at 11:18 PM ^

I am failing to see how the "We can't add a strong opponent with ND already on our schedule" argument makes any sense. Going by Sagarin's rankings, USC comes in at 6th, Pitt comes in at 43rd, Stanford comes in at 19, MSU 52nd, Purdue 46th and UM ranks 87th. Just for one more comparison, that awful PSU schedule that we were all ripping them on (myself included) comes in at 83rd.

ND is not an excuse you can use on this topic