Last week I talked about finding the “bottom”, that is, the end of the spiral of crappy things happening to this football team.  I don’t know if we’re there, but out there before the game Saturday you felt a weight was lifted and the mood was actually a bit festive.

Re: Big Dave – Ultimately what did Brandon in weren’t the changes he made to the athletic program.  Even the biggest haters would admit there were some things he did that worked.  For me, I’ll fondly remember his role in smoothing out the practice-gate mess (even before he was AD), bringing in the night games and adding the Legends Program.   What sunk Brandon was that he treated people like crap.

As I’ve seen (and heard behind the scenes), being an outsider, President Schlissel took a look under the covers during these past few weeks he found a very conspicuous lack of people standing up to defend Big Dave.  Take Hoke.  You are probably tired of hearing how he is a such good dude.  While very few (if any) people think Brady will be coaching next year, when he’s evaluated I’m certain he’ll have many folks to throw support his way in some form or another, because he’s down to earth, lacks a noticeable ego and relates to people.  You can be a strong leader and make major changes without being a complete cock.

Historic Shift Afoot – I’ll probably hit more on this later, as you might guess were are living through one of the biggest regime swaps in athletics/football department history.  Off the top in no particular order:

* Late 1960s – Don Canham “wins” AD position, Bump moves out of coaching into athletic department, Bo Schembechler hired.

* Late 1930s – Harry Kipke fired, Yost’s authority suppressed when Ralph Aigler brings in Fritz Crisler.

* 2000s – Dave Brandon takes over, fires RichRod and hires in Brady Hoke.

* Today – New President Schlissel fires Brandon fired and (football coaching situation TBD).


After the jump – Arena, Mood, and more


Arena:  A couple notes for you:

* Weekend of Champions – The opportunity to honor B1G champions celebrating a reunion on 10 year intervals.  Not sure why they a) gave everyone scarves, and b) designed them like it was a Penn State reunion but whatever.  1974 “Wolf” Geoff Steger gave me a closer look before the game:

Geoff Steger - Michigan

* Bacon Back – Great to see John U. Bacon upstairs in the press box again and I’ll leave it at that.  (Well, ok he gets a decal.)

* The Alumni Band always kills it – it was cool seeing the current band slap high fives all the way down the tunnel before taking the field pregame:


* Sideline scenes – Three exclamation points means they MEAN IT!

Mood Update:  The Mood Index, the metric trying to gauge how great it is to be a Michigan Wolverine.  It’s ok right now, the mood was lifted (big time) with the pending #1000SSS regime change and the win helped:

Michigan Mood Index ( The Mood - Michigan fans

Uniform Update:  Nothing timeline worthy, but here are those pink gloves:


Pink Gloves - Michigan


Historical Games Notes:  Primarily via #1000SSS:

* The Michigan defense held Indiana to only 24 yards passing on Saturday. The last time an opponent had fewer than 25 yards passing was Sept. 11, 1999, vs. Rice.

* Gardner threw for 220 yards, notching his 12th career 200-yard passing game. He is now tied with Jim Harbaugh (1983-86) and Denard Robinson (2009-12) for most 200-yard games on U-M’s career list.

* Gardner recorded 22 completions, giving him 429 in his career. He is now ranked sixth in U-M history, passingDenard Robinson (427, 2009-12) today.

* Gardner threw for 220 yards in the game. He now ranks fifth on U-M’s career list with 5,888 yards, passing Todd Collins (5,858, 1991-94) today.



Dr. Sap’s Decals | Morning in Ann Arbor Edition  Indiana Dekes

Horace Prettyman Breaks Hearts | TWIMFbH (1879-1883)

Tighten up your Lid, Get #ChadTough


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  1. Greg,

    You’re a smart, thoughtful guy, and this statement isn’t up to your standards:

    “As I’ve seen (and heard behind the scenes), being an outsider, President Schlissel took a look under the covers during these past few weeks he found a very conspicuous lack of people standing up to defend Big Dave.”

    I can’t speak about what you’ve heard, but the rest is false and it doesn’t take much examination of the facts to see the broad support by insiders (and lack of criticism — even when he’s down or gone, when people tend to air grievances).

    * Hoke in yesterday’s press conference (again, after Brandon was gone): “No doubt [he had a positive impact]. Look around, look what he’s done for the athletic teams, what he’s done for the University. Playing for a team gives you a different perspective on how he is. / He’s a great individual. I wish him all the luck, and I support him.”
    * Players quoted yesterday (I don’t have the quotes at hand)
    * Stephen Ross was effusive in the Wall Street Journal, calling him one of the best in the country and saying his confidence in Brandon was essential to his donation.
    * The open letter signed by all varsity coaches, praising and supporting Brandon
    * The student-athletes’ representatives issued a letter strongly supporting him

    Coaches, students, major donors — who is left? And let’s look at this reputedly unlikeable person’s past:
    * Mary Sue Coleman reputedly was a big supporter and gave him her confidence
    * When he was hired, he had been a regent and was well-known by insiders, and obviously was thought of favorably.enough that they wanted him back.
    * Bo liked him, from what I’ve read
    * He was hired twice as CEO of large companies
    * He was considered by the GOP as a gubernatorial candidate

    Also, for what it’s worth, I sent Brandon an polite, reasonable email and received a thoughtful, appropriate response.

    I know Brian Cook and his mob repeat statements like yours and other unsubstantiated slander, with no restraint or consideration of who they harm, but repetition doesn’t make lies and rumors any more true, or make their behavior any more acceptable.

    • Toss out the past, because very few people thought he wasn’t a slam dunk hire at the time. I repeatedly called him Super Dave in his first year.

      I really can’t say it any other way – if you are around here you understand how many people he pissed off. It’s staggering really. You don’t have to believe me, but I’ll tell you that what I said about President Schlissel investigating and getting a loud lack of support for Brandon is a big leap beyond just a hunch.

  2. Greg,

    Thanks for responding and addressing my uncertainty. One clarification:

    “if you are around here you understand how many people he pissed off.”

    Just for clarification: When you say “around here”, do you mean in UM blogosphere? Among alumni? In Ann Arbor? Do you work for or with the athletic department?

    There’s a big difference between angering bloggers and their readers (not hard at all) and getting a bad reputation among people who actually know you, in the athletic department.