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