WTKA broadcast live from Schembechler Hall this morning and Sam and Ira did a solid segment with AD Dave Brandon.  Topics ranged of course, but Brandon also addressed some tough questions about divisional realignment, particularly where Ohio and Michigan might fall.

You can hear these and all the WKTA podcasts here, or click below, in two parts.  He gets into the division realignment questions in the second part:


A few key quotes on divisional realignment.

  • When asked if he were making the decision, would he put Michigan and Ohio State in the same conference division?  Brandon paused then answered. "No."
  • Sam asked, "Why?"  Brandon:  "Because we’re in a situation where one of the best things that could happen, in my opinion in a given season, would be the opportunity to play Ohio State twice.  Once in the regular season and once for the championship of the Big Ten.
  • Sam asked about whether they would hold the tradition to keep that the last game of the season.   Brandon:  "I think there’s a distinct possibility that that game will be a later game in the season, but not necessarily the last game of the season.  And that’s simply because…I don’t think the coaches, or the players, or the fans, or the networks or anyone, would appreciate that match-up to happen twice within the same seven day period.  So, however the divisional alignments occur, and I think we’re getting closer and closer, and I don’t get to make the decision but I get 1/12th of the vote…"
  • Further. Brandon: "What you’re really going to want is that last game of the regular season to really determine, often times, the championship—who’s going to be the champion of that division and go to the championship game and play for all the marbles.  So from a scheduling/timing perspective it’s a new ballgame and although I love playing Ohio State in the last game of the year, I don’t think it’s necessarily a slam dunk that that’s going to continue."
    Translation?  Bank on it.  Ohio State will be in the other division, we’ll meet every year midway through the Big Ten schedule.



    1. Well, I don't know about the rest of you out there but this absolutely sucks – Big Time. The OSU/UofM rivalry is unmatched anywhere else and these tools want to diminish it? Way too much money in College Sports and it has been this way for far too long. When is it enough for these "Growth Monkeys". Bo must surely be spinning right along with Woody.

    2. STUPID!

      Timto start shopping for a new AD?

    3. I have a theory, for what it is worth. Dave Brandon is test marketing this idea, just like he test marketed the new Domino's pizza. He's getting critical feedback on what matters to Michigan fans (and Ohio State fans. As I said, this may be the first thing that Michigan and Ohio State fans have ever agreed upon.) and he can take it back to the other ADs and to Jim Delany and say "Look, this is a dumb idea."

      Because it's not just Michigan fans and Ohio State fans who feel this way. This is becoming an MSM thing and is being picked up by national writers. It's a trial balloon and it's savvy business. There's still time to fix this and to placate the masses by saying "We heard you!"

      Also, additional benefit. Discussing this in this manner frames Michigan in a very positive long-time, big picture light. Michigan may be down at the moment, The Game may not have gone Michigan's way during the last decade, but it still matters. Brandon is focusing attention right now on Michigan, the brand, not Michigan, the 2010 football team. Given everything that has happened this week when that has been done, this is a smart CEO protecting his flagship brand.

      • Greg from MVictors

        Great stuff as always. On the trial balloon theory – maybe. And if even it wasn't a trial balloon, maybe there's still time to react. But my hunch is that the deal was done in Chicago, and they agreed on the structure of the league. The delay is that they are working on the scheduling details. My hunch.

    4. Well wecan start by saying UM’s new AD is a real tool and doesn’t want to face OSU once let alone twice. Second this would make The Game as bland and tasteless as Dominoes pizza. We must call a truce in the Border War and not let this happen !!

    5. I was directed here by Rittenberg's blog on ESPN. FWIW, I'm a State fan and I am absolutely incensed that this is even being contemplated. Michigan/OSU is one of the great rivalries in all of sports; those teams absolutely should be jockeying for position in the division standings all year long, which is the way to make the Michigan/OSU rivalry as similar to what it's been as can be.

    6. I suppose I should clarify: I'm a Michigan State fan. I know, I know, sorry, I'll go away. Just wanted to chime in that I agree with Yostal that it isn't just Wolverine and Buckeye fans who feel this way.

    7. I think having UM and OSU in different divisions is a GREAT idea. I went to Michigan and have been a fan my whole life. 1) The two best teams in any conference should be in that conference's Championship game – period (or else the point of a Championship Game is meaningless). If UM and OSU are the two best teams in the Conference (which in theory would be often as long as UM starts playing like they were a few years ago), then they both should be in the Big Ten Championship Game. This will give UM (and OSU) a better chance to represent the conference in the Big Ten Championship game and therefore, BCS bowl games. If they were in the same division, how terrible would it be if UM & OSU were both clearly the two best teams in the Conference as in 2006 leading up to their game, then afterwards one of them does not even play in the Big Ten Championship game?

    8. 2) This will give UM an opportunity to play OSU twice, which would be amazing and hopefully happen frequently. 3) Competitive balance in the divisions is a must, or else the Big 10 will be like the Big 12 was, which was a joke (with one great division and one bad division). Those three points are much more important than if we play OSU the last game of the regular season at the end of November.

    9. James F. Epperson

      I think this is a Mega-Dumb Idea. It is possible this is a means of “testing the waters,” so to speak, in which case it is even more imperative that we make our views known. Anyone have Brandon’s email?

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