Well Brandon is finally gone. I really really really really really really really hope that Jimbo comes to Michigan. I've been reading on multiple blogs that "supposedly" Jim has expressed his desire to former teammates that he wants to pull Michigan out of this hole and take the job if offered. Take it for what it's worth. Either way Go Blue!
Jim Harbaugh is just the type of guy we need to get this turned back around.
Harbaugh! Harbaugh! Harbaugh! Either Harbaugh and we're all happy.
It was hard rooting for Michigan this year knowing Brandon was slowly destroying the department, while Hoke was letting the football team go down the drain. Hoke, while a nice guy, is either a position coach or a MAC coach. His player development record is depressing, and his coaching hires are questionable at best. Looking forward to better days with whomever the new hire is.
Probably. There seems a great deal of chest-thumping at another site ... as if they alone initiated this change. Regardless ... those who think this necessarily means a glorious reversal of fortunes may be disappointed. Whoever the new AD is, he or she will face the same problems:o Increasing costs of fielding athleticso Increasing cost of compliance with various regulations concerning athleticso Potential of declining attendance at the main revenue sport footballo Declining significance of the Big 10 in the national football discussiono Escalating football arms race caused by the playoff systemThere may well be a slight turn-back from the "corporate" culture, but there will be no turn back from the ever-present need for more money. Count on that.Whether the departure of Brandon opens the way for a preferred coach such as Harbaugh ... we'll see.
Fashionably contrarian, as per usual. The shtick gets old after a while. Actually, it got old immediately.I see no chest-thumping at the site you're talking about. I'm not sure how you managed to conflate "elated" with "self-satisfied." In fact, the general tone from the heads of state suggest that they're rather surprised that sports networks even picked up on their stuff.
Both you and I take the role of contrarian. If you want to say I'm fashionable about it, so be it.Nowhere did I use the words "elated" or "self-satisfied" ... so how you can accuse me of conflating the two I don't know. And to say the people at the other site aren't congratulating themselves indicates you're not reading the site with open eyes.
Please indicate where said "chest-bumping" is located.
There is valid critcism of mgoblog's glee (dancing on graves) and self-satisfaction (tooting own horn) as well as the larger mob-mentality in the Michigan fanbase. There are definitely echos of the anti-RichRod sentiment in 2010 with the anti-Brandon sentiment in 2014.But set the environment aside, and there is one decision that is clearly good and one that is bad in hindsight. (And no, not everyone thought Rodriguez had to go.) Things have gotten a lot worse under Brandon. He fired one of the best football coaches in the country and hired someone who was underqualified for the job because he said the right stuff at press conferences. Also, he reflected Brandon's backward-looking vision of the football program. Brandon was completely ineffective at maintaing a positive relationship with the fanbase, alumni, and students. There were "Fire Dave Brandon" groups formed within his first year at the helm. He was criticized from the outset for letting Michigan and Ohio State be in different divisions, compromising the consequences of "The Game" for the sake of potential marketing gains for a rematch. It only got worse from there...Firing Brandon doesn't guarantee anything, and the way it went down may leave a bad taste in your mouth but it had to happen. It's a necessary first step in a potential turnaround.Yeah, some said the same for Rodriguez, but raise your hand if you think Dave Brandon is going to haunt Michigan someday as the athletic director for another program. There's ZERO chance of that, because, unlike Rodriguez, he has no success at the job he failed to do well at Michigan. Also unlike Rodriguez, the trajectory is negative.Don, I do think the way it went down is rather nasty - and does not reflect well on Michigan. Any head coach considering a UofM offer will have to view the toxic environment as a significant negative, which is why I think we are kidding ourselves if we think we can land Mullen, Graham, Sumlin and other elite coaches who are in situations far better than Michigan is right now. The risk outweighs the potential rewards. This thing has tainted Michigan and it will take a long time to recover. But it still had to happen.Today is far from a great day, but you have to start somewhere. Get out of the mud before you start putting one foot in front of the other.
My post above was not intended to suggest I'm against the result: I am not and never was all that much a fan of Dave Brandon. I agree that his departure does provide an avenue for other changes to take place for the better.No, my post was really more a reflection on what I saw as the unrealistic expectations of many internet commentators I've read. Some -- not all -- but some posts elsewhere spoke of lower football and basketball ticket prices, expansion of non-revenue athletic programs, expansion of facilities ... as if there was no connection between the *cost* to run an athletic program and the *revenue* needed to support it. Brandon went overboard in some of his revenue schemes, but a new AD will not bring about the sports utopia some are dreaming of.You are right about big-name coaches casting a leery eye at Michigan in the wake of this. Some on "the other site" want to think they were responsible for this turn of events. That's utter nonsense, of course -- major universities do not maneuver an AD out based on some sports blog's story about snarky e-mails. And even if it were true, then it's a very bad thing -- because if the university can be manipulated so easily by a sports blog, then no sane coach would have anything to do with Michigan. No coach would want to be beholden to the whims of the staff and users of a sports blog.Brandon's downfall was caused primarily by his presiding over a time when the very real prospect of football revenue declining raised its head. That was caused by the coaching staff that Brandon hired. Couple that with what was obviously Brandon's abrasive style with others, and it's easy to see how Brandon likely had more enemies than friends in high places. If Michigan kept winning he would still be there; but his primary revenue source -- football -- did not win, and thus he had to go. The e-mail thing was simply evidence of Brandon's lack of judgment, but not the causal effect of his leaving.As for Hoke ... a man in over his head, burdened by a stubborn pride that won't let him admit it. He won't survive. But let's not act as if there wasn't widespread support for him initially. Winning football games covers up a multitude of problems. He failed to win football games; his problems became evident.Many want Harbaugh. I think Harbaugh would fit the current players well and would bring a much-needed dose of hard-assed discipline to what appears to be a program in need of it. I'm skeptical Harbaugh will be the next coach, but I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised by it.
You are talking about Mgoblog. It's OK to say Mgoblog. Or even Brian Cook, specifically.Ticket revenues are a relatively small part of the revenue pie. I think that bit is getting overstated. As is the performance of the football team. Sure, it might have helped Brandon weather the storm but it wouldn't have been enough for him to keep his job anymore than the basketball team's success had him keep his job. It's a huge oversimplification to equate his job status with football wins and losses. It's a huge factor, but not the only factor. For Hoke - yeah. For Brandon - there's more to it. Even in 2011 he wasn't popular and some people wanted him fired. It was a small minority, but it was already there, even when the team won a BCS bowl game.
I do think that some of the Brandon venom has been overblown based on the team's struggles. I don't think he is pure evil and there are some things that he's done well with. But at the same time you need a strong leader in times of trouble and he isn't it. His attitude toward anyone outside of his close circle is very frustrating. I do think that winning would cure everything and people wouldn't be so upset with him if we were competing for a conference title. Personally, I really liked Bill Martin and thought that he was a strong AD - stay out of the limelight, build the department's teams and facilities, and let the product on the field define you. He botched the coaching search after Carr, but he also handled the basketball program situation very well. Brandon could have gotten away with his CEO-style leadership if the team was winning. When the team isn't and he's pulling these tricks, that's hard to swallow. And if your CEO-style AD sucks at PR, then what do you have him for?AC1997
This is an excellent post. I agree with everything you said here.Brandon's problem is that the quality of his product is waaaaay down the list of his priorities, and he apparently gets belligerent when the people who buy his product leave crappy reviews, as if they shouldn't care, either.
Some things can be seen as good -- Basketball team, facility upgrades, etc. His biggest fault is hiring Brady Hoke. Hoke just isn't good enough for the job and we all know this by now. Hopely the next AD can hire the right guy.
Many thought Hoke was the new messiah for a time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
The list of things Brandon has done very well is short. Most of them fall under 'duh' (e.g., don't fire the basketball coach from WVU).I actually think Brandon IS a strong leader. The problem is his direction/vision were terrible for the program. He was a disaster, not because he was bad at leading people but because he was trying to lead them down the wrong path.Everyone knocked Martin but look at all the things he acheived. Stadium expansion, player development center, hired Beilein and Rodriguez (two of the best coaches in America.) Martin should have handled the Rodriguez hiring better, but he didn't botch it entirely. Brandon, in comparison, has been a debacle.
Brandon deserves ZERO credit for the basketball team's success. All he did there was not fire Beilein. Not exactly a tough decision.
One more thing: Brandon is getting that $3 mil severance pay, to be distributed in 4 yrs. I know the university has a clause saying that they'll withhold it if Brandon finds a job, but wow.
Well, we've had a banker and a pizza guy for our last two AD's. Here's an idea: hire someone with a background in athletic department administration.
lets just hope theyre wise enough to hire an AD who does not watch film with coaches, sit in on meetings, insist on evaluating recruits, etc - and lets hope the new coach, whoever it is, would never allow the AD to join his staff for pizza party film sessions. after brandon, they not only need the most qualified candidate, but also an AD with no interest in wearing his 1970s letterman jacket (as we all hopefully know, varsity letters are not prerequisites for the AD job)