Thursday, June 11, 2020

Michigan Thursday: Why Washington?

Sometimes I wonder if Michigan's athletic director's prior to accepting the job even followed Michigan Football.   Michigan even has had two recent AD's that were actually on the team including current AD Warde Manuel and former CEO of Toys-R-US David Brandon.    We all know David might go down as one of the worst AD's in the history of the program and we continue to live with his mistakes. 

Let me take you back to August 2014, when Michigan announced a home and home contract with Washington.   This is the quote from then Michigan head coach Brady Hoke:  "There have been some exciting, down-to-the-wire football games between Michigan and Washington, and we anticipate the same type of contests when this series is played at the outset of the next decade"  News Flash: San Diego State does not play UW this year.  By October of 2014 Brandon was fired and at the end of the season Brady Hoke was let go as well.    That was not a good year for Michigan Football as a whole. 

You may be asking, why is scheduling that game a bad decision?  For many reasons, but lets just mention the 2 headliners:

  • Scheduling a difficult road game to start the season is just ridiculous.  

  • When was the last time Michigan won a pre-big ten non-conference game out west?

Answer: 1996 against Colorado.   Thank you David Brandon for your lack of leadership and clear understanding of nothing Michigan Football.  

With the COVID-19 Pandemic and Seattle being one of the hardest hit areas, this game is highly in doubt.   Rumors are that Michigan is looking to replace that game with a MAC team in the Big House.  That switch-a-roo is not going to be easy, as these games are scheduled many years in advance and come with expensive out clauses.    How the virus effects those contracts is going to be very interesting.   It's pretty rare to replace a game that is 2 1/2 months out on the same date. 

It seems scheduling a school that could drive vs. fly would make the most sense.   Here is a list of  MAC schools opening weekend opponents:

9/3: Maine @ Ball State 
9/4: Colgate@ WMU

Miami @Pitt
Rhode Island @N. Illinois 
NC Central@Ohio 
KSU@Penn State 

It would be really hard to change a game against a top conference opponents so I would take those off the list right away.  

Here is how I would rate the possibilities - Highest to Lowest
  1. San Jose State might not want to travel cross country to an empty stadium in Mt. Pleasant and CMU's head coach is a friend of the program.  I'm guessing CMU has the highest percentage of happening. 
  2. Western could work out a deal to re-schedule Colgate or another tooth paste.
  3. Traveling to Tulsa might not be in the cards for Toledo 
  4. Northern Illinois I would think would prefer the payday at the Big House vs. Rhode Island at home
  5. Ohio could also change its contract with NC Central.  
If game day travel is important aspect for an opponent early in the season, that would make Toledo and WMU a higher probability.   WMU is about a 100 miles from Ann Arbor,  Toledo 55 miles, and CMU is roughly 140 miles.  

  • Michigan is trending for 2021 4 star CA 6'2 187 WR Christian Dixon 

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