As I’m sure you’ve all read by now, Michigan has announced that the 2011 Notre Dame game will be played under the lights at Michigan Stadium. My first reaction?
It’s not fair that I’ll have (finally) graduated just in time to not have student tickets for what should be one of the most electric atmospheres the Big House has ever seen.
Take away my selfish complaint, and I’m left with a lot of excitement: I don’t think I’m the only fan who’s been waiting for years for a night game at Michigan Stadium, and having a game of this magnitude at night can only help Michigan’s stadium atmosphere, national reach, and recruiting power.
In other words, Dave Brandon hit the nail on the head. He has handled the transition to athletic director masterfully, showing off his PR prowess during the press conference announcing the NCAA allegations and now showing he isn’t afraid to stir up the pot a little to make his mark on the athletic department. If Brandon can continue to keep the athletic department profitable, like his predecessor, Bill Martin, while continuing to connect with fans in a way that Martin could never quite do, he could go down alongside Don Canham and Fielding Yost as one of the all-time great Michigan ADs.
Now, it’s way too early to be putting Brandon up next to those names. But, at the very least, he’s very much on the right track.