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Varsity Blue

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Improving the Football Program

The football program at a big-time Division I University is a multi-faceted entity, and it requires many changes to individual aspects in order to radically change the program as a whole. Improvement can be measured in terms of wins, merchandise, exposure, academic achievement, even recruiting rankings, but most accurately by some sort of aggregation of these things. The Michigan football program, while still the nation's winningest of all time, has room for improvement. To move in a direction of positivity and modernity, I propose the following changes. Some of them apply to the athletic department on the whole.
  • Upgrade/update the spring game.
  • Create a new website (separate from MGoBlue) about Michigan's facilities. People (including recruits in every sport) care about the facilities at schools. A virtual tour of every facility for practicing, competing, or studying would be entertaining and enlightening. You have the facilities, so make a well-designed website to brag about them. Model it after the Arkansas version of same.
  • Speaking of websites, scrap the new MGoBlue. It looks terrible and is a pain in the ass to maneuver. Cloning the (terrible) layouts of CSTV sites was an awful idea. The new video, audio, and photo items are great, but there had to have been a better way to integrate them into the site.
  • Encourage more media exposure. With the Rich Rodriguez regime, this has improved a great deal. Rod has been all over ESPN and the local media, and even Mike Barwis is getting interviewed by Brice Feldman. Still, encourage more of this. The all-access feature on College Football Live was a great start. Being more friendly to the media (local and national) means that the media will be more friendly back to you.
  • Encourage walkons. Like media exposure, Rodriguez has already started doing this. Like Bo Pelini's plan to revive Nebraska football, having homegrown walkons will help the team because they are proud to be Wolverines. Take kids from Michigan and Ohio especially, but also any other student who can make the cut. If kids would rather walk on at Michigan than get a scholarship at Michigan State, it would put a smile on my face.
  • At least try for a night game. If it means the old alumni won't come, well... that may not necessarily be a bad thing.
  • Give out free maize shirts to fans during maize out games. A sponsor will undoubtedly cover the entire cost, and the "special event" game will no longer look like crap.
  • Like Beilein's meeting with the Maize Rage to brainstorm ideas, have Rod (along with Bill Martin, Bruce Madej, even Marty Bodnar) meet with students for the same purpose. I am not the only person with these sorts of ideas, let the other ones come out.
  • Perhaps most importantly (and, unfortunately, least under our control), continue beating Notre Dame and Michigan State, and start beating Ohio State. On top of bragging rights and prestige, this helps recruiting. Enough said.
This is just a little collection of some ideas that didn't take me more than five minutes to come up with. If you have any of your own, drop them in the comments.

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“Improving the Football Program”

  1. Blogger kowisja Says:

    Label you forgot: Fluff