U-M AD Brandon on night games, playoffs

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
4:46
PM ET
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- If you were planning on coming to Michigan for a night football game this season -- don't count on it.

That was the message from Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon on Thursday as he discussed myriad football topics along with the announcement of the 2013 Winter Classic being played at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, 2013.

"It’s getting pretty late in the game for us to be scheduling a night game. For the most part, we are down the road in terms of scheduling. I’m reluctant to schedule a night game here unless it is really big," Brandon said. "I think we set the bar real high with the first one and I want the second one to be every bit as good. We want the matchup to be right and the time of year to be right and so I don’t think it is going to happen this next year.

"But I’ll bet it is going to happen that next year."



Interestingly enough, Notre Dame -- Michigan's opponent in the first night game at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 10 -- will be on the schedule in Ann Arbor, Mich. in 2013.

However, Brandon wouldn't commit to whether or not the Notre Dame game would become a yearly night-time fixture.

"I don’t know. The first one was pretty good," Brandon said. "We’ll just have to see. I haven’t really talked to them about it."

And he also said he hasn't been approached about playing the 2012 Michigan-Notre Dame game in South Bend, Ind. at night.

"No. It doesn’t mean we won’t or they haven’t been thinking about it," Brandon said. "Just that I hadn’t heard anything about that."

Open to a plus-one, but loving the bowls

Brandon also said Thursday he realizes there is a movement for change within college football -- he's just not sure what that is going to be.

He has told WolverineNation in the past he is against a playoff system, in part because he thinks it doesn't answer the issues raised by the bowl system and is concerned about the safety of some teams.

Brandon reiterated some of those points Thursday, but also indicated he could potentially support the 'plus-one' model adding a game. He said he felt it could have worked this season -- but not in most others.

"In most years, if you were to apply this plus-one formula, you would have this horrible fight breaking out when number four says they are number four and number five says they we should be number four," Brandon said. "And number six is undefeated and says ‘Wait a minute, we should be number four.’

"You’re going to have the same stress and tension from teams that don’t play common opponents and sometimes don’t play at the same levels and you are comparing records and statistics and it just doesn’t work."

Meanwhile, he again said he supports the bowl system, citing the experience his team had in New Orleans at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

One thing concerns him more than others, though: Messing with the Rose Bowl.

"The other thing I don’t want to screw up is the Rose Bowl," Brandon said. "If we figure out a way to come up a new scheme that puts at risk that history and tradition of the Rose Bowl and the relationship the Pac-12 and Big Ten have, it would be a sorry day."

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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