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Posted on Wed, May 18, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

Michigan vs. Ohio State football at night? Not a bright idea, football coach Brady Hoke says

By Michael Rothstein

CHICAGO — As Big Ten Conference athletic directors add more night games to football schedules, there’s one game Michigan football coach Brady Hoke says should only be played under the sun.

Michigan vs. Ohio State.

While it is unlikely the league will drop its long-standing policy of no November night games, Hoke made it clear the Wolverines’ biggest rivalry game will remain an afternoon affair.

BIG TEN MEETINGS COVERAGE sports reporter Michael Rothstein covered the three-day Big Ten Conference spring meetings in Chicago. Here is a compilation of his reports:

“No,” Hoke said of moving Michigan-Ohio State to a prime-time evening slot. “Not that one.”

The Wolverines will play the first night game at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 10 when they play host to Notre Dame in an 8 p.m. game (ESPN).

Michigan Stadium now has permanent lights, and it’s likely there will be more night games in the future, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said last week. Hoke has coached in several night games.

“I think this game is a special one, obviously, when you play a national rival like Notre Dame,” Hoke said. “I think our last year at Ball State we played eight night games because of the connection with ESPN. And at San Diego State we played a lot of night games.”

Hoke, like many coaches, isn’t a fan of night games.

When a team is on the road, the players often have to kill an entire day in the hotel. Under former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, Michigan players would often go on long walks and mill around the hotel to pass time and to keep their legs moving instead of watching games on television all day.

Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner said the league is going to have more night games in 2011 in September and October than ever before. However, he said it is unlikely the conference would go to November night games.

“The networks would love to have more night games, but our institutions would like to keep it where it’s at,” Rudner said. “Their appetite for prime-time football is pretty much tapped out right now.”

Hoke, though, views night games as something coaches just have to deal with.

“As a coach, I think you always like to kick the ball off at 12:05 and let’s go,” Hoke said. “But with television today, the positiveness that you can get for your league, that’s where it starts. It is something you deal with, and you have a template of how you’re going to do it, day of the game and all those things.

“I hope not to play a bunch of them, but you’re going to play them, so you adjust.”

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by email at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Fri, May 20, 2011 : 1:50 a.m.

Coach Hoke is right. Do they want maize and blue fans? Or maize and blue-lipped fans? Too cold at night, Mr. Brrrrrandon. Please - listen to your inner Bo, "1pm, Dave, 1pm"


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

Nothing in the story explains why the OSU game, or a November game, can't be at night... And why isn't there a controversy over Bo saying that football is meant to be played at 1PM, while Hoke saying 12:05? That's a 55 minute discrepancy... :)


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 11:57 a.m.

It is a little late to wish that the games be played at 1p or 3:30p, especially with the demands of the rabid college football fans.


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 7:31 a.m.

"Under the sun"- ??? IN NOVEMBER whether in Columbus or Ann Arbor, there's seldom "sun" to play under. More like: "Under the Snow" or "Under the Sleet" or "Under Frostbite for Everyone." Coach Hoke is right - again. He didn't say this but he must have been thinking: We might get 111,000 people to show up in Michigan Stadium for a November night game... ONCE. From that point, there'd be no chance that many fans would endure that experience again. Thus: would end the decades of sell out attendance at Michigan Stadium.


Fri, May 20, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

Seriously?? They sold out a hockey night game in the big house. They'll sell out every football night game as well.


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

No wonder we lost so many games during the last 3 seasons - the players were too tired after going on "long walks" while waiting for games to start.

Terry Star21

Wed, May 18, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

Doesn't matter.....Michigan Football just completed a 10 year battle against a cheating football team....night or day, Michigan is still the fan favorite and the number one victorious college football team in America....MgoBlueForTim !


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

What? isn't your team on probation?


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

I think they should do it at least once so we Michigan fans in California can get the thrill of both the game and the fans.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

Night game in November with tens of thousands of drunk buckeyes in Ann Arbor? Not a good combo.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

The U of M hospital would be over run with alcohol poisoned buck nuts if we let them drink till a 7 or 8 pm start. Hoke is right no OSU night game they can not help themselves.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

I don't think Bo expected time and innovation to stand still forever, and I personally look forward to some prime-time games, despite 'corporate greed' bemoaned about by another poster. However; I sincerely doubt columbus or AA have enough riot gear to properly contain the result of o$u honks having all day to binge drink and get geared up to show how big a 'fan' they are. In short, nobody should have anything to do with anybody from cleveland after the sun goes down.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.

Do not understand how this is news or why I should care...


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Boycott watching the night games to send a message to the GREEEEEEEDY boob tube networks. Jim Delaney and the Big 10 presidents need to show their backbone instead of sacrificing for the almighty $$$$$.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

Interesting, I don't see anything on why not in November, or why not the OSU game...


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Why can't they play the game at night, and what difference does it make if it's OSU or WSU?

Michael Rothstein

Wed, May 18, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

A2, Confused by what you mean...please explain and hopefully I can answer.