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Posted on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 9:19 a.m.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon discusses Big Ten expansion

By Michael Rothstein

While there hasn’t been much talk of Big Ten expansion over the past few days after a flurry of conversations in the past few weeks, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said he believes expansion is going to happen.

In what form, he’s not sure.

“I think the Big Ten has to work to be competitive and competitive in today’s world means a lot of things,” Brandon said Monday on the Michigan coaches’ radio show. “There’s a lot of ways you can go and where the TV money gets in the wonderful jewel of the Big Ten channel and that network means an awful lot to the conference in terms of the resources it provides.

“…There are a lot of different issues you have to think about.”

Among them, he said, are rivalries and academics.

If the Big Ten expands, he said he doesn’t have a preference whether it grows by one, three or five teams.

The paramount issue to him regards scheduling. As an athletic director - especially for football in a BCS conference - scheduling is tricky.

So until things shake out, Brandon said he’s holding off on making any big scheduling decisions regarding Michigan football.

Until something shakes out, he said, there isn’t much to do because the landscape could look different in a couple of years. With 2011 scheduling done, Brandon said his major scheduling responsibility doesn’t begin until the 2012 schedule.

“Before you get too deeply into the future you have to look at this whole conference expansion thing and where does it land, what does it look like, does it change anything about the composition of the conference,” Brandon said after the radio show. “Because if it does, it could change the scheduling dynamics and until you get into all that, my attitude is you’re chasing a ghost. My attitude for 2012-13 is let’s just get a little bit of time and see where this all lands.”

One thing he is fairly certain of is that Michigan and Ohio State will continue to play.

“Anybody who comes up with a proposal that said Michigan shouldn’t play Ohio State,” Brandon said, “should be institutionalized.”

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



Wed, Apr 28, 2010 : 4:59 p.m.

@ lumberg: Speaking as a Michigan fan living in Austin, TX, traveling by air to-and-from Ann Arbor is a three-or-four hour ordeal. The kids can handle it. Traveling it by bus is a different story. I think the conference would have to minimize or eliminate bus trips of certain lengths. I've suggested in another post that the Big Ten look into brokering a deal with an airline in hopes of making more effective travel options, for players as well as fans, possibly even for local media. I know track and field events are generally held in giant meets, where various conference teams come to compete. Maybe they could apply this to some of the other sports so as to alleviate travel strains and costs? I'm not claiming these are the answers, but I feel confident there are feasible ways to make way for a multi-region Big Ten. Regarding regional expansion...what teams fit the bill? Keep in mind, much of this expansion business is about opening up new REGIONAL television markets. Aside from Notre Dame, what other major football programs are out there? I hope you wouldn't look at the MAC for expansion. What do you consider regional? Kentucky?--I doubt they would leave the SEC. West Virginia?--East of all the Big Ten aside from PSU, and they do not open up much of a new region. Pittsburgh possibly makes sense. Missouri?--Closer than Texas, but still quite a drive. It sounds more and more they will expand to 16 teams, and ND won't be one of them, so who will these five regional teams be?

Terry Star21

Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 12:33 p.m.

Mr. Brandon has issued the most intelligent comment I have hear on the expansion talk. I think we just enjoy this magical season of many, many Michigan wins and put the expansion on the back burner. Mr. Brandon speaks on University issues best, from advice and actions of our The King express. Whether it be 12 or 16 schools of names, our King and his court will win 12-16 games. Mr. Brandon needs to arrange the BCS fan packages, because this year the King puts together a season of all ages..........................inspired by the from the book of Theo212


Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 9:41 a.m.

Scheduling for football is easy - its one game a week and travel is nominal! Now try scheduling for basketball, track, baseball, curling, lacrosse, soccer etc! For those who want Texas, imagine the basketball team playing at Texas on a Tuesday night! Imagine the travel on these kids. Now, imagine you are a sport that does not get to fly and take the bus! A bus trip to Nebraska sounds fun on a Thursday, doesn't it? Conferences were created for REGIONAL purposes - shared common philioshies and to make travel easy... adding Texas is not either. Nor is adding Rutgers. If they are to expand, make it REGIONAL!!!