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Why the Michigan - Alabama match up almost didn't happen

When Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was first approached with the idea of playing the Crimson Tide down at Cowboy Stadium, he considered it quite a reach from a financial standpoint.

Brandon told the decision makers with the Cowboys stadium organization and ESPN, "This is a terrific idea but you can't afford it...it's never going to work."

On Brandon's mind was the $4.8 million in estimated admissions, and another $2.3 million in personal seat licenses and premium seating revenue that they'd be missing out on from playing a game somewhere other than The Big House.

"They went, 'You're right, we can't afford it,' so early on I didn't think they'd make it work. But ESPN worked with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys organization, and they figured out a strategy where they could make it work."

In the contract that Michigan signed back in October of 2010, the Wolverines agreed to be paid $4.7 million dollars, thus minimizing their overall financial loss.

"ESPN wanted it to be us, Alabama wanted it to be us, two historic programs, that's what we do. I wasn't going to tell them no, if we could work out the details to make it financially viable for us. When we give up a home game, that's a significant impact on our budget and our year, (so) the fact that we were able to work out something and smooth that over made it a very viable opportunity."

"There's probably a slight (financial) loss by virtue of we're playing the game in Dallas and not here, but some of the greater good in terms of excitement and interest, the travel parties, the development opportunities, the merchandising, there's going to be a lot of positives, too."

"I'm glad we're going, we're excited." Brandon added. "This game has gotten more attention than any game I can remember in the preseason, and that's good. That's what we do."

 

 

 

The logistics behind Notre Dame's trip to Ireland

When we see Notre Dame take on Navy in Ireland next weekend at 9am, the anticipation of the college football season will finally have started to ease with prior games on Thursday and Friday.

However, the logistics surrounding the trip probably won't come to mind. All the time and energy spent packing everything up, double and triple checking it, getting it all through customs, loading it onto the plane, unpacking everything at the stadium, and then packing it all up after the game, within an hour, to catch the plane back to South Bend will be a mere afterthought.

That's not the case for third year head equipment manager Ryan Grooms, whose shoulders the responsibility of making sure everything goes smoothly.

"It's a lot of similarity to a bowl game, with the extra items we're taking (for two practices)". We're taking everything and anything. We're basically taking the (Gugliemino Athletics Complex's) equipment room with us, just to be safe."

"There's no chance of fixing anything."

On Wednesday, Grooms will take about 35 trunks through customs and load it into the plane. Each trunk has an estimated $20,000 in equipment and they total about 15,000 pounds, plus the 222 passengers on board. The weight total doesn't even count the medical and video supplies.

Oh yeah, and once they arrive on site, the team will have share a dressing room of 28 lockers along with a makeshift locker room area.

Just to be safe, two sets of cleats are being packed for each player, a molded cleat and detachable surface cleat, because of the uncertainty surrounding the weather and the different style of grass that makes up the playing surface. 

The worst item you could forget according to Grooms?

"The worst thing you could is forget a player's helmet or jersey. There are two jerseys for every player. There are backup helmets. Knock on wood, I have not forgotten one of those items in my career. It could end a career, if you do."

 

 

 

New pre-game tradition at Ohio State

Urban Meyer and Mickey Marotti are starting a new pre-game tradition in Columbus on game day.

At the 23 minute mark (pre-game), the team will do "quick cals" with fans in the south stands. 

Details in the video. Seems like once again, the goal is to get fans in the stands early and to get them engaged. 

Spurrier: We've figured out how to win in the SEC

Finding a way to win in the SEC is much different than winning twenty years ago at Florida, according to Steve Spurrier.

Spurrier believes they've found the formula for success in the SEC.

“We’ve kind of figured out the best way to win around here is to play defense and run the ball.” he explained.

Spurrier admits he would love to throw it all over the place, like his Fun 'N Gun offenses of the past, but the bottom line is getting that "W" by any means necessary.

“We’d like to throw it all over the park. But you start to understand that maybe it’s just not going to work all the time. We all know it’s about beating the other guy. If that means running the ball 40-50 times and letting our defense do their job, that’s what we’ll do.”

 

In the locker room pre-game at Florida State

Really good audio here of Jimbo Fisher addressing the team in the locker room before the Seminoles take the field.

"The opportunities that you have in life, don't let them slide through your fingers. And the people who don't let them slide through their fingers are the people who truly believe that it's their time."

"I want you to understand something...this is our time." Fisher tells the team.

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