ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Big Ten play has arrived, and we all can be grateful for that. Especially Michigan fans, who watched three straight games that ended long before halftime.
There are worse things than being 3-0, so the Wolverines aren’t going to complain too much. Judging from the questions I received, fans are eager to get to the real stuff and see how Michigan measures up against better competition.
Note: Submitted questions have been edited for length and clarity.
Although Bill Snyder would approve, I’m really embarrassed by Michigan’s nonconference schedule. I know it’s to make money. Is there any sense in the athletic department about how poorly this reflects on UM football? — Tom G.
I’m not here to defend Michigan’s nonconference schedule, which was uninspiring at best and embarrassing at worst. But since a few people have asked, I’ll give you my understanding of how Michigan ended up with such a milquetoast slate.
Michigan’s goal for budgetary purposes is to play seven home games every year. I’m not the CFO of Michigan Athletics, so don’t ask me why seven is the magic number, but it is. When the Big Ten switched to nine conference games starting in 2016, it created problems with future home-and-home series against Virginia Tech and UCLA, both of which were announced in 2013, when Dave Brandon was still Michigan’s athletic director.