Brandon Talks About Evaluating Football

Michigan AD David Brandon made a live appearance on The Huge Show -- Brandon spoke in detail on the football team this year, and on his evaluation process for the program.

The Huge Show - the whole interview


Brandon's Take On the Football Team

"I think at this point in the season we've seen some really good improvement in some areas, and some disappointments. If Rich was here, he'd be the first one to tell you that. We've had a lot more young players on the field than we ever would have planned, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

"There are three phases to the game of football. I think by anyone's standard, our offense is exciting and it's a threat to anybody who has tried to defend it. We've scored a lot of points, and we've certainly moved the ball for a lot of yards. But we turn it over too much, and that's hurt us. Particularly these last two games we were fortunate to win, but you can't turn the ball over five times a game and expect to win a lot of football games.

"On the defensive side of the ball, this is such a young team. The development these kids go through from the time they're 18 and 19 to the time they are 22, 23 is amazing, the amount of weight, speed and strength they gain. That's the case in all programs across the country. We've got a bunch of 18 and 19 year old guys out there trying to chase down and tackle and fight off blocks of 22 and 23 year old guys.

"We have two big games to play. It's important to see how our guys improve, particularly as we step up the level of competition, so I'm like everyone else. I'm anxious to see how this all pans out."

On His Evaluating the Football Team

"It's not as simple as win-loss records. It's just not. People want to try to make it that simple, but there are so many things you have to look at when you measure the strength of a program. You've got to look at your pipeline of recruits, your academic performance of recruits as well as your current student-athletes. You have to look at the staff; how the staff's performing and working together.

"I'm going in those locker rooms before the game, during the game and after the game and practices, seeing how the team responds in difficult situations. Going over the game films and finding out exactly where the breakdowns occur and why they occur. I do that. I don't know if that's normal or not, but I understand.

"I'm sitting in on film sessions and having the opportunity to really look at how the game's unfolding, because I want to know. It's a big part of our program. I tell people all the time, the University of Michigan athletic department cannot be successful unless Michigan football leads our success. Mark Twain once said, 'if you put all your eggs in one basket, you'd better watch your basket.' Football is our basket, so I watch it very carefully. That's my job, and I do that.

"But I also get the opportunity to meet the kids. At the end of the season I can interview kids; I can interview parents. I have access to the entire program and look at it in its totality, and that's what I'll do with football as well as the other 26 sports we play. That's what athletic directors do."

"Every sport I've got a whole protocol set up where you do a complete review of all aspects of the program. And we not only look at the head coaches and the assistant coaches, we look at the trainers, the doctors, the strength and conditioning staff, the equipment managers, we look at all aspects of the program to see where we're getting it right and where we're getting it wrong. If there are things we can correct by training and investment, we will do it. If there are things we have to correct by personnel changes, we'll do that, too."

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