The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 91

������ inside michigan athletics Night Game A Success, More Likely To Come Michigan waited 132 years to stage its first night game at The Big House, and athletics director David Brandon knew the initial event would set the standard for any future evening affairs. That standard may be impossible to meet, however, after the Sept. 10 game redefined the Michigan Stadium experience. It didn���t hurt that the Wolverines won a thrilling, come-frombehind 35-31 victory over Notre Dame. ���All I know is what I hear and what I���m told, and the outpouring of support and congratulations I���ve received has been unbelievable,��� Brandon said. ���Fans and people affiliated with the university, and people outside the university, I���ve heard from untold numbers of people who loved the game, loved the event, were excited about the event as well as the outcome. It���s been nothing but positive. ���I had very high expectations and I went into it with a clear knowledge Michigan's night game showdown versus Notre Dame was a huge hit, not just with the fans of everything we had planned. My in the stands, but also with television viewers at home. Photo by Per Kjeldsen expectation was for flawless execution, and I���m proud of my team ��� the game involving Big Ten schools (see significance. We want it to be a time team at Michigan athletics that is really chart) in the past 20 years, and smashed of the schedule that makes sense, and responsible for executing everything U-M���s previous high rating (4.10 beyond that we���ll be very, very flexible other than the actual football game ��� against Purdue in 1992) and viewerin how we make that decision.��� because that���s what they delivered. ship (3,394,074 households against IlWith four of the Wolverines��� mar���We put a lot into that game. Had linois in 2010). quee games ��� Alabama (neutral site), a lot of moving parts. It took a lot of Despite these numbers, there is not Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State planning, a lot of rehearsals, but at the a night game scheduled for 2012 at ��� away from The Big House, Illinois end of the day we got exactly what I this time, though Brandon and Hoke (Oct. 13) and Michigan State (Oct. 20) expected, and that was a great perforare on board, if the right opportunity are really the only two legitimate opmance. presents itself. tions. Brandon said he does not want ���I���m equally as proud of Brady Hoke ���That probably is a pretty good deal to schedule an evening affair after dayand his team. Not necessarily that we ��� one a year,��� Hoke said. light savings time, scheduled for Nov. played our best football game, but we ���There may be a year, depending 4, 2012. There was some speculation hung in there, fought and found a way on the schedule, that goes by that we U-M would prefer to avoid MSU, but to win. And that made the night even don���t do one,��� Brandon added, bethat was more rumor than fact. more exciting.��� fore listing his criteria. ���When we do ���There is no reason it couldn���t be a While 114,804 attendees packed it again, my belief is it has to be a big Big Ten opponent,��� Brandon said. into The Big House, pushing past game, an important game. And that With the crowd rocking out in unithe previous record of 113,090, set in can be a result of a lot of different facson to Taio Cruz���s ���Dynamite��� late the 2010 home opener against Contors. But we want it to be a game of in the fourth with U-M leading 28-24 necticut, home viewers were ��� 100,000 yellow pom-pom also tuned in. According to crazed fans creating a scene Highest-Viewed ESPN Big Ten Games the Big Ten, the meeting beunrivaled in Michigan StaRk. Year Matchup TV Households tween the Midwest rivals dium history ��� it became 1. 2009 Southern Cal at Ohio State 7,243,011 drew an overnight 5.2 ratvery clear the first ever night 2. 2011 Notre Dame at Michigan 5,110,000 ing (7.54 million viewers game at The Big House was a 3. 2010 Ohio State at Wisconsin 4,975,256 and 5,110,000 households), success, leading to this post4. 2005 Ohio State at Penn State 4,435,034 making it the Sept. 10 weekgame summation from Sports 5. 2010 Miami at Ohio State 4,000,815 end���s most-watched college Illustrated college football col6. 2005 Penn State at Michigan State 3,446,035 football game and the mostumnist Stewart Mandel: ���If 7. 1994 Michigan State at Penn State 3,397,680 watched cable television this is what a night game is at 8. 2010 Illinois at Michigan 3,394,074 show Sept. 5-11. Michigan Stadium, let there 9. 2007 Michigan at Wisconsin 3,339,699 It also represented the secbe another one next week, 10. 2007 Notre Dame at Penn State 3,317,181 ond-highest-viewed ESPN next month and next year.��� 14��� the wolverine��� ������ October 2011

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - October 2011