Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Michigan v Kansas State

Michigan took a financial loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl too


The University of Michigan took a loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, losing to Kansas State by a score of 31-14. It turns out that loss came at a price. As reported by MLive.com, citing financial documents obtained through a public records request, Michigan spent a total of $2.01 million on the trip to Tempe for the bowl game. The game left Michigan at a loss of $132,000.

This does not account for the money received by Michigan through the Big Ten’s bowl revenue share, so the loss may not be a cause for alarm. As reported, Michigan received a bowl share of $11.78 million the previous year. When millions are coming in from the conference’s bowl share, a loss of $132,000 almost seems insignificant. And in a sense, it is because schools operate knowing a healthy bowl share is coming as well as long as the school is not on any probation or postseason ban. For example, Penn State will not receive a bowl share from the Bg Ten, for example, because it is ineligible for postseason play. Instead, Penn State’s share will be donated to charities within the Big Ten community.

The breakdown of Michigan’s expenses reported saw $1.15 million used for travel costs, $664,595 for food, and $68,295 for absorbed tickets to the game. Absorbing tickets has been an issue with bowl games and expenses to schools over the years, but is something the Big Ten has addressed moving forward with new bowl arrangements. As noted by MLive.com, the Big Ten has negotiated smaller ticket requirements with new bowl partners and bowl contracts beginning this season. The travel expenses, on the other hand, will remain a concern for Big Ten teams as the reach of the Big Ten’s new bowl partnerships will begin spreading out.

“With our new bowl arrangement, the Big Ten is going to have relationships with bowls in Northern California, Southern California, Texas — the bowl picture is really spreading out,” Michigan AD Dave Brandon said to MLive.com. “That’s smart, but we all have to be really sensitive to the fact our practices — (at Michigan), when we go to a bowl game, we’re taking a lot of people. We take our band. We take our spirit squads. When you’re chartering jumbo jets and filling them up with people, and filling up hotels, it gets expensive.”

Of course, there are alternatives to cutting back on expenses, like taking cheaper flights and staying in cheaper hotels where available. But who wants to do that?

Win over Grambling approved, Cal officially becomes bowl eligible

Jared Goff
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Earlier today we had the report that Cal, they of the normally bowl-eligible six wins on the season, were not actually bowl eligible. The hang up was due to some NCAA red tape on how many scholarships Grambling, a 73-14 victim to the Bears on opening Saturday, had actually awarded this year.

Why the number of scholarships awarded by an opponent of a 6-5 team could determine what glorified exhibition said 6-5 could or could not play is a matter for another time, but the fact is it mattered.

But according to a report from Kevin Gemmell of ESPN.com, the Bears received approval to count the win toward their total, meaning Sonny Dykes and company will go bowling for the first time since 2011.

“We have conferred with both Grambling and the NCAA,” Cal spokesman Wes Mallette told ESPN. “As anticipated, Grambling has confirmed their football program has met the 90 percent financial aid requirement over the rolling two-year average. Therefore, Cal football’s win over Grambling counts toward bowl eligibility. Cal football is bowl eligible.”

The Bears have a chance to become bowl eligible the old fashioned way with a win over Arizona State Saturday in Berkeley.


Tulane reportedly set to fire head coach Curtis Johnson

Curtis Johnson
Associated Press
1 Comment

The end of the college football regular season brings with it bowl bids, conference championship entries and rivalry games. Along the way, though, come end-of-season firings. So many end of-season firings.

According to a report from Dan Wolken of USA Today Wednesday night, the first one is already on the books. Or at least close to it.

Wolken reports Tulane is set to part ways with head coach Curtis Johnson following the Green Wave’s Friday finale against Tulsa “barring a last-minute change of direction.”

Johnson is 15-33 in nearly four complete seasons at Tulane, reaching a high point of a 7-6 mark wtih a New Orleans Bowl appearance in 2013 but winning two, three and three games in his other three campaigns.

If and when the move becomes official, Tulane will become the 15th FBS school to change head coaches this season, matching the total number of changes during the 2014-15 cycle.

Wolken reports Tulane will hire a new athletics director within the next week, and once that hiring is complete the school will then embark on hiring Johnson’s replacement.

Reports: Michigan DC D.J. Durkin a “strong candidate” for Maryland vacancy

D.J. Durkin
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin has emerged a “strong candidate” for the Maryland job, according to reports from Yahoo‘s Pat Forde and Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman Wednesday.

“Durkin, 37, met recently with Maryland officials, sources said,” Forde wrote. “No job offer was made, but the interview went well, sources said.”

Added Feldman:

Durkin is in his first season as Michigan’s defensive coordinator, helping the 9-2 Wolverines jump from 14th to third nationally in yards per play allowed (4.77 to 4.15) and 27th to sixth in scoring defense (22.4 to 14.9).

Prior to working on Jim Harbaugh‘s staff, Durkin served as Will Muschamp‘s defensive coordinator at Florida for two years, and as his special teams coordinator for two years before that. He previously worked at Stanford, Bowling Green (his alma mater) and Notre Dame.

Should he be offered and accept the job, Durkin would immediately become Big Ten East rivals with his mentor Harbaugh.

“This week is so important to our guys, my 100% focus is on this game and our players — that’s what this profession is all about. You’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of the job you have week in and week out. It’s a tough task, especially with this team we have this week,” Durkin told the Detroit Free Press when asked about the reports.

“My goal is to get the best game plan possible together for Ohio State and have our guys go play well. To answer rumors or speculation right now and put something to it, my total focus is 100% on Ohio State and nothing else.”

Illini to decide on fate of interim head coach Bill Cubit by Sunday

Bill Cubit
Associated Press
1 Comment

Illinois will decide whether or not to retain interim head coach Bill Cubit for the full-time job by Sunday, interim AD Paul Kowalczyk told WSKJ-FM Wednesday.

“We need to make that call and figure out which way we’re going for everyone’s sake,” Kowalczyk said, via the Chicago Tribune. “For me, it’s posthaste.”

Illinois closes its regular season Saturday against No. 16 Northwestern in Champaign. The Illini are 5-6 on the year and, for what it’s worth, Cubit desperately wants the job.

Also worth noting: the athletics department is operating under a total state of dysfunction in the wake of AD Mike Thomas‘s firing.

From 670 The Score in Chicago on Wednesday:

Sources tell 670 The Score that as overwhelmed university officials are dithering and providing little guidance, the group of trustees, boosters and alums left to run things can’t yet agree on much.  Some want to hire a search firm with a spotty recent track record, others want to form their own search committee, while another faction thinks they need to act faster by using their own contacts to target specific AD and coaching candidates right now and just get moving.

Any support for retaining Bill Cubit is getting strong push-back from those who don’t believe he wasn’t aware of Tim Beckman’s aberrant behavior, and from some who feel strongly about making a more dynamic hire.

For those keeping score at home: Illinois is dealing with a power vacuum of trustees, boosters and alums battling for control while an interim chancellor and interim athletics director work to reach a resolution on an interim football coach.

And the coaching carousel starts spinning in full four days from now.