FSU season tickets sold out and Miami wants fans to come to fewer games

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Call it a tale of two programs, if you will. On one side, in Tallahassee, you have reigning national champions Florida State, a considerable favorite in the early playoff discussion for 2014 with a Heisman Trophy quarterback and a roster ready to make another run at an ACC title and perhaps defend its spot on top of the college football world. On the other hand, in Miami, you have a program still looking to recapture the glory of days past, with a new head coach now leading a program without any clouds looming over the program with uncertainty. The story of how tickets are being sold pretty much sums up where these two old rivals stand today, heading into the 2014 season.

For the first time since 2003, Florida State has sold every available ticket for the season. The school reports selling more than 45,000 tickets since winning the BCS Championship Game against Auburn. Season tickets were renewed at a 96 percent rate and more than 3,000 new season ticket packages were sold. There are still a few ticket packages to be sold to boosters and there will be some single-game tickets to be sold, but the point is Florida State is cashing in on the rewards of winning a national championship.

“We are excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming football season,” FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox said in a release. “Following the National Championship, the Athletics staff and Boosters worked hand-in-hand to ensure the momentum generated by the team and coaching staff last year continued this year.  A full Doak Campbell stadium is representative of those efforts.”

At Miami, the Hurricanes are left trying out new ideas to encourage fans to purchase tickets. That includes encouraging fans to attend fewer games. Wait, it makes sense.

Knowing that fans can sometimes struggle to purchase full season packages for any sporting event, Miami is offering fans a chance to purchase smaller ticket packages for a fraction of the home games. If six game plans are too expensive, perhaps a two-game package is more fitting. For Miami, anything is worth a shot considering the difficulty it can be for the program to fill Joe Robbie Stadium Pro Player Park Dolphins Stadium Land Shark Stadium Sun Life Stadium on a Saturday afternoon. Since moving home football games to the home of the Miami Dolphins from the old Orange Bowl to build this monstrosity, crowd shots of Miami games have become something of a running joke for many on social media. Miami faces a number of concerns other universities do with selling tickets, so any new ideas that can used are always going to be worth experimenting with.

Miami’s home schedule includes games against Florida A&M, Arkansas State, Duke, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Florida State and Pittsburgh.

(Yes, I am aware the pictures used of Sun Life Stadium here is from a soccer match.)

Michigan to visit South Africa later this year

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After visiting Italy and France over the past two springs, Michigan is taking a break from Europe and hitting South Africa in 2019. Wolverines director of football operations Mark Taurisani made the announcement through his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Jim Harbaugh started the field trips (which are funded by Michigan donors) as part of an educational experience for Wolverines players. The 2017 Italy trip was incorporated with Michigan’s spring practice, but the Wolverines did not practice in France last year and will not practice in South Africa this year, either.

Specific dates and tour sites have not been announced. The Wolverines will leave after the completion of the spring semester, which concludes after Michigan’s April 13 spring game.

Michigan lands All-MAC graduate transfer from Central Michigan

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As a Detroit native, Mike Danna has probably spent his entire life hoping and wishing and believing he could play at Michigan. While playing at Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School, he probably thought it. Throughout the recruiting process, when Michigan didn’t offer him and he signed at Central Michigan, he probably thought it.

Now he’ll get a chance to prove it.

Danna on Tuesday announced he was leaving CMU to spend his final college season with the big boys in Ann Arbor.

The 6-foot-2, 257-pound defensive end won the Herb Deromedi Award as CMU’s most valuable player after collecting 66 tackles, a team-high 15 TFLs and 9.5 sacks. He was named a First Team All-MAC honoree and a Pro Football Focus First Team All-American as well.

In three seasons as a Chippewa, Danna posted 151 tackles, 28 TFLs, 15 sacks and four forced fumbles.

While he may or may not start, Danna will be a significant contributor for the Wolverines in 2019. Michigan loses starting ends Chase Winovich (graduation) and Rashan Gary (draft), so Danna will team with senior Josh Uche (who led the team with eight sacks last season) and sophomore Aidan Hutchinson.

Miami to reportedly play Miami in 2023

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College football is notoriously hard to predict, but go ahead and mark this prediction down in ink: in the 2023 season, Miami will beat Miami.

Miami (Florida) will host Miami (Ohio) in 2023, according to FBSchedules. Neither school has announced the game as of this writing. The game will be played Sept. 2, 2023 at Hard Rock Stadium in Coral Gables, Fla.

In what has been previously dubbed the Confusion Bowl, the two Miamis have played three times previously, with the Hurricanes winning each time. All three games were in Miami, Fla., and green-and-orange Miami won by scores of 27-13 in 1945, 20-17 in 1946 and, most recently, 54-3 in 1987.

Miami (Ohio) will net $1.5 million for the trip, according to FBSchedules.

Miami (Fla.) has a home game with Texas A&M and a visit to Temple lined up elsewhere for 2023, while Miami (Ohio) will visit Cincinnati and host Liberty.

Brian VanGorder replaces Carl Pelini as Bowling Green DC

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After a little over two months on the job, one of the most glorious mustaches in all of college football has earned a promotion.

Tuesday, Bowling Green announced that Brian VanGorder has been named as first-year head coach Scot Loeffler‘s defensive coordinator.  In mid-December, the MAC school announced VanGorder’s hiring as linebackers coach and associate head coach.

VanGorder replaces Carl Pelini, who left last month to pursue another coaching opportunity.

VanGorder has served as a coordinator for a significant portion of the last decade, including stops at Louisville (2018), Notre Dame (2015-16), Auburn (2012) and the Atlanta Falcons (2008-11).  Prior to his one-year stint at Louisville, VanGorder served as a defensive analyst at both Georgia (2016, after he was fired by Notre Dame) and Oklahoma State (2017).

Interestingly, Bowling Green will travel to South Bend Oct. 5 this year to take on Notre Dame.

With VanGorder’s promotion, the Falcons also announced that Jim Herrmann has been hired to replace the new defensive coordinator as linebackers coach.  Herrmann will also carry the title of associate head coach.

Herrmann has spent the past baker’s dozen seasons as linebackers coach at the NFL level, with stops with the Indianapolis Colts (2016-18), New York Giants (2009-15) and New York Jets (2006-08) dotting his résumé.  His last college job at this level came during a lengthy stint at his alma mater Michigan (1985-2005).  The last nine years of his time in Ann Arbor, Herrmann worked as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator.