A Results-Oriented Business

By Ramzy Nasrallah on January 15, 2014 at 11:15a
56 Comments

Last week Michigan hired offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier away from Alabama in what is easily the most fascinating staff shakeup of the offseason.

First, despite finishing the season with consecutive losses (hey, that's nothing to be ashamed of) Alabama is a fully operational dream-shredding football terrorist. If a Nick Saban coordinator makes what's - at best - a lateral move, it's natural to wonder why. Normally assistants depart from dynasties for promotions.

Second, Alabama quickly replaced Nussmeier with Lane Kiffin, a coach who has left each of his previous four jobs on what could most kindly be described as disastrous circumstances, proving that dominoes don't always fall as you expect them to.

Third - and speaking of dominos - Brady Hoke had just publicly said he wasn't planning on making any changes to his coaching staff. Yet there he was barely a month later with ubiquitous Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon holding a press conference to introduce Nussmeier.

Brandon even stuck around after the presser and fielded questions from the press corps about the Michigan football team. But why?

Try to imagine Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith crashing a press conference announcing a staff hire. Try to imagine Smith - who played at Notre Dame and isn't a football slouch by any stretch - discussing position coaches and football minutiae with the press.

Try to imagine Ohio State holding a conference to announce a new assistant, period. Non-head coaching hires are generally announced via email with canned remarks distributed by the OSU SID. Press conferences are kind of a hassle.

Anyway, Brandon probably felt his presence was required at this curious presser to quell any grumbling that he is micro-managing the football program, so he proceeded to speak in great detail about the team, Nussmeier's tutelage of AJ McCarron at Alabama, the energy required to elevate the Wolverines' offense and...oh dear.

He also provided a glimpse into that classic Michigan delusion exceptionalism that Buckeye fans know all too well:

...an important element of (Nussmeier's hiring) is the way Brady (Hoke) and his staff become a family, and the way they connect as a family, and I think that's something that Michigan brings to the party that may be a little different for Doug.

Nussmeier couldn't possibly have experienced camaraderie among his colleagues at Alabama, Washington or Michigan State. This is uniquely a Michigan job perk. Coaches who work for paychecks need not apply.

In related family news, Al Borges is Fredo Corleone. Also: Brandon has worked with exactly zero athletic departments and football programs outside of Ann Arbor, so he's uniquely qualified to publicly discuss The Michigan Difference™.

A member of the Wolverines' beat then pointed out to Brandon that "it's not often a program calls a presser to announce a new coordinator." He responded brusquely with, "why are you here?" (SPOILER: Michigan beat writers have to attend Michigan press conferences - their jobs require it; ergo press conferences are kind of a hassle).

You can watch the entire exchange for yourself.

Brandon is the highest-profile athletic director in the country, partially due to his employer but largely by his own making. On the surface he's a meddling, mildly annoying administrator who's just a little too visible where Michigan football is concerned. 

Look a little deeper and he's a career corporatist infiltrating academia who ballooned Michigan's athletics budget by over 37% while getting rid of those pesky faculty controls put in place to keep reigns on spending. He also earns triple what his predecessor made. Michigan football attendance is declining on his watch.

It's very difficult to write a consumable yet comprehensive article about Brandon's history without a) leaving out a lot of important context, or b) egregiously violating 11W's no-politics rule, so instead let's awkwardly segue to this blog post from last week in strong support of Brandon:

First let me state that I am a big fan of David Brandon. I have known him for a long time and dealt with him in his pre-UM days in business.

Think about the people you have listed as references in your own career. They probably carry a combination of important titles and impressive presence, because God forbid a prospective employer actually calls those references - those special friends need to be both influential and convincing on your behalf.

So convince your fellow Wolverines, Brandon fan: Why should Michigan stakeholders feel comfortable with your guy leading their beloved university's athletic department?

Because Brandon comes from a business background, he understands the concept of being in a “results oriented” business.

Brandon came to Michigan after running Domino's Pizza for over a decade. He took the company public in 2004 and left in January 2010 to run Michigan athletics.

Here is the entire stock price history of Domino's from Initial Public Offering through last week:

Michigan fans who celebrated Brandon's hiring in 2010 by buying 1000 shares of stock from the company he left are $62,830 richer today. Michigan fans who whine about buying seat licenses and the rising costs of tickets simply didn't jump on Domino's when they should have.

Domino's stock shed about 40% of its worth under Brandon's leadership, while its value has since increased 850% following his departure. B-SCHOOL REFRESHER: Publicly traded companies are in business to create shareholder wealth.

This was explicitly why Brandon took Domino's public in 2004. His core product was rated dead last in quality, tied with Chuck E. Cheese - whose target consumers' palates can be contented indefinitely by powder cheese macaroni and frozen dino nuggets.

You may even remember the self-deprecating, apologetic commercials about Domino's shitty, shitty pizza. The star of those ads is Brandon's successor, whose results-driven measurement can be seen on the right side of that stock price graph above.

If you read Brandon's official Michigan bio you'll see that it only focuses on the 2004 IPO, rather than the results-oriented aspect of his career there, which leads us back to Nussmeier's hiring. One year and one day into Brandon's tenure at Michigan, he fired Rich Rodriguez and hired Hoke.

See, that's the "took Domino's public" component of his U-M résumé. The stock price is what comes after that, because football is the pizza of Michigan athletics - which is no different from most universities, except you should think of Michigan pizza as a family operation rather than a sterile, corporate enterprise.

Michigan fans who celebrated Brandon's hiring by buying 1000 shares of stock from the company he left are $62,830 richer today

Rodriguez, if you didn't notice, has since turned a shaky 4-8 Arizona program into a competitive 8-5 one fairly quickly and has a couple of bowl wins to show for it. The trajectory is similar to what he pulled off at West Virginia before Brandon's less-expensive predecessor poached him.

Rod's Arizona offense was also in the top 25% among FBS programs this past season. Meanwhile, Michigan just fired its offensive coordinator and held a presser for the new guy. 

So if you thought Nussmeier's hiring was strictly a function of Borges failing to deliver (by the way, his universally-ridiculed 86th-ranked unit was still ranked 21 spots higher nationally than Jim Bollman's 2011 offense - for eternally depressing, historical context) then you probably didn't know the Brandon back story.

Hoke has to succeed - both for Michigan's sake in failing Rodriguez possibly worse than he failed Michigan - but especially for Brandon, whose signature accomplishment outside of his department's ballooning finances and branding adventures is Hoke's hiring.

He has every reason to be successful in Ann Arbor too, but fans are impatient - both with him and Brandon. Bo went to the Rose Bowl in his third season. Gary Moeller went undefeated and won it. Lloyd Carr did too, and got a national title. If you can't coach Michigan to Pasadena in your third season, something's wrong.

Rodriguez and Hoke both went 7-6 in their third seasons. Rod didn't survive his, and now Borges is gone. That history of results-oriented success - both Michigan's and Brandon's - is not lost on the the most well-informed Wolverines.

As they say in finance, past performance isn't always indicative of future results. But sometimes it is.

56 Comments

Comments

BoFuquel's picture

Great move TSUN. Now TSUN  BOT you've got another year to do the right thing.It's housecleaning time GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

buckskin's picture

I was waiting for Brandon's dreaded vote of confidence for Brady.

Borrowed Time's picture

so much context, so much backstory, and so many reasons to be happy we're not M*chigan

Whoa Nellie's picture

"Please be aware that all investments are inherently risky.  Be further advised that investing in Dave Brandon, Brady Hoke, and this closely held family corporation may be disastrous."

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

CowCat's picture

Can I buy a short position in BrandonHoke corporation?

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

d5k's picture

I'm interested in creating an activist hedge fund that invests exclusively in that position.

Oyster's picture

Brandon is quickly becoming the Jerry Jones of college football.  Go read a ttun board and the complaints about him are rampant, and have been since the RR firing.  And not because RR was fired either, it was the waiting and then the way the search for his replacement was done.  It's been downhill since then.  

BuckAlum35's picture

Damn, I wish I would have hopped on that Dominoes stock!....beyond that, great story. I am sure it will make its way over to scUM boards and make for some good conversation.

ab42beerman's picture

They are so damn easy to dislike.

hodge's picture

It's obvious that Brandon idolized Don Canham, the UM AD who hired Bo and successfully rebranded the shit out of the Wolverines after a bad stint from the '50s through the mid '60s; he was a true innovator who first saw the potential for college football to become a national product.
Except Brandon can only see this through his bland, corporate viewpoint.  For him, cutting costs yields bigger profits -- even if those costs are stripping Michigan of the tradition that they've staked their name upon since Fielding Yost.  Canham understood the pageantry that the Michigan name represented, Brandon sees it as a goddamn logo.
As Bacon explains in Fourth and Long, Brandon's decision to have Michigan play 'Bama in Jerryworld was indicative of his philosophy: high-profit game played in a sterile, neutral environment.  It's no surprise that he wanted to leave the band home; he didn't think their presence was worth the money.
Also: Domino's makes a pretty damn good pie for the money.  Consider me a convert of their brilliant post-Brandon marketing campaign.

Philly White's picture

I was nodding along until the comment about Domino's pizza.

hodge's picture

Heheh, it's good for the money -- not great pie in general.  It's easily the best of the Papa John's/Pizza Hut/Domino's trifecta.

kcbrez's picture

I think it's become fashionable to mock a lot of pizza chains. You're not paying for high quality but for convenience, and as he said it's good pie for the money. I'll buy that.

jedkat's picture

the NYer in me laughs

“The teams that don’t respect their coaches and don’t trust their coaches are the teams that go .500"
~Zach Boren

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Do you often post during sex?

Doc's picture

I should have bought Domino's stock way back in 2010.  That graph depresses me a bit.

"Say my name."

cronimi's picture

Yeah, but who knew?? Hindsight is 20/20. Now, I need to find a way to short scUM....

causeicouldntgo43's picture

As Bud Fox said in "Wall Street", "short all the Brady Hoke you got and go buy up all the Urban Meyer you can on margin".

Earle's picture

Did anyone else notice the correlation between the Domino's stock price and Brady Hoke's tenure at Michigan? 

German Buckeye's picture

Dude is obviously a large stake holder in the company - eats them to profitability!

ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

TSUN being the cesspool of the world and all, we should give credit where credit is due to Hoke - he has a reputation to manage and he's gonna eat Domino's a sh*t ton for his beloved alma mater.  True leadership folks.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

Whoa Nellie's picture

Problem is, the corporate model being applied to TTUN football is counterproductive to tradition, spirit and, apparently, winning games.  Brandon's model:  Cut costs, increase revenue streams, increase prices, hire a bigger staff of office toadies, rake the profits to the CEO.  Pretty easy to see that this is not a formula for success on the field, though it might make the company attractive for takeover, layoffs, cash stripping and bankruptcy.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

NW Buckeye's picture

Brandon seems like the CEO who likes to micro manage.  Think about it.  Hoke announces that no changes will be made to his staff, and all of a sudden there is Brandon announcing a new OC.  Would not surprise me if Brandon has his hands in managing the assistant coaches usurping any real power Hoke needs.  Maybe Hoke's lack of headset on the sidelines is because Brandon has the ear of the coaches in the press box.  Let's face it, if you have always wanted to be a HC at a major University but don't have the resume for it the next best thing is to be the coach's boss, particularly if you adhere to the Dave Brandon style of micro management. 

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Glad that much like one of his prior competitors, Papa John,  Dave Brandon's "In The House" the Big House that is. Never trust a man who puts shitty cheese on his pizzas in the name of cost cutting.

Hovenaut's picture

I get major college football is a business, and both Ohio State and M...igan football are big business.
I'm no salesman at all, but I think M...igan athletics under Brandon are a little too focused on the sale, and not as focused on the product.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

InvertMyVeer's picture

Very true. OSU on the other hand is so focused on the product they don't have to worry about the sell. Funny how that works!

Football is complicated...

Hovenaut's picture

Hey, with fans like us......

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

causeicouldntgo43's picture

True - they are selling the "sizzle", while Urban feeds the "steak" to our boys.

blueinsconsin's picture

I am neither a fan nor hater of Dave Brandon, but showing stock price growth from 2010 to today?  Come on.  Pretty much every company from 2004-today is going to show a good gain from 2004-2007/2008 a huge drop, then huge gains.
http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=aapl
http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=WMT+Interactive#symbol=WMT;range=my
http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=MCD+Interactive#symbol=MCD;range=my
http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=KO+Interactive#symbol=KO;range=my
http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=PEP+Interactive#symbol=PEP;range=my

Not here to troll...Go Blue

causeicouldntgo43's picture

How can you be neutral on Dave Brandon? His pizza sucked !

CowCat's picture

True, the chart is not adjusted for inflation, given the current loose monetary policy.
However, if Brandon's leadership were at least neutral you would expect the left side of the graph to be higher before the dip than the right side, given that the economy is still recovering somewhat.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Look at the whole range, not just the economic recovery. And look at Domino's relevant competitors during that span, not Walmart and Apple.

Pizza Hut, Papa John's, McDonalds (which you cited) - shitty restaurants are generally recession-proof. Brandon's company shed a significant amount of value while his competitors were growing. They grew in value, while Domino's under Brandon 1) expanded like crazy and 2) willfully allowed its product quality to atrophy.

 

blueinsconsin's picture

The pizza is horrible, yes, can't argue with that.  
DPZ's share price grew 2 1/2 times from mid 2004 to mid 2007 while YUM's grew under 2 times.  Papa Johns was similar (share price and stock movement doesn't always mean good company, though).  DPZ and YUM both pay a dividend, Papa John's doesn't.  Keep in mind YUM is also a conglomerate made up of multiple restaurants.  Most fast-food chains should be recession proof and some are obviously better than others (like YUM is better than DPZ).  But looking at a company's share price, especially during a major economic recession and recovery, proves nothing - most stock charts have the exact same pattern from 04-today.
That's the only part of your article I disagree with:  using the IPO in 2004 and Brandon's leaving in 2010, but not mentioning the economic recession or how pretty much every other public company had a similar rise, fall, rise.   
 

Not here to troll...Go Blue

LeftCoastBuck's picture

Al Borges is Fredo Corleone....absolutely brilliant

"To crush the Wolverines, to see them driven from their stadium, and to hear the lamentation of their fans" Conan the Barbarian (paraphrased) on "what is best in life."

jhart's picture

"Three and Out tells the story of how college football’s most influential coach took over the nation’s most successful program, only to produce three of the worst seasons in the histories of both Rich Rodriguez and the University of Michigan."
 
WUT?

faux_maestro's picture

RichRod is one of the fathers of the spread/read option offense.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

prdoctor's picture

Fantastic. Stuff like this is why I love 11w.

kholmes's picture

To be fair to Dave Brandon on the pizza item, it should be noted that the entire development of the new pizza recipe and the launch of the new pizza was done under Brandon's watch as CEO ( http://www.qsrmagazine.com/menu-innovations/many-acts-domino-s-pizza ). The new pizza was launched in last two weeks of 2009 after two years of development and Brandon was involved in creating the marketing campaign with the launch. Brandon named the Michigan AD in January 2010. As a result, its hard to make the case he didnt have a big part in the revival of Domino's.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Ramzy, another excellent piece.
I'm not sure, though, how Dave Brandon fits the category of "corporatist." As far as I know, he was CEO of Dominos for like 10 years, although maybe you're referring to any earlier part of his career? I know that "corporatism" means different things to different people, but under which definition does Brandon fit?   
For example, Dominos makes really crappy pizza, but they don't get subsidies and tax breaks from the government to sell that edible cardboard they call pizza. Their workers aren't unionized. They don't make their pizzas overseas, ship them here, and send the profits back to lower tax countries. Etc.
It's more fitting to call the CEO of General Motors or G.E. a "corporatist." I'd simply call Dave Brandon cheesy.

kcbrez's picture

There is a lot of good writing on this site, but I look forward to every piece that Ramzy and Ross put out there. Excellent work, gents.

Hello_Heisman's picture

Brandon definitely has his faults, but one part of Ramzy's story I have to add more color to is the exchange with the purported Michigan beat writer during the press conference.  That was no beat writer who Brandon was being an asshole to.  It was the infamous Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp, who has been a royal thorn in the side of the entire Michigan football program since 2009.  He wasn't there to cover the press conference, he was there to get some tidbits to use for a predictably slanted and half-baked column the very next day. 
While I don't dispute that Brandon seems to be casting an unnecessarily large shadow over the football program in an effort to be the next Don Canham, Drew Sharp's column was so lazy and stupid that the man deserved to be ridiculed in that press conference.  I refuse to provide a link to the column because I don't want this man getting any more website clicks than he already receives, but the basic argument he laid out in his column was as follows:
- This press conference was awkward and unnecessary for an offensive coordinator position
- No other college football team would do something like this
- Michigan is desperate for good publicity/attention because they have fallen way behind MSU as a football program
The reason why Drew Sharp is Drew Sharp is because he is lazy and assumes his readers have a 2 week memory span at most.  Therefore, he spouts off comments and accusations that are very easy to disprove without much effort.  Like the fact that within the past year, Michigan State University also held a press conference to introduce their new offensive coordinator prior to the 2013 season.  That's right, Michigan State University.  The same school who Sharp specifically compared Michigan to in his column as a benchmark, and in the same column where he wondered aloud about what other school would ever have such a press conference for this kind of a hire.
But what's even funnier is Drew Sharp's newfound love and respect for MSU.  He spent the entire college football season predicting against them in his columns, writing about how overrated they were and deliberately ranking them lower than almost every AP voter simply because he thought the Big 10 was horrible and the SEC was awesome (he did the same thing with Michigan and OSU as well).  You didn't see one positive word about MSU in his columns until after they beat Ohio State, and even then he still predicted they would lose to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.  Finally, after the Rose Bowl, he wrote a couple of very complimentary pieces about them in which he went out of his way to cast MSU as a great team and Michigan as a horrible team. 
And while he's certainly entitled to his opinion, it should be noted that the positive columns he belatedly wrote about Michigan State were just as likely used to further his ongoing agenda against Michigan as they were to legitimately pay respect to the tremendous season Michigan State had.  How do I know this?  First, he never once uttered a hint of remorse for being wrong about Michigan State the entire year.  Dude picked against them in every big game, they ended up 13-1 with a BCS bowl win, and even in a column where he was purportedly saying good things about them he couldn't be bothered to say "My bad."  Second and more importantly, even after MSU finished the season with back to back wins over BCS teams, finished 13-1 and ended up with the #1 defense in the country, Drew Sharp was the only AP voter in the country who had MSU at #5 on his ballot.  Every other voter had them in the Top 4.  
So even as he's finally getting around to praising MSU in the same columns where he's continuing his insults about Michigan, he still couldn't will himself to do the bare minimum, and vote MSU to at least the #4 spot like every other AP voter did.  I seriously wonder whether he would have written anything positive about Michigan State at all if there wasn't an opportunity to lump in a few snide remarks about Michigan.
Finally, what makes Drew Sharp's take on this press conference even funnier is his ongoing lovefest with the SEC at the expense of the Big 10.  He's been writing about this for awhile now, saying how the Big 10 can't possibly compete with the SEC where the coaches, players, schemes, hookers, etc are all so much better.  So then Michigan goes ahead and hires an offensive coordinator who most recently worked for the biggest of all big dogs in the SEC, Alabama.  You would think that somewhere in his column, Drew Sharp would at least acknowledge something along the lines of "Hey, this is a pretty good idea - one way to help the Big 10 improve is to be willing to pay top dollar for coaches/coordinators from the most successful conference in the country.  Michigan needs to do more of this if they want to get back to being a premiere program."  Nope.  Not a word. 
Because to even acknowledge any of this would have given a hint of positive spin, and that can't happen when Drew Sharp is trying to slander the subject of his column.  So instead of mentioning anything about the actual quality of the hire or why it made sense, or even staying consistent with his past views on the SEC, he spent the entire column bitching about WHY there was a press conference in the first place and how this proved that Michigan had fallen hopelessly behind Michigan State. 
What drives me nuts about this guy is that there is plenty of legitimate criticism that can be leveled at Michigan and very well should be after the season that just transpired.  But the way Drew Sharp behaves in press conferences and in his columns is so juvenile and lazy, that he really does deserve to get treated like an asshole by Dave Brandon and others.  I'm not pro or anti Brandon just yet, but I was very much in support of him treating Sharp like dirt in that particular video clip.  And yes, before anyone else points it out, I am well aware of the fact that Drew Sharp is a Michigan alum.  So were Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder.  Just because they're alums, doesn't mean they don't carry biases and grudges against specific individuals in the Michigan football program.
Sorry if I took the thread off the tracks by focusing on one minor point and ignoring the broader argument.  Looks like I pulled a Drew Sharp, so to speak.
 
 

60% of the time it works.....every time

hodge's picture

Beautiful takedown.

Hello_Heisman's picture

Thanks.  Sharp sucks as a journalist.

60% of the time it works.....every time

Poison nuts's picture

Yes, fully agreed here, Drew Sharp sucks. A total & complete type of suck that embodies all things shitty & lame.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Hovenaut's picture

Like Hodge said.
Appreciate the additional details, HH.
 

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

brband64's picture

Sorry if I took the thread off the tracks...

That's OK - it was fun to read.

D-Day0043's picture

I highly doubt Michigan hired Nussmeier away from Alabama, but I'm sure they like to spin it that way. Saban brought in Kiffen a couple months ago to "evaluate" his offense. The writing was on the wall for Nussmeier, he was going to get canned. And not surprisingly Kiffen was hired as the new offensive coordinator. Yeah, the guy who Saban just brought in to "evaluate" Nussmeier's offense.
Good try though Michigan, for pretending like you are bigger than you actually are.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Hello_Heisman's picture

I really don't understand this logic.  Most people (including OSU fans) thought Al Borges did a bad job as Michigan's offensive coordinator.  Regardless of why Nussmeier left Alabama, the man's got a good track record as an offensive coordinator at several schools and is considered to be an improvement over Borges.  Why does it matter whether Michigan stole him vs. hired him after he parted ways with Alabama?  That's equally as pointless as debating how/why Larry Johnson Sr. left Penn State to end up at Ohio State.  Is he a good coach?  Does he fit a need and potentially improve the team's performance on the field?  If the answers to those questions are "yes", then that's all that should matter.

60% of the time it works.....every time

D-Day0043's picture

I was addressing the fallacy of the first paragraph of this article. Michigan did not lure him away from Alabama, he was already on his way out the door. 
Michigan fans on many sites are trying to boost their egos bragging they took him from Alabama, and this is simply not true. 

Last week Michigan hired offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier away from Alabama in what is easily the most fascinating staff shakeup of the offseason.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Otm_shank's picture

Also here is an interview with an Alabama insider who refuted that Saban brought in Kiffen for an interview to replace Nussmeier.
http://michigan.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1596830&PT=4&PR=2

D-Day0043's picture

That was written by a senior editor from The Wolverine.com. Of course they are going to spin some propaganda to make themselves come out in a favorable light.
Calling in an entire schools coaching staff to evaluate your team is different than bringing in a guy like Kiffen that had been fired earlier in the season, and wasn't affiliated with anyone, to evaluate your offense. And then you just "coincidentally" offer him the job.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

BlueBayou's picture

Normally I would be there with you when somebody writes an article that comes from the often used "anonymous sources close to the program", but this article directly quotes Eli Gold who is connected to the Alabama program.  If the guy is going on the record, and no other named source is contradicting him, then you probably need to lend it some credence.
If one can connect the dots to deduce that Nussmeier was pushed out, then one also could reach the opposite conclusion.  It could as easily be that Nussmeier was sick of being micro managed by the king of control freaks in college football in Saban and he found Michigan to be a good landing spot since Brady Hoke definitely won't be meddling with the offense.  (Duh, I mean the man can't be bothered to put a headset during the game, so he obviously isn't coaching.  Well, there was that one time, but it was near the end of the game and I'm sure he was just trying to get his pizza order in.  He loves him some Dominoes!)
As for hiring Lane Kiffin as his OC, it isn't surprising.  Saban and Kiffin are already connected, Saban obviously values Kiffin's opinion if he had him consult, and most importantly, Kiffin was unemployed.  It makes him the obvious number one replacement at OC even if it wasn't planned.
Sometimes things aren't always as they seem.

What is the truth you ask?  Well as with most things, the true story is probably somewhere in between.  My guess is it was a mutual decision to part ways, but I'm in agreement with HH.  Who cares how it happened.  Nussmeier has a proven track record and is an upgrade over gorgeous Borges.
 

MGM85's picture

Agree on Sharp 100% his distaste for MSU, Michigan and most of the BIG is pathetic. Thank god the AP has no impact on anything. Wondering if he is jockeying for a position in Birmingham or Lake City FL. 

Many ppl in BIG worry about National Bias.. Sheesh with AP writers in your old backyard killing you.. what difference does it make.
Regarding Jerry Canham Whoops I mean Brandon. Sorry about that. Brandon definitely patterns himself after the Marketing guru as well as an astute Football guy. The reality that Canham and guys like Foley and Hollis realize that a strongest positive reflection is when the coach becomes the big kahunna and smartest guy in the room...
Currently he is stuck with Hoke, and I think 8 wins is ceiling next year, and whether the  big money donors will accept that.. remains to be seen.
Going to the near future- the one item that will save mich and Brandon is that for the first time in forever, they are willing to pay market on coaches, and once the experiment with hoke ends in 14 or 15. He will have an open checkbook, but more importantly the pressure to succeed since his behind will be scorching. He will abandon the mich playbook.. stating that "This is michigan and everyone is desperate to coach here".. that does not exist anywhere except in the Vatican. With a aggressive sales process, pressure to succeed and a willing to pay - Mich will get a very good coach for the 2015/2016 season....
 

 
 
 
 
 

urban86's picture

The Mediocre Wolverines are just that, Mediocre.  The have built a Dagwood style shit sandwich and now get to eat it.  We Buckeyes are being given a 24/7 treat right now.  Enjoy it, revel in it. All good things come to an end at some time.   They will sometime stop, pull their heads out of their ass and make changes....until then....LONG LIVE THE MICHELIN MAN BWADY HOKE.
 
_ICHIGAN STILL SUX 

Larryp713's picture

First I knew you were too good to be true, Ramzy. Socialist!!!
It is a compelling story though. The region in which Michigan is located seems hardly the place where an unabashed capitalist would hang his hat, and yet here is Brandon running Michigan football as a venture capitalist.
I am glad it is them, and not us. I feel better about rooting for the Buckeyes after reading Brandon's bio. But honestly, he is trying to get his program to the top in a way that makes sense to him. I hope he fails, and I find a lot more reasons to dislike him than his belief in running a results-oriented business.

Respectfully,

Larryp713

harleymanjax's picture

After taking a massive M*chigan, if the only thing I had to wipe my ass with was some Domino's Pizza I would rather deal with the skid marks!

"Because I couldn't go for 3"