Dave Brandon talks scheduling philosophy, including $1.3 million payouts for BYU, Colorado
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said the school will pay BYU about $1.3 million to visit Ann Arbor in 2015.
That's among the highest payouts in the Wolverines' history.
And then they'll dole out about the same to Colorado the following season.
Payouts have spiked across the country in recent years, with the going rate for a "branded team" now up to about $900,000, Brandon said.
But he's willing to up the ante to bring in teams that will appeal to fans.
"We're trying to be creative and give our fans a chance to see some programs they wouldn't have otherwise been used to seeing," Brandon told a small group of reporters Friday.
Michigan announced earlier this week a slew of games, highlighted by a home and home against Arkansas that begins in 2018. That's a departure from the Wolverines' regular scheduling practices, which typically favors one and dones.
But Brandon said the Arkansas home and home won't be the last. He wishes to schedule more with elite programs, and those talks are currently taking place, he said.
But home and homes also take longer to strike, and the Wolverines had near-term scheduling needs after Notre Dame backed out of its series against Michigan. The last game in that series now will be 2014.
So, Michigan filled those needs with one and dones. The 2015 opening was addressed with BYU -- and U-M paid a little extra to do it.
"BYU, that's someone I really wanted to schedule," Brandon said. "That's a great program and it will be fun to have them here. It'll be a big test for our team because they're always good and we're not going to return a visit."
Michigan filled out its 2016 schedule with Hawaii, Colorado and Ball State, three more teams that Brandon says offer intrigue.
The Wolverines paid the most to Colorado. The Buffalos posted a memorable win at the Big House in 1994, when they upset then-No. 4 Michigan on a Hail Mary pass on the game's final play.
"We love the idea of having Colorado back," Brandon said. "I remember the last time they were here -- we love the idea of bringing 'em back. But it wasn't going to work real great to go back to Boulder, so I'm willing to pay a little extra to bring a school in like that, give our fans a chance to see that contest."
Michigan will pay Hawaii about $1 million to visit Ann Arbor in 2015, Brandon said.
"We thought it'd be fun to get Hawaii here because they've never been, and they play an exciting kind of football," he said. "We went out there years ago. That's just an opportunity to bring in a program that hasn't been to Michigan Stadium."
Michigan also scheduled Ball State, an interesting move considering it was Brady Hoke's first head coaching stop. It will be the Cardinals' first visit to Michigan Stadium since 2006, when Hoke's bid to upset the Wolverines fell just short, 34-26.
"He thought that was really terrific," Brandon said of Hoke's reaction to hosting Ball State. "That's obviously a program he's really fond of, and the opportunity to come and play and coach against them I think is something Brady looks forward to."
The 2016 slate is less attractive, with games against Hawaii, Colorado and Ball State.
But with more home-and-homes on tap, future schedules should offer more anticipated matchups.