For the third and final road game of the brutal 2015 September schedule for the Cougars, we head to the Big House in Ann Arbor to face Jim Harbaugh in his inaugural season as the head coach of his alma mater after an incredible four seasons in San Francisco, taking the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championships and a Super Bowl appearance in 2013.
In this edition of the 2015 BYU Fan Travel Guide I was privileged to work with Anthony Broome, the managing editor of Maize n Brew, the SBNation affiliate for Michigan athletics. Anthony is also a Host and Producer for WolverineSportsRadio.com. (@GoBlueRadio).
(note: this interview took place prior to the start of the 2015 season)
I couldn’t begin this conversation without first mentioning one of the most memorable games for the BYU program:
Q: One of BYU’s most famous games in its history is obviously the 1984 Holiday Bowl. What does Wolverine Nation think of the BYU program as a whole?
I can’t speak for the entire fanbase, but BYU is a well-respected program in my eyes, especially as someone who follows the Detroit Lions closely with players being drafted fairly high the last few seasons. They are coming off of a nice season and now Taysom Hill is healthy. That’s a good program.
Q: In the eyes of the local football fans out there, how are former BYU teammates Kyle Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah making an impact as members of the Detroit Lions?
Speaking of the Lions, Ziggy Ansah has been a key cog to the defensive in his two seasons in Detroit. There was the fear that he was way too raw, but he has been very good so far. Kyle Van Noy battled some injury problems last year, but hopefully is now healthy and ready to make an impact.
Q: Do you think BYU belongs in a power five conference?
I’m not the one to determine if they should be in a power five conference or not. I think that depends on what they want to be as a program. If their goal is to get into the college football playoff, it would be beneficial to them to perhaps get into the Big 12 or Pac 12.
Q: How quickly is Jim Harbaugh expected to have a positive impact on his alma mater?
Three years seems like a logical timeline. This year they will have their ups and downs, next year they should compete for a division title, and by year-three, they should be able to compete for a conference championship. With all of that being said, Harbaugh is known for quick turnarounds. There is talent on the roster that has yet to be tapped, so who knows how fast it could happen?
Q: BYU Quarterback Taysom Hill was recruited by Harbaugh when he was at the helm at Stanford which should add some intrigue to the match up. Being in the Big Ten Wolverine fans see some great players. What are their thoughts on Hill?
Some people are terrified of Hill because he’s healthy now and comes from a spread offense, which Michigan seems to have had problems stopping since the dawn of the system. He is easily their toughest quarterback they go up against in the first month or so of the season
Q: What are some nearby sites and places that you would recommend for the traveling Cougar fans to see while they’re in town?
A favorite place of mine is just about 45 minutes or so down I-94 from Ann Arbor, and that’s The Henry Ford Museum. There are pieces of American history everywhere in there, and its absolutely fascinating. The same complex offers a Rouge Plant Factory Tour, which is where the Ford F-150 is manufactured. There’s something for everyone to do there.
Q: What local food places would you recommend for BYU fans?
A trip to Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbor is a must. But there’s everything around town. Whatever you have a taste for.
Q: Are there any specific pregame festivities or tailgating activities that BYU fans wouldn’t want to miss?
Be sure to checkout the golf course tailgate. There are always a sea of people there and a lot of very cool things going on.
Q: Is there anything else that is a part of the Michigan football gameday experience that BYU fans wouldn’t want to miss while they’re in town?
You don’t have to be a fan to appreciate watching the Michigan marching band’s routine entering the stadium. It’s one of the coolest things in college football, and they always have a great halftime show.
After our conversation Anthony posted his season preview for the Wolverines and predicted Michigan to finish 9-3 in the regular season. Both BYU and the Utes were each a part of those nine victories with the losses being to defending national champion Ohio State, Michigan State and losing on the road at Minnesota.
That would be quite the immediate turnaround for the Michigan program.
Thanks again to Anthony for being willing to be featured. Be sure to follow him on twitter @AnthonyTBroome and visit his site, Maize n Brew.
Follow Jimmie on twitter @CheshSports.
Feature image credit to Deseret News