What can Michigan learn from Alabama?
Plenty. Like it pays to have an athletic department that is willing to pay any amount of money to get the best coach in the world, regardless of any previous connection to the university.
It pays to have that coach run the program like an NFL franchise, where the weaker players get processed off of the team because they're not pulling their weight and the next batch of kids are coming in and there's a scholarship limit you have to get under.
It pays to have a network of supremely influential and skilled boosters turned loose on the recruiting trail, greasing the palms of the people connected to the best recruits all over the South. If it's a kid who needs help with grades, hey, we can set you up with a high school a little closer to us with friendlier teachers who know the deal and will make sure you graduate with qualifying grades and test scores.
It pays to have boosters willing to toss money around under the guise of altruism. Hey, random high school in Orlando! Here's a bunch of money to let us use your football facilities for bowl prep and a complete renovation while you're at it. Oh, and those two five-star recruits currently playing for you that we're coming for? Well....heh. Same thing goes for you, elite private school in Maryland who has been good to us as well.
It pays to have a system in place dedicated to getting your players the best performance enhancing drugs that money can buy, because you're paying the coach and his staff a lot, so you might as well make sure you get the ultimate return on your investment. Oh, the NCAA? Who gives a ****, they don't have tests for human growth hormone. Our players just look like 10-year NFL vets on Saturday because they train hard. Wink wink nudge nudge.
And of course, we can't be letting those players' contributions go for naught, too. So we'll set them up with fancy suits and Dodge Chargers, etc. They'll be well taken care of. NCAA has questions? **** em. Prove it, you toothless losers.
......Now, what can Michigan learn from Alabama's return to glory that they can actually use for themselves?
Not much of anything.