Posts tagged NCAA Football
Posts tagged NCAA Football
Floyd is here.
Buy one at Empty Bandwagon. [Empty Bandwagon]
“Taken another way, Gray has played about as well as expected. His passing numbers could have improved, but again, he’s a raw quarterback learning both the position and a new offense. Whining about Gray’s completion percentage three games into the season is like bitching about the gas mileage on a Cadillac.” - From my column at Fringe Bowl Team. [FBT]
Also, I revisited my estimated stats for Gray and the Gophers offense, with the results matching up fairly close.
This week’s Gopher Football movie poster, “Rise of the Planet of the Gophs.” (Click to enlarge.)
It’s obviously based off of the seminal-hit “Bridesmaids.” (I’m kidding. The actual inspiration for this is here and go see the aforementioned “Bridesmaids” if you haven’t. It’s great.) I’ll also update with a link to FBT when it goes live there.
About the image: I really wanted to include these old images of piles of buffalo skulls, but they didn’t fit in. The pictures are really striking, even though they are kind of macabre, it really gives you a sense of how many bison were slaughtered many decades ago.
Minnesota- NDSU Running Diary:
Welcome back again to the Bison Bowl!*
Considering these two teams have a bit of recent history — particularly one that Gopher fans don’t care to revisit — I’ve crafted the Minnesota versus North Dakota State Drinking Game, for the games you probably don’t want to remember. Sadly, I won’t be playing simply to keep this blog from turning into misspelled f-bombs and rants about the Wisconsin Badgers.
Anyway, on to the game within the game:
- Gophers start game with shotgun handoff/read option again.
- Announcer calls NDSU any combination of “North Dakota, UND, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Coyotes, or Jackrabbits.” Note: If announcers say “Fighting Sioux,” which is quasi-banned by the NCAA, finish your drink.
- Announcer mentions that Jerry Kill “builds programs.” Add another drink if other schools than Northern Illinois are mentioned.
- MarQueis Gray runs for a first down. (My dad and I have a rule when we attend games that you have to drink for every first down. I also include it when the chains are moved by penalty, my dad maintains that shouldn’t count. My Gopher success benchmark is pretty low, I guess.)
- Da’Jon McKnight makes a catch.
- Da’Jon McKnight is overthrown by Gray.
- Gophers commit a blocking or holding penalty.
- Announcer mentions a Minnesota resident playing for the Bison.
- Any mention of the 2006 Bison-Gophers game, namely anything having to do with a blocked punt.
- Announcer mentions “revenge angle” having to do with Bison players who were passed over by Minnesota.
- Gophers flagged for an illegal formation or similar pre-snap violation.
- Max Shortell makes an appearance.
- Devlin asks Glen Mason about preserving a fourth-quarter lead.
- Announcers mention New Mexico State loss earlier this year, or any other Gopher-related loss to a BCS-level team.
- Minnesota makes a field goal.
- Minnesota misses a field goal.
- LaMonte Edwards is spotted on defense.
- Brock Vereen gives up a touchdown in first quarter.
- Brock Vereen makes a solid, one-on-one tackle in the second half.
- NDSU takes the lead.
- Glen Mason makes a subtle dig at Tim Brewster or the University of Minnesota administration.
- Minnesota defense gets a sack.
- Gophers score a touchdown – social!
- Minnesota defense makes an interception or recovers a fumble. If they block a punt, finish your drink and pound another. It’s a blocked punt for crisssakes!
- MarQueis Gray leaves the game with cramps.
- Running back draw on third and long. Oh, how I hate the running back draw play on third down. Take bottle of Jim Beam or comparable bourbon, start chugging to remove taste of tears:
- Gophers lose to the Bison.
Alright, negative jokes aside, let’s get it on! BTN brings us Matt Devlin and Glen Mason again, with Rebecca Haarlow on the sidelines. Glad Mason is back, he brings some history to the area and does a good job relating stories to his coaching days, as well as forecasting different plays.
6:01 p.m. - BTN brings us a great stadium shot of the U of M Marching Band in formation of the “M.” Devlin calls them the “Pride of Minnesota.” I thought that was Joe Mauer. Oh wait, right, everyone turned on him when he went heel.
Wait, he really had a “cold”? (Yes, the Marching Band is called the “Pride of Minnesota.”)
6:03 p.m. - Commercial break: It’s gotten to the point when the Pitbull-Dr. Pepper commercial doesn’t come on, I’m somewhat let down. Of course, Pitbull comes in strong right in the first break.
Let’s have a real good time, Pitbull.
6:06 p.m. - It’s 58 degrees in Minneapolis right now. It’s 75 degrees seven hours away in rural North Dakota.
6:08 p.m. - Mason makes mention that he should have lost in 2006, Devlin says Gophs did lose in 2007. Drink whatever you have in the house, if it gets to nail polish remover, take the appropriate precautions.
6:09 p.m. - Gophers start at own 32-yard-line, starting off with an inside handoff out of the shotgun bottled up by the Bison. (Drink!) On second and nine, Gray scrambles out of the pocket and connects with McKnight for a gain of 16 yards.
6:14 p.m. - Kirkwood runs hard for a first down, bringing the Gophers to the NDSU 29-yard line. Following that, Gray scrambles out of the pocket, holding the ball out from his body like Chuck Foreman used to. I believe it’s called the “loaf of bread” technique. He goes out of bounds for a short gain.
6:17 p.m. - Gophers are moving the ball like, well, a Big Ten team should against a FCS team. So far, Gray is 3-4 with 31 yards; the Gophers also have 33 rushing yards already, as they move the ball to the NDSU four.
6:18 p.m. - Kirkwood bounces out to the left tackle on an up-the-middle dive and gets into the end zone. PLAY THE EFFING ROUSER. SCORE: 7-0, Gophers. The score wraps up a 13 play, 68-yard drive. Every play gained yards except for one incompletion, great execution from the Maroon and Gold.
6:21 p.m. - Commercial break: Brady Hoke doesn’t wear red. This exclusion of a primary color from his wardrobe somehow shows his football coaching superiority.
6:26 p.m. - NDSU quarterback Brock Jensen rolls out to his left and scrambles for a gain of seven. A play later, Devlin falls right into line: “There’s 36 players on the roster of NDSU from Minnesota. Fifteen are on the two-deep, seven are starters.” Yeah, drink for awhile on that one, I didn’t think we would go into the “two-deep” depth chart.
He continues with “four of the offensive linemen are from the state of Minnesota.” At this point, if you’re playing the drinking game, you’re gonna need to just substitute a 4Loko for your regular swill and take it to the dome.
6:28 p.m. - The Gopher defense gets a sack! That’s No. 2! Wait, negated by a “hands to the face” personal foul. Well, that’s about right; negate the 11-yard loss on third and 16 for a new set of downs.
After, Devlin makes a reference to someone “not from the state of Minnesota.” You’re smooth, Devlin. Smooth.
6:29 p.m. - Jansen passes for a gain of 17 yards to DJ McNorton to bring the Bison to the Gophers 39-yard line. My wife hears his name on the screen and says, “McNulty?!”
We miss “The Wire” a lot.
6:34 p.m. - The Gophers stick the Bison with third down, with four yards to go. How does the Gopher defense respond? They tackle Jensen for a loss of a yard. But THAT is negated due to an offsides penalty. First down, Bison. I’ll be over here pounding my head against this load-bearing wall like I’m “The Situation.”
6:36 p.m. - Jensen completes a pass to the Gopher nine-yard line, with Vereen on the coverage. Ooh, close one, Brock. Nice stop. That’s followed with an eight-yard pass and eight-yard run, bringing the Bison to the one-yard line and the end of the of the quarter.
END OF THE FIRST QUARTER.
6:40 p.m. - Commercial break: The Big Ten has a commercial with coaches and former players talking about the different community outreach projects they take part in. Included in the commercial is Coach Joe Paterno’s wife, Sue – or as I will refer to her from now on, Eleanor Roosevelt. Isn’t she more suited to coach Penn State at this point? Couldn’t she be pulling the strings behind the scenes?
I can’t wait to read Joe Posnanski’s book to shed more light on this. Lately, Paterno has coached from the box above the field. When he’s on the sideline, he doesn’t have a headset and people don’t even stand that close to him. He isn’t running in plays. He isn’t shouting out hot reads. He’s an old guy watching people play football.
Has he forgotten more football in an hour than I’ll ever learn? Of course. He’s a legend. Still, when I look at him all that comes to mind is a grandfather who still drives because his kids are too afraid to take his keys away. Maybe it’s my hang-up and not his.
Good for you though, Joe. You should coach as long as they let you.
6:41 p.m. - Brock Jensen plunges in from a yard out, TOUCHDOWN, bad guys. SCORE: 7-7. The dependable Doogie Wolfson informs us on Twitter that the Gophers have allowed points on every opening drive so far this year. Sigh.
Where’s Pitbull? I’m not having a real good time.
6:47 p.m. - Commercial break: I think Tim McCarver has used auto-tune more than T-Pain at this point. Pitbull is nowhere to be seen. Also, Brady Hoke STILL will not wear red. His point of view hasn’t changed since the last three commercial breaks.
6:49 p.m. - On third and five, Gray scrambles out of the pocket and trucks over John Pike, a defensive back who gives up about 90 pounds to the quarterback. A gain of 13 yards, giving the Gophs a first down. (Drink!)
6:50 p.m. - Colin McGarry drops one over the middle that would have been a first down, which brings up third and 12. Where is Eric Lair’s there? That leads to a North Dakota State sack on third down. Come on down, Dan Orseske!
6:57 p.m. - Earlier today, I should have mentioned that Minnesota’s pass defense is currently about110th among all Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Once I tell you that, it’s probably not so surprising that Jensen connects for consecutive gains of 15 and 28 yards as the Bison move into Minnesota territory. Jensen is currently perfect, 6-6, for 82 yards. Great.
That brings up third down and seven. Devlin asks Mason, “What would you do?” Mason: “Cover!”
6:58 p.m. - Jensen runs for a gain of eight. Even if he wouldn’t have gotten the first down, the Gophers’ new policy of committing back-breaking penalties on third down comes into effect and Ra’shede Hageman commits a personal foul penalty. NDSU moves to the Gopher 12-yard line.
7 p.m. - The defense nearly corrals Jensen for a sack, but he evades the pass rush and weaves down to the Minnesota three-yard line for a gain of nine yards. Trying to bury ‘Yotes flashbacks… Failing, badly… That follows immediately with a NDSU running TD by Sam Ojuri. Aw, hell. TOUCHDOWN, bad guys. SCORE: 14-7.
7:05 p.m. - Highlight montage to the 2007 NDSU-Minnesota game! Drink (as if you aren’t already).
7:05 p.m. - The Ginger Cinderella comes in! I have no idea why – if it’s due to injury or not – but he promptly hands off to Duane Bennett who races downfield for a gain of 23.
7:08 p.m. - But why is Shortell in? If only BTN had a sideline reporter to give us some sort of update, some sort of third media member to ask questions or observe the goings on down on the sideline. Immediately after I type that on Twitter, they throw it down to Haarlow and she informs us that Shortell is “always ready” to play. She talks about him warming up a lot. She does not tell us if inserting him into the game was just a personnel decision by Jerry Kill or if anything is wrong with Gray.
Glad she’s here. I love hearing sports cliches delivered by people off camera during the game.
7:11 p.m. - Duane Bennett takes another long run; he has 45 yards rushing on this drive alone. Waiting for people to say Shortell moves the ball better than Gray, even though every play on this drive has been on the ground.
7:12 p.m. - Kirkwood takes it across the left tackle out of the shotgun and goes 30 yards to the house! TOUCHDOWN! PLAY THE EFFING ROUSER. SCORE: 14-14. The score wraps up a 10 play drive, 90 yards, all rushing. Impressive drive from a team that has been struggling to run this year with anyone by Gray.
7:16 p.m. - After an impressive drive on the ground for Minnesota, the Bison laugh and show us how it’s done. Running back DJ McNorton fires off a 58 yard gain, taking the ball down to the Minnesota 13-yard line.
7:18 p.m. - The defense loses containment again on Brock Jensen, who scrambles for a gain of 11 yards to the Minnesota 2.
On a related note, Denard Robinson might rush for 2,000 yards. Not this season, I mean next week, when he plays the Gophers in Ann Arbor. The previous play follows with a two-yard scamper by McNorton. TOUCHDOWN, Bison. SCORE: 21-14.
7:22 p.m. - Gray is back in the game with only a handful of seconds left in the half. Bennett rushes for eight yards, then Gray rushes for one yard. Third and three, Gray overthrows McKnight, who hadn’t turned around yet. Time for one pla, and McKnight has a false start. A false start penalty on a Hail Mary: Your 2011 Minnesota Golden Gophers! That play is the mark of this year’s team.
7:28 p.m. - My God, I spoke too soon. Gray chucks a desperate pass, badly overthrown and it gets picked off by Colten Heagle on NDSU at about the 20-yard-line. Heagle runs for 30 yards and tosses the ball backward. After a bounce, it’s picked to Marcus Williams, who races the remaining 51 yards to the endzone.
OK, so that is the mark of Gopher football. My God; I can’t believe what I just saw. TOUCHDOWN, bad guys. SCORE: 28-14, Bison.
HALFTIME. I’m speechless right now. I’m without speech. The defense can’t make a stop and, apparently on the last play, neither can the offense. A third down penalty and a missed tackle later, the Gophers are down by 14 points. They are inventing new ways to lose to FCS teams.
7:40 p.m. - Commercial break: Pitbull, how much did your soul cost?
7:50 p.m. - Mason tells us that he places a lot of importance on the first series of the second half, especially if you’re down 14 points. “What you need is a three and out and gain field position,” he says.
First play? Five yard pass from Jensen to Warren Halloway. Second play? False start on NDSU. Third play? Mike Rallis stops Holloway for a gain of a yard. That brings up third and eight. This team needs to decide if they have any heart, any toughness, or not. Too often they let teams move the ball at will on third down or fourth and close.
7:53 p.m. - NDSU advances. After a non-existent pass rush, Jensen passes for a gain of eight yards. This Gopher defense rushes the passer with the eagerness that I bring to cleaning the gutters. We have one sack this year, tying us for 116th with four other schools in Divison I, FBS football.
7:56 p.m. - Devlin tells us that the NDSU center is from Bloomington, Minn. Drink.
7:58 p.m. - On third and six, Jensen passes to Matt Veldman – Devlin tells us he is from Becker, Minn., during the highlight – for a 23-yard gain. Somewhere, Kevin Cosgrove smiles at his former well-tuned machine.
8 p.m. - Wait, what? The Gophers make a stop on third down and eight? Really? Is there a late flag or something? Somehow, the Gophers trick Jensen into missing McNorton on a screen, bringing up fourth down at the Minnesota 32-yard line.
I realize the Bison are going to kick here, but I would go for it. It’s insane, but this defense couldn’t stop a broken watch right now. I would go for it and test them again. And again. Then, I would trick them into another test, like parents do with little kids.
8:02 p.m. - NDSU kicker Ryan Jastram nails a 49-yard field goal. Of course he does. SCORE: 31-14, NDSU.
8:08 p.m. - Gray starts the half at QB, with the Gophers at the 28-yard line. Bennett runs the same shotgun read that the Gophs run on every first down, for two yards.
8:09 p.m. - Shortell comes in on third down and 10 and connects to Marcus Jones for 26 yards. Those are some stones on Ginger Cinderella! Alright Max, take the keys and go.
8:13 p.m. - Gophers get a favorable pass interference penalty; Shortell fires complete passes to Eric Lair and Malcolm Moulton for 21 and four yards, respectively. The Gophs move to the NDSU 10-yard line. Even though I think Gray gives them the best chance to win, Shortell looks good, right now even impressive.
But the drive stalls after a nine-yard sack on third down. Gophers kicker Chris Hawthorne hits a 36-yard field goal. Sigh. Gophers, three points. SCORE: 31-17.
8:21 p.m. - Jensen completes another four-yard gain to Holloway, which brings us to the end of the third quarter.
END OF THIRD QUARTER.
8:25 p.m. - We come back from commercial and “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi is blaring over the TCF Bank speakers. The Gophers, playing the Bison, are living by a prayer. This is where we are, Gopher fans.
On third and six, the Bison snap the ball. The defensive gives decent pressure; Royston misses a tackle, Jensen scrambles away and tosses one incomplete. This is the first NDSU possession that hasn’t resulted in points. It’s the fourth quarter. Yeesh.
Gregg Litman from WCCO-TV tweets one of the (sadly) funniest messages of the day, “Turns out the Bison did bring a punter.”
8:30 p.m. - Gray starts the drive, but after an injury to a Bison player, Shortell comes in. He badly underthrows McKnight and Gray comes back in on third down. He rushes for a gain of eight yards and gets a first down.
The Gophers are switching QBs like basketball coaches substitute players at the end of the game on every whistle to take advantage of offensive and defensive matchups. Gray stays in for another play, but at wide receiver, and Shortell comes in again. He hands off to Bennett for a first down.
8:33 p.m. - Gray is back at QB and passes to Marcus Jones for five yards. That follows with a run for no gain from Bennett, leaving the Gophers at fourth and two. Shortell races in. He stands out of shotgun and as he snaps the ball, flags fly all over the field. False start, McKnight.
This Gopher squad moves like no other team in the country, before the snap. Back it up five yards.
8:36 p.m. - Fourth and seven, Kill decides to still go for it and leaves Shortell on the field. If they fail to move the ball here, it’s surely another loss to FCS North Dakota State. Let that sink in for a bit.
The ball is snapped, Shortell throws over the middle, Lair is open! ONIONS! TOUCHDOWN! PLAY THE EFFING ROUSER. SCORE: 24-31, bad guys.
8:43 p.m. - The Gopher defense needs to come up with a huge stop, possibly a three and out. On third and four, tight end Garrett Bruhn gets wide open. Jensen finds him for a gain of nine yards and a first down.
8:45 p.m. - Defensive tackle Anthony Jacobs forces a fumble, which is recovered by the Bison. That brings up third and four, and, Dear God That’s First Quarter Brock Vereen’s music! Receiver Ryan Smith takes an out pattern, loses Vereen, and gains 31 yards.
8:48 p.m. - The defense gets the Bison to another third down. Needing 15 yards for a first down, the Gophers give up 13 yards and hold. That brings the kicking team on the field, but kicker Ryan Jastram shanks a knuckleball to the left. With 2:58 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Gophers can still come back and barely win against a team they should absolutely destroy.
8:52 p.m. - Jerry Kill seems ready to go with the Ginger Cinderella, the White Willie Beamen, Max Shortell. He chucks one pass incomplete. The next play, he wings another one up and it’s picked off by Marcus Williams, who takes it back to the house. Again. TOUCHDOWN, Bison. 24-37.
Mason informs us that Williams is “his neighbor in Hopkins.” That’ll be a drink, if you’re still playing at home. If you aren’t drinking by now, though, you’re probably a priest, rabbi or cardinal.
8:54 p.m. - Gray comes back in at QB and is promptly dumped for a two-yard loss. He rushes for seven yards and then picks up a gain of 17 yards through the air to McKnight. He has only three catches tonight.
9:01 p.m. - The two-minute offense stalls with two dropped passes, bringing up fourth and 13. The pass on fourth down? Dropped again.
Fifty-seven seconds left and the Bison line up in the victory formation and let the clock run out. Wow. Alright, time to change the channel. Charlie Sheen didn’t meltdown like this. (Sorry, the Comedy Central roast is on, the association came from that.) I suggest we all go watch that, at least there’s people laughing at the misery there.
Until next week, when Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines get the chance to break all of the offensive records in that program’s storied history.
Who else needs a drink?
“This week’s movie poster is ‘The Hangover Part II.’ We lost to a team that we were supposed to beat by 20 points; we watched our coach be carted off of the field on a stretcher. Could it really be anything else? (Here’s the original movie poster for comparison.)”
- Taken from my blog post at Fringe Bowl Team. [FBT]
“These games are The Help. They allow you to run through different packages, to try players in different situations during actual game competition. The Help allows you to see if your converted cornerback can make the transition to defense. The Help gives your program a chance to get into the win column early in the season. The Help pads your wins at the end of the year so that it doesn’t matter if you lost your last three conference games.
Enter New Mexico State. … The Help – it’s college football’s Great American Cupcake Game.”
“Yes, the battle of the Little Brown Jug is a rivalry, but it’s a rivalry in the same sense that the ant versus the human foot is a rivalry. Since 1968, or a span of 39 games, Minnesota’s possession of the Jug can be counted on one hand, and even then from only middle finger to pinky. Meanwhile, rivalry-crazed “Michigan man” Brady Hoke hasn’t once mentioned the Little Brown Jug in his quest to remind everyone that at one point, Michigan was pretty good at football and that they also used to beat Ohio State, or “Ohio” as he call them for no specific reason, pretty regularly. The rivalry is not why this game will matter to Jerry Kill’s coaching staff. The 2011 Little Brown Jug game, held at the Big House in Ann Arbor, will give us a Google Maps read-out of the Gophers’ distance left to reach respectability. It is a classic litmus test game.” - Taken from my column on Fringe Bowl Team Blog, where I will be writing some Gopher football and basketball related columns. (Or, read it below if you want.)
“Yes, the battle of the Little Brown Jug is a rivalry, but it’s a rivalry in the same sense that the ant versus the human foot is a rivalry. Since 1968, or a span of 39 games, Minnesota’s possession of the Jug can be counted on one hand, and even then from only middle finger to pinky. Meanwhile, rivalry-crazed “Michigan man” Brady Hoke hasn’t once mentioned the Little Brown Jug in his quest to remind everyone that at one point, Michigan was pretty good at football and that they also used to beat Ohio State, or “Ohio” as he call them for no specific reason, pretty regularly. The rivalry is not why this game will matter to Jerry Kill’s coaching staff. The 2011 Little Brown Jug game, held at the Big House in Ann Arbor, will give us a Google Maps read-out of the Gophers’ distance left to reach respectability.
It is a classic litmus test game.”
- Taken from my column on Fringe Bowl Team Blog, where I will be writing some Gopher football and basketball related columns. (Or, read it below if you want.)
What can we really tell from team-by-team National Signing Day recruiting rankings? Are recruiting rankings a predictor of future success? Or are they swayed toward big-time, big-name programs and prospects in Texas, California and Florida?
Photo credit: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune
(Ed. Note: I wrote this back in March, while staying in Zimbabwe. I held off publishing it to possibly use it in hopes for a different blog, but rather than let this continue to sit, I’d like to get it out there. To kick off Gopher camp, I figured I would bring it out, as well as some more regular posts in the coming days. EM)
In early 2008, the Minnesota Golden Gophers had just wrapped up an atrocious season, one that would have gone completely winless if not for an early season win in triple overtime against an under .500 team from the Mid-American Conference. But later next February, there the Gophers were, sprinkled between Texas A&M and Virginia Tech within the top 25 recruiting rankings. Coach Tim Brewster and company brought the excitement of the Dinkytown faithful to a level never before reached in the short history of the Rivals.com lists on National Signing Day.
Even though Minnesota was once the class of major college football, those championship banners were raised decades ago, long before these incoming 17 and 18 year-olds had been born, and likely before even their parents had been born. It was what Brewster, an unproven hire, had been brought in to accomplish, to bring in players that otherwise tabbed Minneapolis as a cold Omaha. The dandy of a recruiting ranking, which seemingly dominated anything that Brewster’s predecessor Glen Mason accomplished recruiting wise, had Big Ten and Gopher football message boards alike buzzing.
“This class is phenomenal. Minnesota has to be one of the biggest stories nationally,” said Tom Lemming, possibly one of most well-known and thorough national recruiting analysts, at the time to the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis. “I believe Tim is one of the Top 10 recruiters I’ve ever seen and he’s showing why with this class. Recruiting is all about perception and nobody does it better than Tim. I’ve been doing this since 1978 and this is the best class that Minnesota has brought in when you talk about pure athletes.”
For those who aren’t ardent Saturday football fans, you’ll probably remember Lemming from a brief cameo in the film adaption of “The Blind Side.” The reviews poured in from other recruiting analysts as well, from credible sources who make a 9-to-5 living off of scouting players and analyzing them for college programs.
“There’s no question that Minnesota’s class goes down as the biggest surprise in the nation for me,” said Jeremy Crabtree, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst. “We knew he could recruit when he was at Texas and other places, but the job that he did this season with the results on the field is amazing. He’s surrounded himself with great assistant coaches that work just as hard as he does, and the end result is a class chock-full of impact guys that should help them out right away.”
Meanwhile, Zach Johnson, recruiting editor for Rivals-based GophersIllustrated.com, told a Star-Tribune reporter that it was the best recruiting class in Golden Gopher football history.
At his first press conference a few years earlier, Brewster promised such recruiting victories, which he said would not only leads to wins against the hated Wisconsin Badgers and Iowa Hawkeyes, but also to the Rose Bowl, the “Granddaddy of ‘Em All.”
“We’re going to win the Big Ten championship and we’re going to take the Gopher Nation to Pasadena,” Brewster said at the time to the cadre of reporters. “That’s my dream, that’s my goal and that’s my belief. It will happen here sooner rather than later.”
Brewster’s first true class delivered according to the experts. The Gophers now had the athletes to compete with upper echelon schools. But less than three years later, two offensive and defensive coordinators each had abandoned ship, the Gophers never won more than seven games in a season and Brewster was fired in the midst of a 1-6 season. Even in the seven win season when the team had briefly reached the top 25, they ended the season on a five-game losing streak, including a 55-0 loss to Iowa at home. During his tenure, Brewster’s team never beat a team ranked in the top 25; they hadn’t even beaten a rival in a trophy game. Brewster inherited a team that played Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl. He left a team that, at the time, hadn’t won a Big Ten conference game.
What happened? Is a recruiting ranking an indicator of future success? Were the Gophers victim to some unlikely circumstances or was Brewster unable to coach these talented players to their potential?
Why didn’t the Gophers improve their Big Ten position?