Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brewster: Hey, Everybody! Come See How Good I Look!

There has been no bigger surprise in the Big Televen this year than Timmay! Brewster and his Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, and it's about time that F&BT talks about them. This is hard for us to do, because the Goofers are a border state and BT rival of both WildHawk and my alma maters. But even for a rival, it's hard not to take notice of what the Gophers have done so far this year. It seems like ever since he has been hired, ol' Timmay! has been channeling his inner Ron Burgundy and begging people to come look at how good it is at Minnesota. Saying something about Big Ten titles and National Championships from the Paleozoic Era, Brewster was mostly selling hype. But sell he did, and a bunch of JUCO players were dumb enough to buy it. Dumb like a fox, as it turns out.

Taking advantage of a cast-off head coach, Brewster hired Ted Roof, the fired HC at Duke and formerly excellent d-coordinator, to come to Minnesota and revamp his defense. Roof gets a lot of credit here, as he should, but those dumb enough to sign on JUCO players have provided the biggest boost on that side of the ball. Brewster took the risk of alienating the current players by bringing in so many JUCO guys, yet he turned that into motivation for the current players to step up their game and in the process changed the culture at Minny. Suddenly, a potentially potent offense led by Adam Weber and Eric Decker have a half decent defense to help them out. Goodbye shootouts, hello consistent football.

Whetst1 brought this up in the comments on a previous post, but looking at the Fighting Timmay's! schedule...what game isn't winnable? Standing at 6-1, the Gophers go to a Purdue team that is struggling this week, followed at home by a Northwestern team whose offense isn't its usual explosive self. That is followed up by the reincarnation of 2007 Notre Dame...err Michigan...at home. Three W's in those games puts them at 9-1 with their two rivalry games ahead, @ Wisconsin and vs. Iowa, both of whom are not as good as they have been in the past. While you can never count on season records in a rivalry game, you have to think the Gophers would be fired up to get back at their rivals for the losses in the past few years. Scary to say it, but can we really be looking at an 11-1 Minnesota team?

For the love of Lake Minnetonka, I sure as hell hope not. That would put Minny in either a BCS or Jan 1 bowl game vs the SEC...scenarios which appear disastrous any way you put it. I know the Big Ten is down, but having a 1-11 team from a year ago reverse their record and go 11-1 and be 1st or 2nd in the league would just be embarrassing. It kind of happened last year with Illinois, and we know how that Rose Bowl turned out. Anyway, I don't think Minny has it in them to go 11-1. And here's why...do you trust them?

I mean really, really trust them? I don't. At some point they'll have to come back to earth, or they'll give up a few turnovers and have an off day. Plus, for a team so down last year, how will they handle success? If they keep winning, eventually they'll get noticed nationally and I don't trust them enough to handle that pressure. I'm thinking 9-3 for the Gophers with losses to Northwestern and Iowa, but ideally they'd be 8-4 and my Badgers could beat them too. Either way, the Big Ten is officially on notice that Timmay! is selling more than hype now, and the Gophers are looking to make a splash.


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