May 20, 2007

2007 turning point for Gopher football and basketball. Question? or Statement!

There are 2 things that I KNOW about Gopher athletics.

  1. Over the last couple decades the minor sports at the U have been very successful while the traditional money sports have struggled for a LONG time. Wrestling, Hockey (minor by national standards) and Men's Golf have all won national championships in recent years. Baseball, Track, Swimming/Diving and Gymnastics have all been fixtures at or near the top of the Big Ten. BUT football and basketball have become irrelevant.
  2. There is a LOT of excitement in Gopher Nation for the football and basketball programs. The hiring of 2 new coaches has re-energized Gopher Nation (heck it created GN). A relative unknown (and by relative I mean, everyone reacted with a "WHO?!?") was hired to lead the mediocre football program and one of the biggest names in college basketball left one of the biggest programs in college basketball to coach the inept gopher hoopsters. Both have done a fantastic job of selling tickets, hitting the recruiting trail HARD and getting people excited for the futures of football and basketball in Minnesota.
While they have made good moves and said the right things to this point they have not accomplished ANYTHING on the playing field. I sense excitement but I still have so many questions. Are we going to look back in 3 years and be debating if coach Brewster should be fired or will we be upset that he is leaving us for Texas? Will Kentucky fans be missing the Tubby era or will they be telling us "I told you so" when he is unable to bring in the talent needed to meet expectations. I want to dig into these questions and cover the following...
  • What can we expect in 2007-08?
  • What can we define as success?
  • How quickly can either of these programs win a Big Ten title?
  • What are the long term expectations of success?
That is a lot to cover but I plan to tackle these in my 8 part series of the New Golden Gopher Era!

stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

8 part series. Nice. I look forward to your insights on gopher's basketball and football. I will be happy if both teams can have .500 Big Ten records within 2 seasons. Then, Big Ten Championship or die.

Tom said...

personally I think both teams could realisticly be .500 this season, but you'll just have to wait for more details... :)

Paging Jim Shikenjanski said...

I look forward to the series..

I think Brewster should have a little more wiggle room. OSU and Michigan have been dominant Big Ten figures for decades. A New Year's Day Bowl would be nice within 3 years.

For Tubby, I'll have higher demands. MSU, Illinois, OSU and Wisconsin have been solid, but there is certainly an opening for a program to be the perennial power in the Big Ten. Is asking for a top-3 Big Ten finish in year two asking way too much? Probably, I think Tubby can deliver.