July 16, 2007

the NEW Golden Gopher Era - Part 4

What are the long term expectations for success?

The NEW Golden Gopher Era - Part 4 of 8

Intro - Turning point for Gopher FB and BB
Part 1 - What can we expect in 2007? - FB
Part 2 - What can we define as success (short term) - FB
Part 3 - How quickly can we win a Big Ten title? - FB

Raise your hand if you remember the long and storied Lou Holtz era at the University of Minnesota! I'm not old enough to know anything about it except that as a kid I was well aware that he fell on the short list of people that we do not extend "Minnesota Nice" to. For the record that list looks something like...

1. Norm Green
2. Lou Holtz
3. Drew Pearson (that was a push-off, cheater)
4. anything Wisconsin
5. anything Iowa
Anyway, I digress. My point with bringing up Lou Holtz's cup of coffee at the U is that the long term success of the U hinges on the loyalty of Tim Brewster. Will Coach Brewster answer the phone when the "bigger" schools come calling? Is this a stepping stone for Brewster or does he truly want to turn this program into a dominant program with long term success?

I love the U and want nothing more than to see the football program return to success and competitiveness in the Big Ten on a yearly basis. I think that Brewster has what it takes to get us there, but I think that there are 3 possible scenarios for success and two-thirds of them end with Brewster leaving.

Lou Holtz Scenario - The Gophers experience success and we get to see that success quickly. If Brewster takes this mediocre program and takes us to a BCS Bowl in his first 3 years, he will have his pick of jobs that are open (and some that are not). At this point staying at the U is a lose-lose situation for him. He can get monster money at a school with a richer football program in a warmer climate, making recruiting that much easier and potential for a career of sustained success.

Can You Blame Him Scenario - Under this scenario Brewster does NOT take the Big Ten by storm in his first few years. This is the most likely path of success for Brewster and the gophers. Here the Gophers improve step by step and win the Big Ten after Brewster builds the talent base here with a handful of good recruiting classes. Here Coach Brew is here for 5-10 years giving us a few years of success BUT he leaves when the Texas job opens up and Mack Brown endorses TBrew to replace him.

Sky-U-Ma Scenario - This is the dream scenario for Gopher Nation. Brewster takes the program where we want it to go. We get to the Rose Bowl before his 5th season is complete, Brewster wants to stay in MN, the U pays him whatever he asks for and Brewster finishes his career here. Gopher Nation gets to experience a team that each and every year has a shot at winning the Big Ten and we regularly house the Traveling-Trophy-Trifecta. Floyd, Paul's Ax and the Jug have their permanent addresses changed to the Bierman Building.

Personally, I don't see scenario #3 happening. Best case we get Brewster here for about 6 seasons and get to make a trip to Pasadena. After he leaves for his "dream job" we can hope that he has groomed one of his assistants to take the reigns and keep Gopher Nation heading in the right direction.

At this point I prefer to enjoy the process. We are currently seeing Brewster and staff upgrade the talent here and hopefully we'll see some exciting football this season. Let's not dwell on when this ride comes to end.

No comments: