August 14, 2007

Gopher Nation quick hitters

There has been a minor explosion of newsworthy items in Gopher Nation.

Hockey - I don't see Gopher Puck's comments on this yet but the hockey team has lost it's 3rd underclassman defenseman to the NHL. Jim O'Brien has signed with Ottawa and will play on their minor league team in Seattle. O'Brien was a forward last year as a freshman and finished with 7 goals and 8 assists. He was scheduled to move to defense for his sophomore season. I am not familiar enough with the roster or incoming recruits to know who will see an increase in their minutes.

Men's Basketball - the Big Ten schedule has been released. As many of you know the schedule is expanding from 16 to 18 games meaning there will not be just 2 teams that you will play only one time. The Gophers will miss Purdue and Iowa a 2nd time around. Not quite as nice a missing Wis, OSU or Indiana but there isn't much you can do about it. Home games against Mich, Ind and Iowa will be on ESPN. The home Ohio State game on March 1st (or 2nd) potentially could be on CBS.

Football - we all know that fall practice has begun. Brewster and crew have returned from Collegeville and have now begun two-a-days. Recruiting has been uber-interesting this summer as TBrew is trying to drastically upgrade the overall talent on the team. By all accounts there will be a handful of true freshmen who will contribute (if not start) for your 2007 Golden Gophers. HERE is a relatively current depth chart.

Volleyball - one of the many minor sports that the Gophers have excelled at in recent years. Volleyball is a West Coast sport and Minnesota (along with Penn State and Nebraska) is one of the teams east of California who can compete with anybody. The most recent recruiting class was ranked 4th in the nation, behind Stanford, Texas and USC. This marks the third time in five seasons they have had a top 5 recruiting class. Their season open Aug. 24 vs. Notre Dame as these women try to improve on their NCAA Regional appearance from last year.

Here are some general NCAA Football newsworthy items...

ESPN "expert" Picks - ESPN weighs in on conference champ predictions as well as BCS Champs. It looks like the nation is fighting for 2nd as USC was the unanimous favorite and pretty much the entire Big Ten is fighting for 2nd behind Michigan. Also noteworthy is that Bowling Green is the most common pick as MAC East Champ with Miami(Ohio), another Gopher opponent, also getting some votes as MAC-E champ.

Sunday Morning QB - with their Big Ten preview, yet another expert picking the Golden Gophers to not even finish in the top 10 of the Big Ten!

The Hawkeye Compulsion - this is a great interview, story with Ron Zook.

Michigan Sports Center says 2007 National Championship or BUST!

Buckeye Banter's Big 10 Preview - last place for the gophers, AGAIN


Jon Johnston said...

Yo, dude, you left out Wisconsin as a midwest team that can hold their own in volleyball.

I wish we - Huskers - were playing you guys on an annual basis. It's always a good match, I was at the last one.

Good site, btw!

Tom said...

Jon, I'm guessing you won't see this comment but I felt compelled to respond.

I pay VERY little attention to NCAA Volleyball, I guess now that you mention it I recall Wisconsin being decent. But I seem to see PSU and Minn competing on the national state more often than the Badgers. I'll try to pay better attention this season.