I usually leave most football talk to GN. I try to follow the axiom "if you don't have anything good to say ...." I'm throwing that out the window for a minute.
First, if you missed the news yesterday, Tim Brewster lost wide receivers coach George McDonald to the Cleveland Browns. Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press suggests this could be a significant loss because of McDonald's recruiting prowess in Florida. This might not even be more than a blurb that we all ignore if this weren't already an offseason of relative coaching turmoil.
JG sums up my thoughts in a fanpost to the right (I would have front paged it, but we are pretty much required to have game threads at the top of the page on game nights). Here's part of what JG said after reading this Q&A with new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Here are two of JG's observations from the Q&A that I agree with.
(1) I know I've discussed this with a number of people on this blog. However, I felt that the spread was in danger once Davis was hired as the O-Line coach. I felt even stronger that the spread was in danger here once Dunbar resigned. Fisch's comments make clear that the spread is dead at Minnesota. To which I say:
We're going back to a pro-style offense? Okay. I'm glad we had to go through 2007 and 2008's offensive troubles to get to this point.
(2) I think it's pretty obvious that Brewster was desperate to hire an OC based on his "recruitment" of Fisch to be OC. We were all promised a knock-out hire when Dunbar left. The reality is that Brewster couldn't get anyone to take this job, and the guy who did take it didn't even know it was available until he was offered the job. Not the most promising job search, and it makes me wonder. how much pull Brewster really has if he can't get anyone here other than guys he played or coached with.
Back to the Q&A, here's what Fisch said about the spread.
GH: So you would not characterize Minnesota as running the spread anymore?
JF: No, I would not characterize it as the spread anymore. We’re going to be a pro-style offense.
Forgive me, spread coast denialist that I am, but why is it that Brewster came in, preached to us that the spread was the way, completely went away from Glen Mason's power game, recruited talent to fill the spread, told us that growing pains were because of the philosophy transition and then completely changed course after an ugly second half to 2008?
Im my opinion it's one of two things. 1) Brewster was wrong from the start and Minnesota can't recruit enough athletes to be a spread team. Or 2) Brewster isn't confident enough in his belief that running the spread is the way to go that he's going to completely throw in the towel for a new philosophy (and excuses).
Another Fisch quote from the interview:
We’re building a system from scratch here. We started from day one with a blank sheet of paper ...
All I can see in my head is Brewster with his hands in the air, totally unsure of the direction he wants his program to go. And this in the year when the Gophers open TCF Bank Stadium.
And now I remember why I leave most football coverage to GN.
- Highlight of last night's men's basketball game. Trent Tucker: "It was never about me. It was about the team." Cliche, but somehow I think Tucker believes every word.
- In discussing whether Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet is the next big thing, March to Madness asks what has happened to the dominant center in college basketball. Good question.
- Hoopraker's Big Ten Thoughts chronicles the hot play of the Michigan State Spartans and the absence of Robbie Hummel from Purdue. Hoopraker is right, Purdue is not the same team without Hummel. Annoyingly, Minnesota is one of few Big Ten teams Hummel has decided to play against.
- Down with Goldy might be turning into a Utah State site. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
- Roman Augustoviv notes that Don Lucia was bumped on WCCO for President Obama (shocker) and then gives us Lucia's take on Alex Kangas and the Seawolves who the Gophers will look to get healthy against this weekend.
- ESPN2 basketball games. I won't watch them anymore. I'm not sure if it's every game, but a few times recently I've tuned in to see not only a bottom line but some completely annoying "interactive" scrolling comments section on top of the screen. Is this going to be a new thing?