Another Gopher football game, another blowout loss. Last week they got destroyed by a Michigan team that could be pretty good, perhaps even the class of the West division (not saying they are, but you can make a strong argument they're as good or better than Nebraska or Michigan State). This week Purdue toyed with them. I don't think the Boilermakers are a bowl team, but you never know, but the point is, they're not in Michigan's class, or an upper-echelon Big Ten team right now. And yet they made it look easy against the Gophers. They were up 24-0 before the first quarter even ended, and held Minnesota's "offense" to- are you ready for this?- 213 total yards; and most of that came in the fourth quarter after the game was long over.
I had to work yesterday so I DVR'd the game, but turned it off after the pick-six made it 24-zip. I've decided that if I can't watch any games live the rest of the year, I'm not even going to bother DVRing them anymore. Because really, what's the point? What can you say about this game, or the Michigan game, or any of the future blowouts that are coming against Nebraska and Wisconsin (the Badgers might score 100. I'm not even kidding) and others?
I love Gopher football and I believe we have the right coaching staff in place, but holy **** this team is terrible. They are bad in every facet, and that's very, very unlikely to change the rest of the season. Adam Rittenberg today called them the worst team in a BCS conference, and I'd say that's being kind- this might be the worst team in all of division 1 football. When the updated stats come out tomorrow for the nation, Minnesota will be dead last in the Big Ten in pretty much every category (not that they weren't heading into the Purdue game, but now they're REALLY last), and could be 100 or worse nationally in most of those. It might be a worse team than Tim Brewster's 2007 1-11 squad, and that's saying something.
At least the coaches realize it and played, like, a bazillion freshmen yesterday, which is absolutely the right call at this point. The upperclassmen on the squad are either so scarred from the Brewster Era or they just aren't that good, but whatever the reason, they've proven they're not worthy. Not that all these young kids will be any more productive, but might as well at least figure out what you have because at this point, just six games in, the 2011 season is over. Minnesota will double-digit dogs in their final six games (except maybe against Northwestern), and I don't expect them to win another game this season. Sure I'm hopeful they shock a team or two like they did at the end of last season, but I'm not betting on it.
Which brings us to this blog, and just what the hell we're going to talk about the rest of the season? I vote for hockey and hoops (after beating Sacred Heart 6-0 and 7-0 this weekend, maybe there's hope for the hockey team? We'll start diving into hockey coverage this week), and maybe we'll post scores and game threads and any major news for the football team, but that's it. Because again, what are we going to be able to break down and analyze and discuss that we don't already know? I could write the game preview and post-game reaction for the last six games right now and just fill in the opponent and the eventual blowout score. It's not likely to start getting better until 2012 when we get more recruits in here who can play, but even then, they're going to be very young again, and you just don't win in the Big Ten with freshmen and sophomores. And yet, that's about Minnesota's only hope right now.
The right coaching staff is in place, but it's year one of what is now obviously a MAJOR rebuilding job, and it's going to be ugly for the rest of the year. Maybe the young kids will show some improvement and some heart, but it's going to be painful. As Gopher football fans, we're all masochists to be this passionate about a team and program this terrible, but this season may take that to an entirely new level of pain. The 2011 season can't end fast enough.