The type of season Tim Brewster's Gophers are having is going to bring an inordinate amount of coverage from the national college football media, and perhaps even some hype from the local press.
What we'll surely see from the national media is a simple storyline: Turnaround! 1-11 to 6-1 is a good story. 1-11 to 10-2 is a great story. if ESPN's Bruce Feldman is any indication, we'll get plenty of tips of the cap to Brewster's recruiting that has reshaped the defense and the Ted Roof hire that is playing a part in the revival. From Feldman's list of 10 Best Turnarounds in the country, #2, Minnesota's defense:
Minnesota's defense: One thing you heard from a lot of folks inside the coaching world is how great of a recruiter Gophers coach Tim Brewster is. Well, the former Texas assistant not only infused his program with talent, especially quality JC players to boost the defense, but he also brought in former Duke coach Ted Roof to run the defense and that move looks brilliant right now. The 6-1 Gophers, who last year were 1-11 and absolutely wretched on defense, had what Brewster called a a "program-changing'' victory over Illinois as his D forced three turnovers and bottled up quarterback Juice Williams' running threat as they stopped Illinois on a fourth-and-goal from the 1. Roof's move mixing in some 3-4 defensive looks while also shifting speedy safety Tramaine Brock to corner at times kept the Illini attack out of sync for much of the game. The Gophers are for real and it doesn't hurt that they don't have Penn State or Michigan State on the schedule this year so it's no stretch to think they could go from one win to eight or nine.
On to everything else. ....
- Now that we can make a coherent argument that Minnesota deserves top-25 attention, it could be fun to run around the various blogs making our case. If you are so inclined, I'd recommend going over to Dawg Sports (UGA) and make the case. Here's what the blog wrote about leaving out Minnesota: Florida State, Minnesota, and Northwestern did not receive serious consideration because nothing in the Seminoles’, Golden Gophers’, or Wildcats’ wins appeared even remotely adequate to overcome their respective losses, although I remain open to arguments to the contrary.
- Ron Zook and Illinois are still in head-scratching mode.
- Kent Youngblood writes that the bye week for the Gophers football team is coming at the right time. Adam Weber, Eric Decker, numberous offensive lineman and Marcus Sherels all should be able to get healthy for the stretch run.
- For those of us who are beyond giddy over the Illinois win, well enjoy it, but realize that Illinois outgained the Gophers 550-312. Yes, the Minnesota defense created three turnovers, but without one or more of those, we'd be talking about how pleased we were to be in the game.
- Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician writes "Give Tim Brewster the Coach of the Year Award now." And for those of you wondering where Ted Roof will go after the season, the blog also notes Duke's turnaround this year. From 1-11 to 3-2.
- Patrick Reusse, in case you missed it: I owe an apology to Gophers coach Tim Brewster. Observations were offered during his 1-11 debut in 2007 that he was a blowhard and did not have a chance to build a first-division program in the Big Ten. Now, after Saturday's upset at Illinois, it's clear that Brewster does have a chance, and only the first of those observations seems irrefutable.