So, GN is paranoid about this weekend. Here's a sampling of an instant message conversation from Tuesday evening.
GN: I gotta say, Saturday's game is making me a bit nervous. This is when overconfidence steps in.
PJS: Not when NW was ranked just last week.
GN: But their entire team is hurt, we are at home, we are feeling good about ourselves and are looking forward to Michigan next week.
PJS: A bit paranoid are we?
GN: I have a bad feeling, that's all.
PJS: Don't you know that Tim Brewster is going to be the coach of the year? He can't win that if he loses to Northwestern.
GN: Next three weeks are rivalry games that we have a chance to win.
PJS: I'm using this convo as the intro to the Nugz!
GN: I'll edit it after you go to bed. (GN ed note: I didn't edit anything)
This exercise in relaying our trivial instant messages has a purpose. I'm curious ... Do you think the Northwestern game this weekend, because of where it falls on the schedule, overconfidence or another reason has the criteria of a typical trap game?
If we were on the road, or if CJ Bacher was healthy, I might agree. But a Bacher-less Wildcats team is beatable, in my opinion. And I also don't see the Gophers overlooking the Wildcats because at this time last week Pat Fitzgerald's squad was nationally ranked.
I'm not buying GN's paranoia. You?
- After Brewster's team faces Northwestern on Saturday, why not head over to WIlliams Arena at 4 p.m. and catch an open practice for Tubby Smith's team? (BTW, I'll be back with more men's basketball preview content Thursday and Friday).
- AOL FanHouse looks at the summer that was for Big Ten basketball.
- Our friend at Lake the Posts gives Northwestern readers a first look at Brewster's squad in advance of Saturday's game. The findings? Minnesota and Northwestern have been remarkably similar this season with one big, big diference.
- The Minnesota Daily has an interesting, if not fully fleshed out story on the NCAA looking at the "possibility of making a coach’s academic success more public."
- Scouts Inc. writer Bill Conley looks at football talent in the state of Minnesota for the class of 2009. Heading the list is Michigan de-commit Bryce McNeal. After mentioning Moses Alipate and Ra'Shede Hageman, Conley writes that if McNeal were to end up at Minnesota it would be a "big-statement" for the Gophers.
- Matt Hinton is Dr. Saturday and breaks down Minnesota's surprise start. His conclusion is that while it has been and could be a great season, this team does not deserve to whiff a BCS game.
Give them credit for winning nine or ten or however many it ends up being. But if there's even a hint of a campaign to draft Minnesota into the BCS with 10 or 11 wins, please, for the sake of the game that would have to accept them and those precious three hours of your New Year, ignore it.Let's get to 11 wins and then see how things play out.