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The Daily Gopher Fix 8.13.08

Note: We're going to provide you a daily look at coverage of the Gophers around the Interwebs. Feel free to add links that you run across for discussion.

The Big Ten Network conducted an interview with Tim Brewster yesterday where he didn't say "tremendous" even once! Sweet. And, frankly, based on this television interview, Brewster seems to have figured out the expectations game. Asked what would be a successful season in 2008, Brewster basically said he couldn't quantify it in wins and losses but wanted to see improvement.

A year after giving the peanut gallery a "tremendous" amount of ammunition to fire at him after not living up to the high expectations he set for himself and the program, Brewster just might be taking strides in this area.

  • We're 17 days away from the widely anticipated season opener between the Golden Gophers and Northern Illinois. So, obviously, it was time for some trash talking from  the Red and Black Attack (NIU blog). In their post "5 teams that will hate the MAC in 2008," the blogger suggests the Gophers will go 0-2 against the MAC with losses to NIU and Bowling Green. Really is too bad I'm not confident enough in Brewster's lads to laugh off this soothsaying.
  • Another day, another Gophers football preview that takes the obvious narrative. This time it's The Sports Network's Mike Castiglione who notes the 1-11 record last year, the defense that "was more generous than the United Way," Brewster's optimism, the solid recruiting class, etc... Outlook? "The Gophers should be able to notch a few more wins, but in all likelihood, this program is eyeing 2009 as a springboard year, when the new stadium opens and the young recruits have had a chance to mature."
  • Tubby Smith's Golden Gophers will fail to make the NCAA Tournament this year, but grab a second straight bid in the NIT, according to this prognostication from Northwestern Wins.
  • Two items of note from ESPN's Adam Rittenberg today. First, Wisconsin QB Allan Evridge sat out of Tuesday's practice with a sore hammy. These things have a tendency to linger. Panic time in Madison? Second, Rittenberg looks at newcomers in the Big Ten, with short items on Brandon Green, Troy Stoudermire and Xzavian Brandon, as well as many others.
  • High expectations in East Lansing this year, so says Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press. The Spartans want to take down Cal at on the road in the opener and springboard to a season that builds on last year's 7-6.
  • The Chicgao Daily Herald's John Lemon previews the Gophers football season here--with the typical narrative--but also touches on two Chicago-area Gophers: tight Jack Simmons and defensive tackle Eric Small.
  • Kent Youngblood informs this morning that redshirt freshman Chris Bunders, a 312-pound O-lineman who had eyes on a starting gig, had minor arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss about 10 days. In the next week or so I'm going to preview the Gophers' O-line (We drew straws, I won!), but for a sneak preview of what to expect from the big guys, the STrib's Kent Youngblood has a thorough look:"So right now, left to right, the starting line goes like this: Dom Alford at lackle, (Ryan) Orton at left guard, center Jeff Tow-Arnett and (Ned) Tavale at right guard. Right tackle is a tight competition between redshirt freshman Ryan Wynn and junior Jason Meinke."