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The Daily Gopher Fix 8.21.08

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This is actually a day old, but it has not been commented on here so I'm taking this opportunity to chat about Adam Rittenberg's interview with Tim Brewster (part 1 and part 2). 

The usual was covered, junior college infusion, we stunk last year, is the defense improving, etc.  But what jumped out at me was a moment when it Brewster seemed to get a little testy with Rittenberg.  AR asked a series of questions about remaining optimistic during a tough season and how much he has to teach these younger players who were not alive the last time Minnesota was nationally competitive.

AR: For the players who weren't born during that period, have you hammered home those points, connecting them with the past, because they don't have that reference point of, 'Hey, Minnesota went to the Rose Bowl and won a Big Ten title?'

TB: That's not a true statement at all. That's a very uninformed statement by you. Our players know we've won six national championships, our players know we've won 18 Big Ten championships. They know the greatness that was the University of Minnesota. Each and every day, we want to study history and make sure our players do understand and respond and know what it means to be a Minnesota Golden Gopher.

Didn't really answer the question and it was not how I've seen Brewster react to the media before.  It is written so it's hard to gauge tone but I thought it was worth noting.

The other quote I want to put out there is the primary reason I am more than willing to give Brewster a chance.

TB: Our goal each and every day we come to work at Minnesota is to win a Big Ten championship and go to the Rose Bowl. That has not changed. That'll be the goal as long as I'm the head football coach

He has been ripped for this in the past but it is exactly why I like him.  He isn't guaranteeing anything.  He is willing to stick his neck on the line by stating a clear and worthwhile goal.  Maybe he fails, maybe we never reach the Rose Bowl, but he is trying and he's not afraid to say what he wants for this team.  If you would ask the previous staff about the Rose Bowl, they'd say that is out of reach and point out all of the challenges here at Minnesota.  Rather than accept excuses, I prefer to see someone give it a shot and try to overcome the challenges faced here.

  • While Michigan is still trying to sort out their QB of 2008, Wisconsin has officically announced Allan Evridge as the starter.  This isn't a complete shock as the Kansas State transfer was expected to earn the starting not over junior, Dustin Sherer. 

    The rest of the depth chart was also announce and Gopher fans should note that Minnesota native David Gilreath is starting at WR in his sophomore season.  Wouldn't he look good opposite Decker in maroon and gold?
  • Yesterday PJS pointed out that the vastly underrated Northwestern blogger, Lake the Posts was planning to bury a happy little NU bobble-head somewhere in the Horseshoe turf. Well,  LTP didn't bring the proper equipment to dig through field turf, so the original plan was aborted.
  • MGO's Blog Poll was released yesterday.  If you haven't paid attention in previous years it will be featured on TDG this year.  The official poll is kind of fun as Brian does a nice job of making fun of pollsters who give their team too much or too little credit.  Shockingly, Minnesota did not receive any votes.
  • A nice little story about the Gopher's highly anticipated freshman QB, MarQueis Gray.  Coach Mike Dunbar said that they are planning to redshirt Gray, but they are allowing him to develop and compete for the backup job behind Weber.  Translation?  As long as Weber is healthy we won't see Gray, but if Weber gets injured all bets are off.
  • What encouraged me most about the story was the compliments Gray received from some of his teammates.

    "Said Mortensen: "He reminds me of a young Vince Young out there. He's got the size like Vince. He moves so fluid. You just can't teach that stuff. As older guys, we mess with him, but he's got a good head."
    We've heard statements like this from Tim Brewster and the Vince Young comparisons are crazy, but it is a solid compliment nonetheless.
  • CBS Sportsline is catching up with Big Ten basketball.  They point out that Minnesota lost their 3 leading scorers, brought in a nice recruiting class and should have some backcourt depth.  We all know how previews of the football team have been beyond banal, expect much of the same for the basketball team.  At least with Tubby Smith's squad there will be some universal optimism.