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The Daily Gopher Fix 9.24.08

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The Bleacher Report has the Gophers as one of the ten surprise teams in the country.

Sure, the schedule hasn’t been exactly daunting. But considering this is same program that was spanked weekly last year on its way to a one-win season, the 4-0 start is somewhat surprising. The manner of handling expected decent squads in Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic is inspiring to Golden Gophers’ fans. Example: Minnesota last year lost to FAU, 42-39, as the secondary was scorched. This year, it got major revenge, 37-3.

Now we just move to handling expected decent Big Ten squads.  There isn't much meat to tBR listing of surprise teams.  But this is where we wanted to be through the first month.  It gets more interesting when then get to their "thumbs down" portion and Ohio State is the topic.

The Buckeyes may be 3-1, but it’s about the most paltry 3-1 possible. It includes a narrow home escape against winless Ohio and recent struggle over Troy, besides the blowout loss to USC. What’s most surprising is Jim Tressel’s squad returned 20 starters from a group that reached the national title game last season. The loss of standout runner Beanie Wells was a first-game blow, but the level of relative mediocrity since is inexcusable.

The notion that Minnesota could compete or keep this game close seems ludicrous to Buckeye fans. Our schedule has been called into question and of course the fact that we haven't been seen on the national scene in a long time tends to come up.

Well getting destroyed by USC doesn't mean much.  After that close calls to Ohio and Troy won't exactly build up that Strength of Schedule ranking.  Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic are both considered better than Ohio State's MAC and Sun Belt opponents.  USC is light years ahead of Northern Illinois, but they are light years ahead of Ohio State as well.

  • Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch gives us the key to beating Ohio State, somebody give Coach Brewster a call!
    The Buckeyes seem vulnerable to passes thrown down the middle of the field. I saw it against USC and again to a lesser extent last week, but teams seem to have success on slants and posts in the 10- to 20-yard range.
    Weber to Decker should be a name the final score combination!
  • The Chicago Tribune is trying to stir up some controversy for this week's game in Columbus.
    "It's really hard for a freshman to come into this conference and start," said Minnesota coach Tim Brewster, clearly unconcerned about winding up on Buckeyes bulletin boards. "Terrelle's going to experience some growing pains."
    Bulletin board material?  Brewster stated that freshmen quarterbacks make mistakes in the Big Ten.  He saw it with his own eyes last year.  If the Buckeyes want bulletin board material, I'll give it to them.  But that clearly was not BBM. 
  • Adam Rittenberg totally stole my post.  Time stamp shows he actually posted his 55 minutes before I did, but I want you all to know that mine was done last night and I was waiting to post it.  I'm not claiming he plagiarized my material.  I'm charging him with hacking into my SBN account and then plagiarizing.  Kidding of course, but it is really ironic that we had eerily similar posts within an hour of each other.  Great minds really do think alike.
  • The Buckeye Blog is essentially saying that the Gophers are going to win.  Maybe not that, but he is stating that the 17.5 point spread is too high.  And clearly it is way too large of a margin.  Things could totally snowball out of control and we lose by 20.  But you have to believe that Minnesota is better than Troy and Ohio, both played within the magic 17.5. 
  • Eleven Warriors is giving us the low down on a couple new starters on the defense.  Anyone remember this from a year ago?  Disappointing defensive performance after disappointing defensive performance saw new starters each week.  It ididn't help.  This is really more a testament to the current Gopher defense which has seen the same starters in all four games because they are performing as they should.