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Golden Nuggets for 9.26.08

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Honestly, I was pulling for Rodent Droppings. But the people have spoken and early this morning our vote counters called the race for Golden Nuggets, a name courtesy of Boudreau. Boudreau, please send me your mailing address for a prize, though I think GN might have been exaggerating when he said it was "fabulous."

Anyway, on to various items one day away from the biggest game in the Tim Brewster era. GN will be back later with an objective preview of Saturday's game. And, remember, we'll be having liveblog fun here Saturday if you are incined to join us.

  • Lots of reading here from (Scout) previewing the Gophers for OSU fans.
  • The Bleacher Report predicts OSU 31, Minnesota 14.
  • The Sports Memo writes that Minnesota's coaching and depth will be exposed Saturday in Columbus. No question, I'll be watching how Brewster and the coaching staff respond in a big game especially if it's close.
  • Very, very interesting post from Badgercentric which posits that Michigan's down year might lead to a longterm downturn for one of college football's giants. Badgercentric pointed to, among other things, the downturn in Michigan's economy thanks to its reliance on the American auto industry and the state's lack of growth compared to other states feeding players to conference teams. Here's a snippet:

Michigan's population growth has also stagnated. Between 2000 and 2006, at a time in which the U.S. population grew 6%, and the Midwest's population grew 2.8%, Michigan's grew just 1.6%. This is the seventh-slowest growth among states. Ohio and Pennsylvania, where UM pulls many of its top out-of-state recruits from, grew just 1.1% (fourth-slowest) and 1.3% (fifth-slowest).

Other states feeding Big Ten football programs grew at much quicker paces: Illinois (3.3%), Wisconsin (3.6%), Indiana (3.8%), and Minnesota (5%).