Writing articles that recap and evaluate college football inevitably requires a certain amount of spin by the author. With a few dozen players seeing the field on each team, several coaches involved, and a multitude of other intangibles the articles can almost always be spun to suit the opinions of the author. Historically, Gopher football has been covered with negative spin due to a decade of mediocrity that was preceeded by two decades of futility. This season has been no exception.
If history is any indicator of what to expect from the Insight Bowl coverage, there are three possible recaps that the local press will offer:
1. If the Gophers Lose Big to Iowa State
Despite Brewster Extension Gophers Continue Underachieving
Recent Reports of Tim Brewster's contract extension were met with disapproval by disenfranchised fans. For the second season in a row, a strong start to the season was followed by a landslide of ineptitude. The 2007 season might as well be erased from the record books. Minnesota's defense couldn't keep up with the blustery running game of the Cyclones, and Minnesota's offense continued to flounder in confusion. This was a very beatable 6-6 Big 12 team with a weak schedule. Despite bringing in two classes of highly rated recruits, this Gopher coaching staff has failed to deliver once again.
2. If the Gophers Win or Lose a Close Game
Wasn't Anything Learned from the South Dakota State Game?
At the Insight Bowl post-game interview, Tim Brewster lauded the effort of his players against a tough Iowa State squad. Prior to the game the Gopher faithful were optimistic about facing an Iowa State team with a weak pass rush and a 6-6 record despite a cupcake schedule. So, a team should be applauded for hanging tough with inferior competition? Since when? Any way you slice it, this game summarizes the entire program: expect disappointment and be impressed with mediocrity.
3. If the Gopher Win Big Versus Iowa State
Gopher Fans Expected to be Excited About a Meaningless Win Against an Inferior Opponent
Iowa State had the weakest schedule in the Big 12 and barely finished the season as bowl eligible. Minnesota once again failed to have a winning Big 10 record, failed to win a trophy game, and failed to have a signature win. Yet, Tim Brewster wants his Gopher Nation to be excited about a win versus an inferior opponent. Remember the big bully in grade school who bragged about beating up a kindergartner? That's the Gophers. Hold your heads up high Gopher fans. You can forget about all of your shortcomings with this one victory over the little guy. Don't let anybody tell you that it doesn't really matter, because today you're a winner.
I don't blame the local media for their cynicism. Following Gopher football as a reporter for the last 30 years is akin to Bill Murray's experience in the movie Groundhog Day, in which he repeats the same day again and again yet it always ends in disappointment. Every Gopher season seems to end in some form of disappointment. I'm just saying that no matter how optimistic you may be about the Gopher's chances in the Insight Bowl, don't be optimistic about the tone of the coverage.