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Golden Nugz 9.21.09

Saturday's loss to Cal was a fun game wasn't it?  Maybe some believe that nothing is more valuable than a win, but for many reasons I much prefer Saturday's loss to beating a MAC level or FCS school.  A win is a win, and beating Cal would clearly have been better than losing to Cal.  But I firmly believe more was learned from this loss than a win over a bad team, this game clearly will better prepare us for the Big Ten.

Marcus Fuller talked about that on Sunday

There was a time when Big Ten football coaches used to schedule with the Big Ten season in mind, knowing the ultimate goal was to win the Big Ten Conference and go to the Rose Bowl. A dozen bowl games and a Bowl Championship Series later, that's no longer the case.

Now, four nonconference wins gets you within two victories of a bowl game, and that's how a lot of coaches keep their jobs. But Minnesota has been to enough also-ran bowl games; it's time to up the ante. When you haven't been to a Rose Bowl since 1962, and haven't won a Big Ten title since 1967, you build a nonconference schedule to help you win the Big Ten.

He's right at many levels.  If people think Gopher fans or Brewster is crazy for thinking they have a shot at the Rose Bowl, then he should b committed if he (or any of us) think we were in the running for a BCS Title game.  So from that perspective, our BCS Title game hops are officially dashed, but this Cal game prepares us for the Big Ten. 

  • Crimson Quary takes a good look around the Big Ten's last weekend.
  • Northwestern is the next opponent.  They faced Syracuse, like we did but they were not so fortunate as to beat them.  Lake the Posts recaps the game. Sounds like a late INT by Mike Kaftka set up the Syracuse game winning FG.  Kaftka did have a record setting day and was this week's Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week.  But Syracuse WR, Mike Williams was able to catch 11 balls for 209 yards and 2 TDs.  Eric Decker must be drooling to face this banged up secondary.
  • Speaking of Decker, Jim Souhan takes a look at Decker and the toughness he showed on Saturday.  If you have a man-crush on Decker, I think that's OK.
  • The Washington Post thinks Best's stock is rising in spite of facing the 91st ranked rush defense of Minnesota's.  Does anyone else feel like our run defense is actually a strength of our defense?  Yet, because Air Force ran the ball 66 times and the best tailback in the country had a monster 1st quarter, our rushing stats are not pretty.
  • Tough news for the Irish, Mike Floyd is likely out for the season with a broken left collar bone.  That is unfortunate for the Minnesota native.  Floyd and Will Mobley were the prizes of the 2007 recruiting class out of Minnesota and both have missed essentially a whole season due to injury.
  • Rittenberg gave the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week to Decker.  Hard to argue that, he was facing a potential All-American corner and racked up a ton of yards and two TDs.