Yesterday's release of Minnesota's first depth chart for Oregon State was met with surprise and confusion by more than a few members of the Gopher webs. While many people pointed at the clear SUBJECT TO CHANGE notation and also called out that many of the "surprises" could be easily explained by injury or play in camp thus far, there were others who feared what this could mean for a potential #specialseason.
Since we're a full service Minnesota blog, we wanted to get to the bottom of the decision and we reached out to our anonymous source in the coaching staff. This coach, for privacy sake, lets call him "Tracy C."...No that's too obvious... Uhhhhh...Let's say "T Claeys", had this to say about the moves when contacted by text message(1):
I'm just trolling. For example, we know Mitch gets more grief than he deserves and I wanted to see what would happen if Conor was listed as QB2. And let me tell you, the easily excited portions of the Minnesota fanbase did not disappoint.
That text was immediately followed with a link to the following tweet. We've redacted the identity of the user because we're nice like that sometimes:
You see what I mean? That's exactly the reaction I was going for. Classic.
We then asked if any of the other unexpected moves had similar motives.
Sure. I talked to a bunch of the guys and asked them to brainstorm other ways we could mess with everyone. KiAnte Hardin said he thought dropping him off the depth chart entirely would elicit a strong reaction. I took it one step further though and had someone start a rumor that we were covering up something more serious. And sure enough, one of your writers totally bought it! (2)
My neighbor's cousin's coworker's brother's ex-wife said that KiAnte Hardin died. pic.twitter.com/LeHvZtsa8O— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) August 24, 2016
We asked if this tactic might see more use later in the season, but our source was non-committal:
You don't want to go to the well too many times. It's like running up the middle. As a trolling maneuver that has the ability to make the heads of your whole fanbase explode. But if you go back to it too often you see diminishing returns. Your fans can only complain using #RUTM so many times before repetitive stress injuries set in. We're not trying to send our fans to the Ortho ya know? Honestly that's one of the reasons we made a change at OC after last year.
So there you have it, the inside scoop direct from a person who knows (3) the whole story. You may now return to your regular daydreams about pigs and axes and tailgating.
(1) If you needed to read this disclaimer to know we didn't actually text with Coach Claeys then I don't know what to tell you. Please submit your satire detector for inspection at your local internet joke store.
(2) Seriously, this is a joke. It pains me to have to point that out but I don't want Minnesota's fine SID staff getting calls asking if this actually happened. You think I'm kidding? I'm not.
(3) Seriously though, we made this up.