I saw what happened. We all saw what happened.
So let's dive in.
What is your Tweet-length (
140 280 characters or less) summary of the Gophers’ 55-31 loss to Illinois?
GoAUpher You should know where this haiku is headed.
Robb Smith had to go.
The defense is looking lost.
It was time for change.
gopherguy05: Somehow the defense was worse than we could even have imagined. Thus the coordinator got the boot. Oof.
Iowa Gopher: Illinois nearly set an NCAA record for highest yards per carry average.
Ustreet: Fire Robb Smith (Editor's Note: As you wish.)
wildcat00: Why is this happening? Make it stop.
To borrow a Fleck-ism, who is your pick for “Nekton of the Week” from the game?
GoAUpher: Hi, Rashod “Housed two slants for TDs” Bateman.
gopherguy05: I could also say Bateman but to be honest I didn’t see any of the second half, so I might just say P.J. Fleck for firing Robb Smith.
Iowa Gopher: wildcat00 has the perfect answer here and I'd be foolish to try and top it.
Ustreet: Rashod Bateman.
wildcat00: The entire Illinois backfield, if only because their collective effort got Robb Smith fired. (But ok, Rashod Bateman is awesome too).
Robb Smith has been fired as defensive coordinator, and rightfully so. Please eulogize his tenure at Minnesota.
GoAUpher: I’m not going to dance on a dude after he got fired. I can only imagine how much that sucks. At the end of the day his defenses got worse and they were completely outclassed against Big Ten opponents. This is what had to be done.
gopherguy05: He came in under scrutiny for doing okay early and getting worse as his tenure went on. It appears those people that had concerns were right. Now we see over the next three games what can be salvaged.
Iowa Gopher: I am bummed it did not work out. I wish his dominant nonconference defenses had been the rule and not the exception. It was clearly in the best interest of the program for them to part ways, but I wish him no ill will.
Ok fine. I’m sorry that it did not work out here and I hope he finds success elsewhere. I’m also very happy that I won’t have to watch him coach Minnesota’s defense anymore.
wildcat00: I wish him well in his future endeavors. I’m just glad he’s not coaching Gopher defenses now.
Worse, about the same, or not as bad as the loss to a winless Nebraska?
GoAUpher: WAY WORSE. Nebraska is a better team than Illinois and a better team than their record suggests. I’m not saying they are a great team (spoiler, you don’t lose to Troy if you are), but they have the pieces to be much better than they have been all year. Illinois would kill to be the current iteration of Nebraska, which is what makes this loss even worse.
gopherguy05: Way worse. Nebraska was very competitive in Columbus last Saturday. Illinois is still pretty awful... Which does not look favorably upon us.
Iowa Gopher: Worse. Much worse. Welcome back to the basement of the Big Ten, Minnesota. You'll find Rutgers lurking in the shadows around here somewhere.
Ustreet: Worse. Nebraska is far better than their record indicates.
wildcat00: So SO much worse. I think Nebraska was due for a win, and we just happened to be in the way. But this is not a good Illinois team, and we got trucked.
Have we reached rock bottom yet? Asking for my personal health.
GoAUpher: Yes, no loss can be worse than this regardless of the score. I’m serious. The remaining three teams on the schedule are way better than Illinois. Purdue is enjoying the end of their Jeff Brohm rental before he heads to Louisville (please don’t overthink it, Jeff, when Louisville calls you home). Northwestern is going to go to the Big Ten Championship game if they beat Minnesota and Illinois despite being terrible in the non-con. And Wisconsin? I hate Wisconsin but let’s not pretend Illinois is on the same planet as the popcorn skunks.
gopherguy05: Not yet. We thought we did after the Northwestern game last year. We did not. So we could still go much further down the next three weeks if things go wrong. Let's really hope they don’t.
Iowa Gopher: I have a very active imagination. It can always get worse. Trust me on that.
Ustreet: In terms of teams to lose against this season, yes.
wildcat00: Ask me again after we play Wisconsin.
Are there any reasons to watch the final three games of this season, aside from masochism?
GoAUpher: Because it’s what I do. Because I do legitimately enjoy the offense sometimes. With luck the defense will undergo enough of a shift for Minnesota to be competitive in at least one of the remaining games. I’m not making any assumptions about that though. Ummmm... Look, if not watching is going to make you feel better you shouldn’t watch. It won’t mean you’re a bad fan. This is entertainment, don’t be miserable. If you do want to watch we can /drinkingdotgif our way through this together.
gopherguy05: Yes. We see if it was the defensive scheme that Smith was playing or if the players really have backslid so far. We have the opportunity to play spoiler three different ways, which could happen. And because when it’s over, its a long wait until next August.
Iowa Gopher: The hope of at least one upset, because the Gophers will be double-digit underdogs the rest of the way. If it gets ugly early -- like, say, allowing back-to-back 72 yard touchdowns -- you can always find something else to do.
Ustreet: Blog responsibilities, but also they’ll be entertaining. If you are a fan of the Gophers, watching to see for any improvement.
wildcat00: I live in this weird/naive hope that Minnesota will pull a major upset and beat either Northwestern or Wisconsin to salvage some small thing from the season. Also, it’s college football. Even at its most terrible, it’s still sort of worth watching. (Don’t quote me on that. I will change my mind.)