Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
For the third time in four years reps from the Insight Bowl, as well as folks from the Tempe Diablos, the host group of the event -- were at Bierman Building to give the Gophers their official bowl bid.
As always, they brought Hopi Katchina dolls for UM President Robert H. Bruininks, athletic director Joel Maturi and coach Tim Brewster. For fans traveling to the game, this is a pretty good venue and the event is very well-run. As always, Tempe will be the site for the New Year's Eve block party, which has been listed by USA Today as one of the top 10 places in the country to be on New Year's Eve. This year the Doobie Brothers will be performing.
After the presentation of the dolls, Brewster talked about the game. One thing stood out.
He mentioned it after practice Wednesday, too. For the first five bowl practices, the seniors stay in the weight room for the early part, then rejoin the underclassmen when prep begins for Iowa State. Brewster came up with the idea as a way to help the development of the younger plays, including the redshirts, many of whom will be relied upon next year. It's an interesting concept.
Afterward, I talked with Joel Maturi, who isn't commenting specifically about whether or not he and Brewster are actually in talks for a contract extension.
I don't think formal talks have begun.
I think the situation is pretty simple: Maturi has no plans to part ways with Brewster. What is still at issue -- and what will be addressed after the bowl game -- is whether or not to offer him a contract extension. I believe a well-played Gophers victory over Iowa State could prompt such talks to begin.I think, looking at the schedule at the start of the season, Maturi would have thought a seven-win season would have been good.
That's about it. Have a good day.
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