Seems strange to say this, but Middle Tennessee State should be embarrassed.
How did they lose to the Gophers? For five straight home games, and counting, the Gopher faithful have chanted "Fire Brewster!" Why? Because the Gophers own a 7-15 record in their last 22 games. Why? Because this year the Gophers have lost three straight non-conference home games, including losses to perennial powerhouses South Dakota and Northern Illinois. Why? No wins in rivalry games (0-9), no wins against ranked opponents (0-9), a losing record at TCF Bank Stadium (4-6), and a losing record against Dakota schools (1-2).
The line was used by a handful earlier in the week, but it applies more than ever now: If wide receiver Troy Stoudermire can be suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team," then can't some Gophers coaches be suspended for "coaching detrimental to the team?" All Stoudermire did was voice his opinion. Was he wrong?
For those who think that this is piling on, it is duly-noted, but when you become the first coach to lose three non-conference home games since 1898, after telling us in August that the program was "light-years" ahead of when you took it over, and that this was your most athletic team, it begs for a response.
Here is my opening from my 1500espn.com preview on Thursday:
What could've been: Bo Pelini, the head coach of No. 6 Nebraska, desperately wanted to interview for the Gophers job after Glen Mason was fired. He never had the chance. USC coach Lane Kiffin got an interview, but was told he wasn't worthy. Fourth-ranked TCU's coach, Gary Patterson, was reportedly offered a monster contract but eventually said no.
A powerbroker in the college coaching business, but far from a household name, agent Gary O'Hagan of Minneapolis turned Brewster into an idiot savant, capable of executing a solid enough interview to convince athletics director Joel Maturi, associate athletic director Marc Ryan and others to hire him.
I had a first-hand visual to the vitriol against Brewster in the game against USC (section 211), and people think I'm negative.
If Brewster loses to another opponent -- Northern Illinois -- that he's supposed to beat, former All-American Bob Stein won't be the only luminary who will go on the record with his disdain for the direction of the program. In other words, to halt the bitterness and backbiting, Saturday is a must-win.
Two years ago, the Gophers were barely good enough to beat Northern Illinois. That was with mostly Glen Mason's players. Last night, with 98 percent of the personnel his, Brewster got destroyed by Northern Illinois. He is now 4-6 at the new, beautiful stadium. All built-in excuses are gone. In spite of what you've read elsewhere on this site in the last few weeks -- a story made-up by someone, hmmm -- the Gophers spend plenty of money on the football program. Do they spend as much as Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan? No, but they spend more than enough to succeed.
Keeping a lame-duck coach around accomplishes nothing. The notion suggested that letting him go now ruins your chances with some recruits is mind-boggling. These high school juniors and seniors are well aware of the situation. If they're not, an opposing coach will tell them about it. Plus, can these recruits play? Look at the players Brewster has brought in. What makes you believe that this next class is the one that will lead this team anywhere?
This isn't personal. The few interactions I've had with Brewster have been pleasant. I can’t imagine that anybody would ever want to see someone get fired. But with his coaching connections, he'll land an assistant coaching job somewhere. He will also get a very nice check when he goes away. The ones to truly feel sorry are his assistants who won’t be able to find jobs for a while (Kevin Cosgrove, etc.)
It is time to start researching some of the potential candidates to take over: Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and Alabama coordinators Kirby Smart and Jim McElwain are just a few of the names that make sense. Georgia coach Mark Richt is the ultimate dream. Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach will coach again somewhere. But would president Bob Bruininks and athletics director Joel Maturi take a chance on him?
This much is known: hiring another coach with no previous head coaching or coordinator experience won't, or at least shouldn't, happen again.