What if ... Glen Mason had been hired by Ohio State?

  • Updated: August 10, 2011 - 7:45 PM

Glen Mason had plenty of gut-wrenching losses with the Gophers, but his early successes helped him become a candidate for the Ohio State job that eventually went to Jim Tressel.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Editor's note: This is an installment in a 10-part series asking "what if?" certain major events in Twin Cities sports history had turned out differently. This is purely an exercise in amusement. Nobody at the Star Tribune -- least of all the author -- has a DeLorean that goes 88 mph and has the ability to go back to change the past. Send any feedback or suggestions to mrand@startribune.com.

This suggestion comes from RandBall blog commenter Jamax2: What if ... Glen Mason had been hired as Ohio State's head football coach in 2001 instead of Jim Tressel? Wow, this one should be fun.


First off, it changes the course of Gophers football completely. On the one hand, there perhaps isn't a litany of heartbreaking losses -- in particular, and as noted by others as a possible "what if" of its own, the infamous 38-35 loss to Michigan in 2003 after being up by three touchdowns in the second half at the Metrodome.


On the other hand, Mason built up at least enough momentum with the program to make it credible again. Let's not forget this team wasn't going to bowl games until he arrived (even though, as we all know, going to a bowl game these days is about as difficult as spending more money than you intended to spend at Target Field). If a new coach takes over in 2001, do the Gophers immediately sink back to the bottom of the Big Ten instead of nestling in the middle? Do enough fans and donors tune out completely, thus erasing the chance to build TCF Bank Stadium?


Or does a new coach take Mason's stellar offensive recruits, add some defense to the mix, and suddenly create a team that breaks through and becomes similar to Big Ten brethren Iowa and Wisconsin? And is TCF Bank Stadium now sold out every Saturday (with talks of expanding to 80,000 seats), instead of just filling up for big games and U2 concerts. Does the path still lead to Tim Brewster, then to current coach Jerry Kill? Possibly. But probably not.


Nationally speaking, maybe Mason's arrival at Ohio State negates the entire Buckeyes scandal that is happening right now. Would Mason have been bold or bright enough to put the kibosh on the reported tattoo and vehicle shenanigans that eventually cost Tressel his job and put OSU in hot water with the NCAA? It's entirely possible he handles things differently. But perhaps Ohio State also would have suffered the same types of maddening losses the Gophers regularly suffered in the early-to-mid-2000s.


A near-certainty: Sweater vest sales in Columbus, Ohio, would not have been nearly as lucrative for the past decade.


  • related content

  • 08.11.11 The game plan

    Wednesday August 10, 2011

    THE BUZZ Apparently Rex Grossman is the only one not paying attention to the Eagles. He told Comcast SportsNet his...

  • What they might be doing ...

    Wednesday August 10, 2011

    Jay Cutler might be embarrassed to hear Clay Matthews played down the stretch last season with a stress fracture in his left leg.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia 5 Top 5th Inning
Washington 1
LA Angels 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Baltimore 0
Seattle 4 Top 5th Inning
Cleveland 4
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Miami 1
Minnesota 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Toronto 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
Houston 1
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Atlanta - J. Teheran 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Winnipeg 13 13:43
Hamilton 3
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Atlanta 32 2nd Qtr 4:16
Tulsa 34
Phoenix 21 2nd Qtr 5:06
Minnesota 31
New York 28 2nd Qtr 6:21
Chicago 30
Indiana 9:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which upcoming event are you most excited about?

Weekly Question