Rose Bowl TV analyst Kirk Herbstreit, as Ohio State pondered whether to go for it on 4th-and-1 from Oregon's 14-yard line in the first half, stated "If the Buckeyes are playing Indiana or Minnesota, they kick the field goal. I
say this because (Jim) Tressel has such high respect for the Ducks offense."
Indiana should feel offended by Herbstreit's comment. They finished the season 38 spots ahead of the Gophers in total offense nationally (72nd vs. 110th).
At Minnesota, we saw offensive ineptitude this season that will be hard to replicate ... ever.
While offenses are supposed to be showing improvement late in a season, the Gophers managed to score just one offensive touchdown in their final 43 possessions. They also failed to score an offensive touchdown in 20 of their last 28 quarters. In three of their games, they scored just one offensive touchdown -- the one vs. Ohio State came against their second and third-stringers in garbage time -- and in three others failed to score any.
Those 15 extra bowl practices, which head coach Tim Brewster cited almost as often as he uses the word "tremendous" leading into the New Year's Eve debacle versus Iowa State, worked out well (sense my sarcasm).
Entering the game, the Cyclones were 99th nationally in total defense (414 yards per game) and 112th in sacks (1.17 per game). Yet, the Gophers scored a grand total of 13 points. Sorry Kent Youngblood, but any scoring drive, even one for 99 yards, against that defense, could not be called a "drive for the ages."
I have received this question in a few different forums since the Gophers' loss: What would a successful 2010 Gophers season be to you?
Answer: A Brewster win in a trophy game (0-9), a bowl game (0-2), a November conference game (0-9), or a win against a ranked opponent (0-8) would be a good start. I would also would like to see better use of timeouts, less mass confusion with the offensive hand signals, and not leading the conference in penalties for a third straight year.
I don't believe that significant strides will be made in those areas. In other words, 2010 could be it for Brewster. In looking at their schedule, they play nine bowl-eligible teams from this season. Even with three of their four toughest conference opponents at home, it seems like five wins maximum; therefore, no meaningless bowl invitation, less fans showing up at "The Bank," and an uproar for a coaching change.
His soon-to-be announced contract extension will mean nothing. I think that most recruits and their parents will see right through it. If Brewster's buyout changes at all, it will do so only minimally. Thus, if boosters want to buy him out after next season, it can happen.
Athletic director Joel Maturi, as nice an administrator as we have in this town, will have to defend the decision publicly. I can't imagine that too many fans, even if it is just window dressing, think Brewster deserves any sort of extension with two years remaining on his deal.
We've been told numerous times that former coach Glen Mason's accomplishments weren't good enough. However, according to the highly complicated, but well-respected Jeff Sagarin USA Today ratings, Brewster's final ranking in his first three years were all worse than Mason's last three years.
2011: With recently dismissed Texas Tech coach Mike Leach in charge? He'll coach again somewhere. Whether this administration would have the guts to hand him the keys to its program is another matter. Let the talk begin. A boring and losing brand of football would assuredly be avoided. The same can't be said about the Brewster brand.