So what to make of the short piece today about Tim Brewster, the Kansas job and Joel Maturi's reaction? Well, our interpretation is this:
*Brewster gets the feeling Maturi might not be all that wild about him, so maybe he's poking around -- even indirectly -- at other vacant jobs.
*Maturi is telling the truth when he says he is tired of hearing rumors and that he wouldn't stop Brewster from going to Kansas or taking some other job. He might even love to say it less diplomatically, but he settled on this: "I don't think it's inappropriate, if the coach is doing what he thinks is in his best interest."
*Brewster has two years left on his original contract after this season is over. In college football, that's pretty much the time to either extend or fire a coach because letting him go down to the final year of his contract creates questions of instability for recruiting. Indeed, the Gophers just lost a four-star running back recruit to TCU -- and part of the reason was the perception that Brewster might not be around.
*Maturi is probably on the fence about what to do, but he would also probably love to have the decision made for him by Brewster leaving. Firing Brewster would involve a buyout; letting him take another job would not. Also, Maturi's hands would be cleaner because it wouldn't look as much like his hire from three years ago had flopped, but rather he had moved on to greener pastures.
*All that said, prevailing sentiment is that Brewster isn't going anywhere -- at least not on his own. He hasn't proven enough to command even jobs that would be considered lateral moves. That will leave Maturi to make a call that has risks in both directions: fire Brewster and essentially start over again, producing some chaos and possibly losing seasons for a team trying to fill a new stadium and create excitement; or extend him and run the risk that things go from mediocre to worse -- leading to a deeper hole for the program and an even bigger buyout down the road with more seasons left on Brewster's contract.
*Maturi could be using this opportunity, through the media, to build some equity and gauge the appetite in Gopher Nation for switching coaches. According to our unscientific poll (as of just before 9 a.m) almost 90 percent of voters think the Gophers are better off with a new coach. Then again, that could backfire if Maturi ends up giving Brewster an extension.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the next month or so. Your thoughts?