Jerry Kill and Richard Pitino were both asked about expectations this season during news conferences Tuesday. Their answers underscored the different points in the building process for their programs.
So what is success this season? Said Kill: "Just be better. Just be better than we were last year, and if we're better than we were last year, I guess we'd be in the Big Ten championship game."
That's pretty ambitious, but this program is at the point of ambition. It's still in the business of measuring itself against itself — i.e. meeting internal expectations — but more and more the measuring stick is outside competition.
Pitino, about to enter Year 3 as the Gophers' coach and coming off a disappointing second year, is still in the business of managing and measuring expectations internally.
"I do know this," Pitino said. "After the first year, I had a lot of people coming up to me to tell me how excited they were about the next season. I don't get that now. … We understand where we're at. I've just got individual expectations for each guy. If we meet those, I think we'll be a pretty good team."