Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Big Ten Preview: Minnesota

College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured, starting with last year's cellar dweller, the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Head coach Tim Brewster is starting his second season in charge of the Gophers and loves to talk about the future. He loves to talk about the future the way Notre Dame fans love to talk about the past. In fairness, you wouldn't want to break down your team's 1-11 season from 2007 either.

Last year, the defense was awful. In fact, as far as the Big Ten, it was the worst. Last in pass defense, last in rush defense, and when it came to points allowed, you guessed it, dead last. But hey, that was last year right? What's this season all about?

Well, the Gophers return their starting quarterback Adam Weber. He tossed 24 touchdowns last year and actually led the team in rushing (good for Weber, bad for Minnesota). Weber finished last season third in the conference in passing yards, but when your team gives up 78.2 points per game, you have to pass a bit to catch up.

The defense returns seven starters, but by now you can tell it would probably be better if they didn't return any. If they don't miraculously improve, Minnesota will be at the bottom of the Big Ten again this year.

Minnesota's schedule should give them a chance for a couple early season wins; Montana State jumps out as one of those. Once the Big Ten play begins, the losses will start to mount. Games at Ohio State, Illinois and Wisconsin don't look good, but home games against Indiana and Northwestern could help the Gophers avoid the dubious honor of eleventh place for the second straight season.

1 comment:

Brewsterwasonthegrassyknoll said...

The Gophers need some sort of immediate help. Thankfully, Brewster is going the route of the old Oklahoma teams by bringing in some Juco athletes to quickly turn around a program (are you listening Michigan?). According to Scout, this year's recruiting class includes six Four-Star prospects. That is an awful lot for a shitty program to bring in (even though 3 of the Four-Stars are Jucos.) John L. Smith would say "Where there is smoke, there is fire." But we all know that Minnesota will not materialize into a good team and therefore will not threaten the balance of power in the Big Ten. On a final note, even though somehow football players "choose" to attend Minnesota now, the coach's son, Clint, chose to transfer away from his father. That can't be good. Although I think they will suck, I do feel that this team will have some good athletes and might be able to pull a few surprise wins out of their ass throughout the year.

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