When Tim Brewster was named the Gophers head football coach back in 2007, I was happy to see it happen. Maybe it wasn't the fact that Brewster was hired, it's that Glen Mason was fired. Where Mason accepted mediocrity, Brewster brought enthusiasm and a stated goal of going to the Rose Bowl. Heady stuff for Gopher fans that were accustomed to the Music City Bowl. With Brewster's reputation as a recruiter, and the base of serviceable talent left over from Mason, a Gopher fan could talk himself into thinking that yeah, with a couple of good recruiting classes, a few breaks, and some good coaching, it could happen.
Fast forward to Saturday. Gophers 23, Northern Illinois 34. Northern...Illinois. Not Illinois, which would be bad enough. This on the heels of a loss to South Dakota, the second...second loss to a 1-AA team in the Brewster era. What started with a fair amount of promise is ending in a disaster and a likely Brewster dismissal. Let's go over the top 5 reasons as to why the Gophers need to end the Brewster era.
5. Wisconsin and Iowa: It's not unreasonable for Gopher fans to look south and
west east and think, why not here? Iowa and Wisconsin are annual players at the top of the Big Ten, yet they rarely crack the top 20 in recruiting classes. Iowa City and Madison can't hold a candle to Minneapolis, and what was once a serious disadvantage in the Metrodome has been replaced by a beautiful on campus facility. If Wisconsin and Iowa can compete in the Big Ten, it's a legitimate question to ask in Minneapolis: Why not here?
4. Increased Expectations: One of the things that pissed me off about the Glen Mason era was his contention that the Gophers could never be more than a mid tier program until they got out of the Metrodome and back on campus. So the implication was that if they did get back on campus, they could compete near the top of the conference, right? Well, they did, and all the goodwill and energy accompanied by the move back to campus is in danger of slipping away and not being capitalized on. After this last ugly loss to Northern Illinois and a winless home record this season, that ship might have already sailed.
3. Zero Rivalry Wins: It's bad enough going to the Insight Bowl, or whatever the hell it is, and losing to Iowa State, but not beating any of your rivals is almost as embarrassing as losing to a 1-AA school. And not only losing, but being dominated by both Wisconsin and Iowa, including a 55-0 pasting at the hands of the Hawkeyes a couple of seasons back. The talent has been there to win at least the Little Brown Jug from the RichRod Wolverines version 1.0, and Timmy couldn't even manage to do that. Pathetic.
2. Zero Bowl Wins: If you're going to get your ass kicked by your rivals, yet still schedule enough cupcake teams to get to a bowl, win the damn thing. Brewster hasn't, and with the way the 2010 season is heading, Minnesota won't even be going bowling this year. They were pasted by Kansas in the 2008 Insight Bowl, and lost to a terrible Iowa State team in last year's Insight Bowl.
1. The 1-AA Follies. The Tim Brewster era will be remembered for losing to inferior out of conference opponents more than anything else, though. Florida Atlantic and North Dakota state in 2007. Barely beating South Dakota State last year. Losing to South Dakota and Northern Illinois this year. In what should be the year where Brewster's recruiting imprint is finally paying dividends with the Gophers making a move towards the top of the conference, they are instead losing to 1-AA teams and are winless at home.
That is why Tim Brewster needs to go.