Gopher football outclassed by NDSU [UPDATED]Published 9:45am Friday, March 2, 2012 Updated 11:46am Friday, March 2, 2012
Let’s say you’re a local gridiron football star in your junior year, and had a scholarship offer from the D-I program to the west, North Dakota State, and one from the program to the east, University of Minnesota. Which one would you choose?
If you’re looking at recent history, and want to win games, you’re likely to pick the Bison, straight up I-94.
Want proof? The numbers don’t lie:
• In two years, the Gophers only won six games. That’s three games each year for the math-challenged. In the same time period, NDSU has garnered 25 wins — yes 25 — including six playoff wins. Oh, and they won the national championship earlier this year.
• After getting past Kansas 6-3 on Sept. 4, 2010, the Bison have been ranked in the Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 poll ever since.
Despite being a Bowl Championship Series club, formerly known as I-A, Minnesota is 0-2 vs. FCS. They lost to North Dakota State, in 2011, and the University of South Dakota in 2010. The Bison have won the past two contests in the series.
The Bison are amazing, while the Gophers are abysmal. But why?
It’s ignorant and dumb to place blame on a single student athlete, or a group of non-played college athletes.
Tim Brewster, former Gophers’ head coach, who was fired during the 2010 season, and Jerry Kill, current U-M coach, deserve some blame.
True, Kill was using most of Brewster’s horses in 2011, but three wins for a team in a major metropolitan area, with the best stadium in the Big Ten is unacceptable.
The guy that is leaving, AD Joel Maturi, deserves most of the blame.
One quote at his retirement press conference speaks volumes: “Some decisions were a whole lot better than others,” he said.
Retaining Brewster, who had zero experience as a coach/coordinator, while his team lost far more games than it won, including to NDSU, held the program back for years. There’s a difference between loyal, and being stupid.
When Brewster was canned, Kill was brought in the next season and was lauded for his integrity and his ability to turn around lower level football programs.
Are those great assets? Absolutely those are pluses, but it’s not sexy, nor does it win you games in the Big Ten. If a recruiter looked at Kill’s Wikipedia page and read about his time at U-M, he would see that he brought his assistant from Northern Illinois to coach the Gophers, and he suffered from medical elements while coaching to the Big Ten school.
Not exactly Woody Hayes numbers there.
Remember the Gophers recruit all over the state and the nation, against squads with greater resumes than North Dakota State.
ESPN, Facebook teams up
I have next week off, which means I’ll have a chance of watching any of the 100,000 games (give or take) during the NCAA conference tournaments. And I just heard good news from the worldwide leader.
ESPN and Facebook, with an announcement made on Wednesday, has made me excited for the future.
Facebook users who have access to ESPN3 can watch more than 200 conference tournament games on the social network site. I don’t know about you, but I think the Internet is a great asset. While it’s great, having seven windows open, which happens to me a lot, is just annoying. My dream is to have one website for all my needs. By meeting my sports fix, Words With Friends and reports from my facebook “friends,” Mark Zuckerberg’s website has allowed me to close one more window on my PC, and possibly more in the future.
Ari Boynton is The Journal’s sports editor.