Spartan Nation 2007 scouting report:Â Minnesota Golden Gophers
Predicted record:Â 4-8 (0-8)
Projected Big Ten standing:Â 11thÂ
Returning Starters:Â OFFENSE:Â 6Â DEFENSE:Â 9Â 45 Lettermen return
Head Coach:Â Tim Brewster 0-0 lifetime with no head coach or Coordinator experience
Top assistant:Â Mike Dunbar, OC he has more experience and success than Brewster
Oh how soon people forget.Â Someone forgot to tell Minnesota before Glen Mason arrived that they had a football program.Â The perennial doormat was horrendous with only three bowl game appearances in over 20 years and facilities that were not even on par with a division two program let alone a Big Ten squad.Â Glen Mason changed all of that and after placing the Gophs among the most consistent programs in the nation, he was sacked last season after a very disappointing 44-41 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Because of the hard work of Mason and his staff, the Gophs were entering a great era with a new on campus stadium coming (thanks to Mason) and other amenities.Â Now they bring in a guy with no HC experience and who lastly was a TE coach with the Broncos.Â Minnesota should be an elite job, but evidently a guy learning how to be a head coach on the job is O.K. there.
As you know I am not for coaches â€œlearning how to head coachâ€ at this level (unless in rare situations he was a long time assistant with strong ties to the school) and Brewster would certainly be an unwise choice to me.Â He not only has NO head coaching experience he hasnâ€™t even been a coordinator?
Although the amount of returning players is impressive, one of them will be a freshman QB and there will be a lot of new wrinkles on both sides of the ball.Â That along with a coach that has no game day experience as the head man should make this a long season and one that should make the Gopher faithful with a sense of reality wonder where Mason went.
A University of Minnesota insider that works for the school told me, â€œMaturi (Joel the AD) is in a lot of hot water.Â The vast majority of the money people and folks close to the program didnâ€™t want Mason gone.Â He was a winner even with some ways that rubbed people wrong.Â On top of that you look at what happened with basketball.Â People love the Tubby hire but he (Maturi) has cost the University a lot of money and as good as people feel Tubby will be, football is the cash cow.Â If football takes even a step back Maturi is in trouble.â€
The players loved Mason and even though they are saying the right things publicly, one former player that I know well who still has many friends on the team was very blunt when he told me, â€œThis dude has to perform and he has to win the players.Â Right now he brings a lot of cheerleader hoopla but can he produce?Â Can he win?Â I went to Minnesota because I knew we could get to bowl games and if I was good enough that I could get to the NFL.Â Coach Mase (Mason) was honest with kids.Â He knew how to win and he knew that if we did our part he could get us to the next level.Â I think the players are saying and doing the right thing, but I know that all the ones I talk to are waiting to see how he does when it counts.â€
I think that Brewster may be a great guy.Â He is without a doubt based upon his past track record a good recruiter.Â What someone hasnâ€™t told the people of Minnesota is that recruiting at Minnesota isnâ€™t the same at Texas.Â The facilities are terrible and now you have a coach that canâ€™t recruit to what he has done, he hasnâ€™t.Â Like I said, Brewster by all accounts is a good guy.Â This job isnâ€™t.Â Mason made lemonade out of lemons and for all of his faults did a superior job with what he had to deal with.Â Can Brewster do it?Â I just donâ€™t know.Â He is a good person and I root for those type of people, but I donâ€™t know if the politics of the University will give him the help he needs to make it happen.
I gave them four wins, and that may have been generous.Â Minnesota is a great school and there are a lot of reasons for those wonderful fans to be optimistic (in five years), you just have to wonder if Brewster is a mere fill in until they get to the new stadium and facilities or if he chooses to be gone with any success.Â He isnâ€™t an alum or life long fan, and he isnâ€™t dumb.Â His leash will be short if he loses, and no doubt his length of stay will be short if he can succeed and maneuver his way out of Minnesota.Â So being in the purgatory of the Big Ten things will be tough.Â