Somewhere in a Luxury Suite, December 2006...
Joel Maturi, Minnesota's Athletic Director is passed out triumphantly as the Minnesota Golden Gophers have dispatched the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 2006 Insight Bowl. Empty highball glasses lay strewn across the floor after Maturi's "Captain and Coke" party ironically toasting Mike Leach as the Pirate Captain of College Football. The first few bars of Auld Lang Syne play as the ball has just dropped into 2007. Glen Mason goes to wake Joel gently. He strokes his hair delicately and then begin to stir him with increasing vigor as Maturi dreams of clowns and crappy bowl victories.
Mason: Joel, Joel, wake up. Wake up Joel.
Maturi: What's wrong Glen, did you poop the rug again?
Mason: No Joel, worse than that. We lost.
Maturi reaches for a bit of Hair Of the Dog. Finding nothing, he stumbles over to the bar and finds it empty. He longingly eyes a bit of Window Cleaner, but decides against it. Mason looks at the carpet for answers, he knows he did a bad. Maturi puts his hand to his face and wipes away a tear as he grabs a Bud Light Lime.
Maturi: Glen, this isn't easy for me to say, but I have to. You're fired.
Mason: But I took them to overtime, it's the damned Leach, he went all Davey Jones and shit on me. He just took me to the shed in the fourth quarter and beat my head in and shit.
Maturi: Glen, there's something you've failed to wrap your special little mind around while you were here. We were national title winners in 1960. Murray Warmath was able to fuse farm boys, snow, snot and some gumption into a National Championship team. You had Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber playing football for you AT THE SAME TIME for two years and only managed to get to the damned Sun Bowl.
Mason: But, Joel, there are no players, Iowa locked Iowa, Wisconsin locked down Wisconsin. In the Dakotas there are only a football team's worth of players spread across both states...
Maturi hurtles his half-full bottle of beer at Mason and Mason quietly leaves the room. Maturi weeps gently and sadly.
PS Glen Mason goes out and calls Mark Dantonio about Greg Jones and Greg Jones comes to play at MSU.Thank You Joel Maturi!
Fast forward a few weeks...
Maturi: So why should we select you over the next candidate, Mr. Brewster?
Brewster: Well as the Tight Ends coach of the Denver Broncos for the past two years and a lifelong Tight Ends coach, I know a lot about two things; Tight Ends and Winning. The winning part comes from my senior year in 1983 when we played Rick Neuheisel in the Rose Bowl after going 10-1.
Maturi: How did you do in that Rose Bowl?
Brewster: Well, we managed to pull out the loss 45-9. Great story though, we started partying with some girls and one of them had some sick moves during Come On Eileen. Bet you can't guess what her name was?
Maturi: *looks away wistfully* Tim, you don't have any head coaching experience. You also haven't coached in college in almost seven years, you're honestly not really qualified for the position. How could I justify hiring you to the group?
Brewster: Well, I'll put the BREW back into Winning Minnesota Football.
Maturi: Alright buddy. Let's do this.
Fast forward again to the end of the 2010 season...
Brewster gets fired because he's an underqualified chump. It's not his fault, it'd be like asking my three year old to coach a football team. She's reasonably knowledgable, she knows a pass when she sees one as well as a run. She knows that your team's quarterback throwing to the other guys is a bad thing. Occupation of an endzone by your offense is a good thing too. But a head coach, she is not.
Minnesota comes in with a 2-6 record and right up until Saturday was in the running for the worst team in the Big Ten. A fluke-y victory over Iowa prevented them from being the Golden O-fers in the Big Ten. The reason Minnesota is 2-6 is because of two extremely poor choices by Joel Maturi.
First, was firing Glen Mason without having a proven or capable asset on the short list or even backburner. Mason went 7-5 and made a bowl game every damn year in a state landlocked by Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. That's not too bad for a state where the only thing going for it is Minneapolis and Lake Woebegone. While I agree Minnesota was not going to compete for Big Ten titles under Mason, 7-5 and a bowl game. Discontented fans of Iowa take note of this paragraph.
Second, hiring Tim Brewster was an absolutely terrible decision. He had no experience to run a football team. Coaching TE's is coaching like 8 dudes and he was doing it on the professional level at that. The chasm between coaching 8 dudes and managing 8 coaches who coach 105 dudes is exactly that, a chasm. He was not prepared for the job.
So now Jerry Kill comes to East Lansing as a Championship Coach in the MAC, which is fortunate for him because he inherited a MAC team. This year and probably neither next year will be an indictment on Kill because Minnesota was such a trainwreck how anyone could hope to extract anything from this is beyond me. Godspeed Jerry Kill, I'm pretty sure there are presidents of third-world countries that have easier rebuilding jobs than you do in front of you.
Minny Passing Attack vs MSU Pass Defense
The nation's 107th best passing offense takes on the nation's number 1 passing defense.
Minny Rushing Attack vs MSU Rush Defense
Running the ball is the single thing Minny does better than MSU. Which makes me sad. Still they're marching right into our rushing defense. So, good luck with that.
MSU Passing Attack vs Minny Pass Defense
Cousins reverts to form here putting up like 17 of 22 for 210 and a TD. Minny's Passing Defense ranked 68th isn't a complete farce, but our running game will make all of his throws easy.
MSU Rushing Attack vs Minny Rush Defense
Ok, here's the insight, we're going to run Saturday. A lot. A lot a lot. LeVeon Bell will have a career type day. We're going to pound, green, pound. I hope you like running, because there's gonna be lots.
Hey, we're also going to run a lot.
Overall, we're going to run and run and run on Saturday. Minnesota's 102nd ranked run defense is a great way to get over our running constipation. That said, I think the spread is like 28 on Saturday and honestly, I could see us not covering. The thing that will serve us best going forward this season is to know we can run the ball.
Pound Green Pound
MSU 31 Minnesota 3