Friday, May 18, 2007

Florida Atlantic, Not International.....Sheesh

A quick glance at the 2007 Golden Gophers football schedule leaves much to be desired. To be fair to Brew's Crew, the former administration—known as the Mediocre Masons—are to blame.

The conference schedule is what it is. And while the Big Ten has went away from a balanced schedule, Gopher fans can't do much complaining about facing Ohio State, Penn State and traditional rivals Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.

What we can complain about is the nonconference schedule. The highlight, to this observer, is playing in Dolphins Stadium. Any chance to revel in Daunte Culpepper's failures is worthwhile. But it's not like the Gophers are facing Miami, Florida State or even Daunte's alma mater, Central Florida. Nope, our rodents are heading south to play Flordia Atlantic. This would steer some viewers away from an Ultimate Fighting Championship event had it been against Florida International of brawl with Miami U. fame.

Two weeks earlier, during the Gophers' home opener, as the perhaps excited fan base feeds off the momentum that Tim Brewster has brought to the team, our rodents face none other than perennial BCS contender Bowling Green. In week two at the dome, the maroon and gold face another team that is sure to get Gopher Nation off its collective rear ends: Miami ..... of Ohio.


Look forward to 2008, you say?

A to be determined MAC opponent opens the season at the dome. A week later, the Brew Crew will renew our longstanding rivalary Bowling Green. But wait, Gopher fans, it gets better. To round out the 2008 nonconference grind, our lads will face always-tough Montana State before rounding out the home-and-home with Florida Atlantic.

In 2009, the first season at TCF Bank Stadium, and presumably the first season Brew's Crew can be credited or blamed for the nonconference schedule, our rodents will host California. Decent, I suppose. Then again, the Gophers have also scheduled a mid-November tilt with border rival .... North Dakota State. For a second I thought I had called up the men's hockey schedule. Alas, I was wrong.

As a die hard Gopher fan who admittedly has suffered from waning interest in Gopher football—based almost solely on lackluster performances and poor coaching (note: punting mishap against Wisconsin, Texas Tech embarrassment etc....)—it would be nice if Brewster would schedule some intriguing opponents. It's been reported he has tried to convince Notre Dame to open the season in TCF Stadium. That isn't happening. Keep trying, Tim.

The out years of the football schedule show some improvement. The lads will face Colorodo and Washington St and Oregon St. But those tilts are a half-decade or more down the road.

For Brewster to really turn a bored Gopher football fanbase into a rabid one headed for Pasadena, we need to see more BCS schools on the schedule, less second-tier Ohio teams and please, please, no teams from North Dakota or Montana. And if we're going to schedule an also-ran Florida school, can we at least make it the brawlers from International instead of the Owls of FAU?


Tom said...

seriously, this is the best blog title ever.

Paging Jim Shikenjanski said...

Thanks Tom. I had thought about Golden Gopher Nation, but you kind of have that angle covered. So it was between Jim S. and Ernest Nzigamasabo. In the end, I was a little more fond of Shikenjanski. :-)

Tom said...

NZiggy would have been a great choice as well. If you didn't go down the "strange name" road you could have always gone with Paging Miles Tarver or Hosea as well.

Paging Jim Shikenjanski said...

Miles always surprised me. He had about zero talent, but yet busted his tail every night out. I was in The Barn for many a Hosea chant. He was, if I'm not mistaken, part of those teams that didn't really exist.

The Golden Days, in recent memory anyway, was circa 1988-90 ... the era of Ziggy, Shikenjanski, Ariel McDonald, Willie Burton, Walter Bond, Richard Coffey and company.