Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Golden Gopher Nation: A New Beginning

As a University of Minnesota grad, it's been quite some time since it's been OK to get excited about Gopher football and basketball. Sure, the hockey team has been consistently excellent since Don Lucia took control. But for those of us who don't live and breathe hockey, and let's face it, it's hoops and football that bring in the revenue, the hiring of Tubby Smith and Tim Brewster have gone a long way toward breathing life into a hungry fan base.

Now, it's time to watch and monitor the progress. For now, it's time to sit back and trust Tubby Smith and Tim Brewster. But there are certainly questions. Can Brewster go from a position coach in the NFL to a head coach for a Big Ten school? While he certainly seems to be saying the right things, that doesn't mean he can deliver on the sidelines or in recruits' living rooms. For Tubby, his downfall in Lexington, according to the rabid locals, was recruiting. Can he do better in Minny than Dan Monson? I think some random English Lit professor at UofM could do better than Monson. But, in all seriousness, will he be able to get high-level recruits from out-of-state choose Minny and will he be able to keep the state's top talent home instead of heading east to Madison?

For now, we can only sit back and hope Joel Maturi made the right choice with a no-name, albeit high-energy coach in Brewster and a big-name coach, perhaps on the downside of his career, in Tubby.