Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Closing thoughts

Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying to process my thoughts about our Gopher Football season. It wold be easy to write "if you had told me at the beginning of the season that we would be 7-5 and going to a bowl game I would have been ecstatic." But that has already been written. It's the truth, but it's already been said enough.

Before the season started I thought we'd be a 5 win team, and that if we won 6 games it would be a huge bonus for this program. What I didn't know going into the season was that as nicely as our schedule seemed to set up for us, I was way off about where it set up well.

Illinois, Indiana and Purdue prior to the season looked like the would have been very nice wins... what we know now is that all of those teams dropped off considerably this year.

Closing out the season with 3 out of 4 games at home looked like a nice chance to finish strong... what we didn't know was that our offense would force our defense to spend so much time on the field that they would run out of steam.

It's also been said several times that the Gophers feel a lot more like a 4 loss team than a 7 win team going into bowl season. I think we all feel a little beat up right now, and rightfully so. But looking at the season objectively, as a whole, it really was quite an improvement.

A team that didn't give us much to cheer about last year gave us plenty of reasons to sing the rouser this year. At the end of last season it certainly didn't seem like this team had a prayer at making a bowl game, and yet, we're on our way back to Tempe.

While our offense took a fairly large step backward, our defense took such a huge jump forward that they carried us to several wins. The juco transfers that Brewster brought in to shore up the defense did far more than shore it up.

All in all, it's a difficult time to feel optimistic, but I think that the future of Gopher football is very bright. Looking long term, it's an exciting time to be a part of Gopher football. I think we clearly have the right coaches in place, and recruiting classes that we can certainly build on.

I'm sure that we won't have any trouble cheering hard for the Gophs on NYE... but just in case you do, let's keep in mind where this program was last year at this time, and where we're going to be in the future.

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