Like Jermo said last week, I too am really, really excited for Gopher football to start. Dare I say, I'd almost call myself optimistic about what we should see out of Brew's Crew this season, especially when compared to the incredibly low expectations that have been set for this team by every possible media outlet that covers college football. The Gophs have been picked to finish no better than 9th in the Big Ten this year in every publication and preview I've read, and I've seen nary a Gopher player picked as first or second team preseason Big Ten. Adam Rittenberg on his Big Ten blog on E!SPN.com has been listing his top five units for each position (Backfield, offensive line, linebackers etc) and not once has Minnesota been ranked. Brewster is apparently guaranteed to be fired and we've got nothing to look forward to but getting the snot kicked out of us all season long.
Well I, my friends, am choosing to look differently at all of this. Am I expecting a trip to Pasadena this year? Or even our first New Year's Day bowl since the dawn of time? Um no. I think realistically a six win regular season is reasonable, and if things go really well, perhaps even seven. And sure the doom and gloom that everyone expects is possible, but there is just so much more to look forward to. Consider the following;
It's Adam Weber's last year as a starter.
Seriously, how great is this? This will be the last season that I'll have to endure bad start after bad start after bad start, only to hear his supporters blame everyone else- the offensive line, the coaches, the receivers, BP, Obama, the cast of Jersey Shore- for Weber's struggles. I hope Weber has a good year and meets his supporters' expectations, but I'm not exactly holding my breath. His 2008 2nd Team All-Big Ten season was an absolute fluke, taking advantage of his first seven games when he was great, as well as the weakest year for Big Ten quarterbacks in the history of humanity. He will NOT be an all-conference quarterback again (although a big part of that is because of just how loaded the Big Ten is this year. Holy Moses the conference is as deep and talented as it's been for at least the last decade, if not longer), but I'm not even hoping for that. Just a completion percentage north of 55 would be dandy, as well as more TD's than INT's. Really.
MarQueis the WR?
So Weber beat MarQueis fair and square apparently, and now Gray is getting a ton of reps at wideout. As long as Brewster is being truthful when he says Gray will get another crack at the starting QB job next year (although really, Brewster can say whatever he wants because there's a good chance he won't be around next season anyway. So he can say that Gray will be the QB and the Gophs will win 21 games and be better than the Vikings and that he'll be sole reason for an economic turnaround. Seriously, he can say anything and it doesn't matter if it's true. Perhaps his next gig should be to run for governor? Can't be any worse than Pawlenty), I applaud this move. It DOES get your best athlete on the field and in the game, and he'll be another weapon for Weber to throw to. I'm guessing the faster Gray learns the nuances of playing receiver, the more reps he gets, unless more than one of DaJon McKnight, Troy Stoudermire, Brandon Green, and Bryant Allen really asserts themselves, there's a starting spot there for Gray for the taking.
An Athletic D-Line
The more I read about our young, athletic D-line, the more excited I get. Brandon Kirksey could be a force inside, and how can you NOT get all amped up for redshirt frosh Rashede Hageman? a 6'6 280 pound freak of nature blowing over, around or through blockers off the edge? Sign me up!
The Home Schedule
Yes it's going to be tough, but when was the last time we've had USC, Penn State, Ohio State AND Iowa all come visit Dinkytown in the same season? Oh that's right, never. I'll take this schedule over Cupcake Central that we saw under Glen Mason every time. Now if we can just start competing and winning some of these games, it'll be even better.
Thoughts before Canada
6 hours ago