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  1. #16
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    Mason - if that fateful Friday night had ended differently, I wonder if he would have lasted any longer. Might have done a little bit better recruiting those next few years, but it didn't seem like he was really pushing that hard for recruits. And that game was one of how many collapses? I don't think the issues that led to those (lack of conditioning, overly conservative play calling when ahead, etc.) would have changed. I also wonder if he would have found a way to lose one of the other games they did win that year.

    Brewster - what if Maturi hired a former head coach to be a mentor for him? To help him establish a system and stay with it. I've said it before, the issue wasn't so much that Brew switched coordinators, it's that he drastically changed systems, then didn't have players that fit the system. Maybe then he could have been successful, but with his ego, I doubt he would have listened.

    Kill - I believe Kill would still be here, but would be on the hot seat had he stayed, assuming he was healthy. I just don't believe the offense ever would have improved enough to get over the hump.

    Claeys - I believe he'd also be on the hot seat. I just don't think he could recruit well enough, and you can only "coach them up" so much. I think the team would have made a Bowl in 2017, missed last year, and be heading downward this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoofin View Post
    His recruiting here was nothing special. His rankings were good - that is all.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DEGopher View Post
    No, you don't understand recruiting.

    Let's put it this another way. He Just left Texas A&M where officially he was TE coach, but he was making a base salary of $475k/year. He has worked for Jimbo as the star recruiter since 2013. He is now officially a Tight End coach at UNC working for Mack Brown, but making more. He worked as star recruiter with Mack at UNC before Mack went to Texas.

    First look at the success of those programs and the quality athletes they had on roster and how those rosters are doing/did in the NFL. Second you need to realize that TE coaches don't make that amount of coin, in fact only the best recruiters get paid in excess of $475k.

    Based on his past successes and current market value, he clearly is a very special recruiter.
    DE I don't think you understand Spoofin's point. He didn't say Brew wasn't a good recruiter - his recruiting here wasn't special because too many of his highly touted players ended up being busts or were run out of here due to academics/drugs/etc.
    Last edited by Lakeville Goldy; 07-15-2019 at 12:43 PM.


  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeville Goldy View Post
    DE I don't think you understand Spoofin's point. He didn't say Brew wasn't a good recruiter - his recruiting here wasn't special because too many of his highly touted players ended up being busts or were run out of here due to academics/drugs/etc.
    I think you are right. My apologies to Spoofin. I missed that his comments were focused on his time at Minnesota.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DEGopher View Post
    I think you are right. My apologies to Spoofin. I missed that his comments were focused on his time at Minnesota.
    No worries. You are right Brew is a very good recruiter - I only challenge the notion he was during his short tenure here.


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  4. #19

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    If we're looking for what ifs-

    For Mason, it always goes back to that 2003 Michigan game. The blocked punt game would have added another win to the season and maybe push the team in a better bowl, but 2003 had more potential. What if Minnesota wins that game? Considering everything goes the same way, the Gophers win a conference title, earn a Rose Bowl berth, and give the program overall a big boost. It could certainly be a peak and Mason could return to 7-9 win seasons in the following years, with an eventual exit. But the program would be in a different position.

    Maybe a slight "what if" with Mason is also what happens if the 06 team wins vs Texas Tech in the bowl game? Maybe Mason would have had a more graceful exit and a better hire is made?

    That kind of leads into Brewster. Overall, he's a good recruiter and I can't really blame him for how things went, as I put that more on the hiring decision itself. He tried to make things work here, but wasn't head coaching material and it showed. The only what if I can think of is maybe winning the 09 Insight Bowl and building a bit more momentum for the next season, but I don't see 2010 turning out much different.

    With Kill, it all goes back to his health. The program was rebuilt and given stability, but as other posters have brought up, the next step was really the question. After 2013 and 2014, things seemed to be going in a really good direction, and despite the loss, the team played the No. 2 team in the country really tough. But then there were those really close games against Ohio, Kent St and Colorado St that made me start thinking of how the future would go. While in good shape, the what if question is if Kill stayed healthy, what would the 2016 campaign have been like? That would have been Kill's best opportunity to show just how much he can build a program considering the schedule.

    When it comes to Claeys, two what ifs come to mind from both seasons. 2015, what if he beats Michigan and 2016, what if the scandal is handled a different way? If those two things happen differently, perhaps he stays in the position, although he'd have even more expectations in 2017, meaning his seat would probably get hot if things didn't go well.

    Really early for PJ Fleck. It's only been two seasons but maybe the what if for Fleck is how 2017 would have turned out if the team manages to win against Maryland and/or Purdue. The Gophers had some chances there, so, bowl eligibility is on the table and Fleck might have won some people over faster?
    You guys are playing like this is some throw away game up in Rochester.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Livingat45north View Post
    What if...
    ... Maturi had supported Brewster and thus his assistance coaches stuck around for another year versus leaving at the first chance. Brewster could recruit, and with good assistants that actually stuck around (e.g., Ted Roof left after one year) events could have turned out a lot different.
    This really was the height of stupidity.

    You hire a coach with zero coordinator experience and then nickle and dime the coordinator positions.

    I don't think Brewster would have been successful, but we pretty much guaranteed his failure.

  6. #21

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    With Kill I felt we would reach Iowa's standard, a really competitive team every 5 years or so. That certainly would have been a plus over the program's past 50 year experience.

    Mason, meh. Smart guy with some solid assistants.

    Brewster, over matched. In every way possible.

    Fleck. Too early but trending okay. This is a important year for the program under him. If they are competitive in every game then they are on the right track.

  7. #22

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    Mason - made the program respectable. The Michigan collapse and many canít make it up ways to lose games are legendary. Was surprised when he was fired but it was probably time.

    Brewster - was simply an awful hire.

    Kill - a good solid football coach. If he had stuck around probably Mason like results overall. Disliked the recruiting philosophy. Under Kill highly unlikely a player like Bateman would be here.

    Claeys - another solid football coach. Probably same results as Mason/Kill and same Kill like recruiting philosophy. Will be surprised if heís offered another P5 HC job. He was given the HC job here because of Kill departure and kept the job because of an interim AD. He was never going to be the long term answer when Goetz didnít get the AD job.

    Fleck - TBD. I know heís considered more of a CEO then a coach but probably a better football coach than he is given credit for. Prefer this recruiting philosophy over past regimes. Willing to go after higher profile recruits and and get into recruiting battles with other P5 schools for these players past regimes wouldnít is refreshing.


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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Loblaw View Post
    This really was the height of stupidity.

    You hire a coach with zero coordinator experience and then nickle and dime the coordinator positions.

    I don't think Brewster would have been successful, but we pretty much guaranteed his failure.
    I agree. That and the timing of the hire pretty much equaled no chance.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Amin Fan View Post
    I really think if the Gophers had beaten Michigan in 2003, that we would have gone to the Rose Bowl and Mason would have ultimately gotten the Ohio State job when offered later. So either way he wouldn't have made it to the TCF Bank Stadium opening.

    I don't think much changes with Kill, though if we win that Michigan game, I think Claeys wouldn't have been fired, with or without the scandal.
    That ship had sailed. Tressel was only installed, with a national title by then. I doubt Mason would've gotten job over Urban Meyer the next time it was open

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  10. #25
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    The only "what if" that currently matters is the what if everything that led to Fleck becoming coach at Minnesota never happened....specifically, the only reason Claeys was let go was indeed the player scandal, so if that never happens, Minnesota probably never wins the 2019 BIG West division and any other dreams you may have for the Fleck era......Go Gophers....There is only looking ahead

  11. #26

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    Lots of good takes on the previous coaches, found myself agreeing with most of the posts in this thread. My take:

    Mason - Lost his fire and was ready to be done when it ended in 2006. Biggest what if with him would have been what would have happened if we had won that Texas Tech game. Would have been really hard for the administration to justify firing him even though they clearly wanted to leading up to that game.

    Brewster - Biggest what if with him actually goes to Maturi, what if they had actual invested in the program and gotten an established coach to follow Mason? Brewster wasn't ready to be a head coach and never should have been put in that position. He has found his niche as a high level recruiter under strong head coaches. The administration went cheap and it set the program back big time.

    Kill - Health will always be the big what if with Jerry but I do think the program would not have gotten much higher then where he had it before things went sough health wise for him. He couldn't recruit at the level to get the team over the top. We would always have been good under Kill and probably never great, similar to Mason but slightly better because we would have had a solid defense under Claeys.

    Claeys - Not really worth speculating, he was a stop gap one year fill in while the administration transitioned. He is back doing what he was meant to do, being a top notch defensive coordinator. It is what he is really good at and it is what I bet he will do for the remainder of his coaching career.

    Fleck - Too early to get into a lot of what ifs with him but there is one I haven't seen mentioned yet (might have missed it). What if he doesn't hire Rob Smith and gets someone that is better able to work with the talent on the roster like Rossi right from the beginning? Might not have made a massive difference but I definitely think we would have won a few more games over those first two years.

    Of the coaches on this list Fleck has the highest ceiling, how high that ceiling is remains to be seen.

  12. #27

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    ol jer' is a ball coach. it's who he is, it's in his blood. if he had remained head coach he would have used this vehicle to help turn more boys into men. it's a missed opportunity for sure.

  13. #28

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    A different slant on the "What If"...

    Brewster, to his credit, never said anything but positive comments about his time with the Gophers. He certainly could have pointed some very accurate arrows towards Maturi, but he didn't. Instead, he took the high road.

    What if Kill had done the same? I think we'd be thinking of him quite a bit differently now. His shots at the school, the program, and Fleck (and Heather) didn't help anyone, especially him.

  14. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Livingat45north View Post
    A different slant on the "What If"...

    Brewster, to his credit, never said anything but positive comments about his time with the Gophers. He certainly could have pointed some very accurate arrows towards Maturi, but he didn't. Instead, he took the high road.

    What if Kill had done the same? I think we'd be thinking of him quite a bit differently now. His shots at the school, the program, and Fleck (and Heather) didn't help anyone, especially him.
    Yeah Brewster may have not been a good HC, but dude took the high road.

    I'd be happy to have him back as a TE coach / crooter.... although he's pretty highly coveted at that role so it would be a tough get, but I'd be happy to see him.

    Jerry I just feel bad for, made it to the P5, I suspect he regrets he resigned, gotta be rough.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Livingat45north View Post
    A different slant on the "What If"...

    Brewster, to his credit, never said anything but positive comments about his time with the Gophers. He certainly could have pointed some very accurate arrows towards Maturi, but he didn't. Instead, he took the high road.

    What if Kill had done the same? I think we'd be thinking of him quite a bit differently now. His shots at the school, the program, and Fleck (and Heather) didn't help anyone, especially him.
    Gotta agree with both points.


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