BTN Bus Tour - Program contrasts

Schnauzer

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First, I get it there are many different types of practices even within the same program during any season and I am most assuredly NOT saying BTN’s bus tour provides compelling evidence who is the best coach.

I am saying, however, that Fleck appears to do a great job of grasping the tour as an opportunity while most other coaches tolerate it and don’t seem to change anything up for the day the bus rolls into town.

I haven’t seen every example this season but just from the past three stops...

MN practice is not only outdoors, but coincides with an open practice where there are people everywhere. Staged events like giving gifts to the outgoing commissioner. Players running all over the place, music blaring, coaches yelling, etc. etc.

Iowa and Nebraska, both practiced indoors despite beautiful weather outside (BTN even asks Frost about it in their interview). Everything is slower, more quiet, and the visual of an indoor practice is just... boring. Frost’s practice in particular nearly had me sleeping by the halfway point. Frost himself is so boring he makes Iowa coaching look like the WWE.

I realize some would argue the slow/steady/quiet coaching technique is better and both Nebraska and Iowa head coaches are proven winners. And again, I am not offering this as “evidence” Fleck is the best coach. I know the goal is to prepare the team and win games, not necessarily to stage a tv event for BTN.

I do feel that for a program that badly needs to make a mark, Fleck’s approach and attention to the event is a good thing for the Gophers.

Any other observations/opinions from the BTN bus tour??
 

PitinoFan

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Something small, but it stood out to me...Prior to the Fleck interview, they asked some players to name their favorite “Fleckism,” and the hosts played it up quite a bit. In the actual pre-taped interview, Fleck didn’t use any of the Fleckisms at all. It made me wonder if he made a conscious decision to ditch the slogans for that particular interview. I prefer that version of PJ, honestly.


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Schnauzer

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Also, edit, Iowa did have bad weather for part of their BTN Bus day and morning sessions had to be indoors.
 

RememberMurray

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Makes you wonder: if we as GHers notice the difference in energy levels... what do teenaged boys (potential recruits) think of all of this?

As the OP said: Fleck gets it.
 

Urbandale

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I realize some would argue the slow/steady/quiet coaching technique is better and both Nebraska and Iowa head coaches are proven winners.
This isn't really the subject of your post, but I found this particular phrase interesting, because it seems to be the generally-held view that Frost is a proven winner and Fleck has yet to prove it.

Frost head coaching record (two years at UCF and one at Nebraska):

6-7
13-0
4-8
Total: 23-15, .605

Fleck head coaching record (four years at Western Michigan and two at Minnesota):

1-11
8-5
8-5
13-1
5-7
7-6
Total: 42-35, .545

Edge to Frost, but it's not exactly a Saban-like winning percentage. Is he a proven winner as a head coach? (Personally, I think both Frost and Fleck will have long and illustrious careers at these two schools)
 

Pompous Elitist

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Iowa and Nebraska, both practiced indoors despite beautiful weather outside (BTN even asks Frost about it in their interview). Everything is slower, more quiet, and the visual of an indoor practice is just... boring. Frost’s practice in particular nearly had me sleeping by the halfway point. Frost himself is so boring he makes Iowa coaching look like the WWE.
Hmm. I don’t know. If they don’t already dentists ought to offer local anesthetic with Valium, propofol, or Ferentz doing a presser depending on how zonked one wants to be. A dose or overadministration of Ferentz can quickly be counteracted with a dose of Fleck.
 

Face The Facts

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I don't know how many recruits watch the bus tour and make a decision based on that, but Fleck understands the importance of marketing as well as anyone and I think he is doing the right things.
 

#2Gopher

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I'll bet the folks dealing with the bus tour appreciate what is going on in Minnesota as it makes it easier to do film clips etc. of a variety of activities. In addition I applaud Fleck for what he is doing. Every little bit helps.
 

DoubleB

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out side of the gift for the out going commissioner I thought the practice was normal the hype and running around is a normal thing at a gopher practice under Fleck

nothing staged for the Bus tour
 

Spoofin

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Yep. PJ runs the best practices and has the most energy. It is a mystery how these other schools can even compete. Boring.


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go4rob

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My observations pertain to the comparison from 2 years ago to the present. I can remember listening to the BIG10 guys on the tour 2 years ago and they didn't have ONE positive thing to say about the Gophers. The overall impression was that we had a LONG way to go to catch up to the rest of the BIG10 West, including facilities. Fast forward to this year's program: every one of them, Revsin, Dinardo, and Griffeth, said the Gophers are ready to compete for the BIG10 West Division Championship and that the talent level and depth has dramatically improved from 2 years ago. Dinardo said that the improvement was most noticeable at the line of scrimmage, particularly on defense. They also felt that we have one of the best running back groups in all the BIG as well as the receiving corps. I feel way more positive today than I did 2 years ago.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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PJ does seem to put that extra effort into making the team visible and etc.

Other staff's you just wondered Man why don't they...
 

everybody knows my name

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My observations pertain to the comparison from 2 years ago to the present. I can remember listening to the BIG10 guys on the tour 2 years ago and they didn't have ONE positive thing to say about the Gophers. The overall impression was that we had a LONG way to go to catch up to the rest of the BIG10 West, including facilities. Fast forward to this year's program: every one of them, Revsin, Dinardo, and Griffeth, said the Gophers are ready to compete for the BIG10 West Division Championship and that the talent level and depth has dramatically improved from 2 years ago. Dinardo said that the improvement was most noticeable at the line of scrimmage, particularly on defense. They also felt that we have one of the best running back groups in all the BIG as well as the receiving corps. I feel way more positive today than I did 2 years ago.
You must be remembering something from more than two years ago, because at this time in 2017 we were coming off a 9-win season and the Athletes Village was under construction - in fact the new Athletes Village was completed sometime that winter, wasn't it?

Now we're coming off a 7-win season and still yammering about being one of the youngest teams in the country.

I can't help it, it irks me to hear how Fleck has elevated a program by moving into facilities that were already under construction when he arrived and improving our talent level so much that we're up to - ahem - seven wins.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Truthfully the BTN guys are making educated guesses as much as any of the sportswriters or analysts. They see one practice, seemingly judge how the team looks coming off the bus, look at recent success, returning production like everyone else. They are not infallible. I can recall them lauding MSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin prior to mediocre or awful years. The particularly went on and on about Diaco’s hire and that did not go well. I’m not sure they predicted the rise of Purdue from the dead. They tend to play to the fans and the expectations that are out there in the media. I wonder what they would have predicted about Mason’s teams back in the day. It’s nice they said MN looks competitive now and it’s true the team looks bigger/faster/stronger and has some real skill talent...
 

SkerzFan

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You must be remembering something from more than two years ago, because at this time in 2017 we were coming off a 9-win season and the Athletes Village was under construction - in fact the new Athletes Village was completed sometime that winter, wasn't it?

Now we're coming off a 7-win season and still yammering about being one of the youngest teams in the country.

I can't help it, it irks me to hear how Fleck has elevated a program by moving into facilities that were already under construction when he arrived and improving our talent level so much that we're up to - ahem - seven wins.
I will say in regards to Frost having a boring practice. Its by design 100%. Media doesnt get to see practice which is actually odd for Lincoln. He has a Bill Belichick style when it comes to giving hints or info about anything his team is prepping. He sees it has a competitive disadvantage to put anything of substance on tape. For example, every week he makes subtle changes to the plays and signals to keep teams from stealing them or recognizing them.

All coaches have their own way of handling the bus tour and Frost definitely tolerates it. The boring and vanilla is intentional though.
 

salzie

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You must be remembering something from more than two years ago, because at this time in 2017 we were coming off a 9-win season and the Athletes Village was under construction - in fact the new Athletes Village was completed sometime that winter, wasn't it?

Now we're coming off a 7-win season and still yammering about being one of the youngest teams in the country.

I can't help it, it irks me to hear how Fleck has elevated a program by moving into facilities that were already under construction when he arrived and improving our talent level so much that we're up to - ahem - seven wins.

2017 we were not viewed to be in the mix for B1G West
2019 we are
 

STPGopher

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Fleck and staff appear to understand the big picture and what THIS program needs. They need coaching. We have very solid assistants. We need a promoter. P.J. is very good at promoting. We need to recruit well out of state P.J. and staff can recruit. This staff also has what has been lacking for some time. Facilities and administration support.

I am glad that this staff gets the need to promote to dispell negative and inaccurate perceptions. The message that this is a great place to be is starting to gain traction.

Other staffs have done much of this I know. It just seems that things are all starting to come together.

I think we are in for a fun ride. Hopefully it is to the destination(s) we have been starving for.
 

GFBfan

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Fleck and staff appear to understand the big picture and what THIS program needs. They need coaching. We have very solid assistants. We need a promoter. P.J. is very good at promoting. We need to recruit well out of state P.J. and staff can recruit. This staff also has what has been lacking for some time. Facilities and administration support.

I am glad that this staff gets the need to promote to dispell negative and inaccurate perceptions. The message that this is a great place to be is starting to gain traction.

Other staffs have done much of this I know. It just seems that things are all starting to come together.

I think we are in for a fun ride. Hopefully it is to the destination(s) we have been starving for.
These are the biggest differences from prior years. All the coaching, promoting, recruiting will only you get you so far. The facilities improvement and commitment from the admin has been the difference maker.
 

Pompous Elitist

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The team hasn't won anything yet and while the end of 2018 makes it appear the team is competitive again there are only a couple layups on the schedule. BTN crew had nice things to say about everyone...Falter at FSU or Purdue and while not disastrous the air goes out of the hype balloon real quickly. I’d describe my mindset as mildly nervous but excited anticipation...no idea how this is going to go.
 

Tredwell

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You must be remembering something from more than two years ago, because at this time in 2017 we were coming off a 9-win season and the Athletes Village was under construction - in fact the new Athletes Village was completed sometime that winter, wasn't it?

Now we're coming off a 7-win season and still yammering about being one of the youngest teams in the country.

I can't help it, it irks me to hear how Fleck has elevated a program by moving into facilities that were already under construction when he arrived and improving our talent level so much that we're up to - ahem - seven wins.
I remember watching their stop in 2017. His memory is good. BTN was not impressed with the talent on the field in 2017:

BTN Bus Tour show (8/17/17)

Not a Lot of Love from BTN (8/25/17)
 

STPGopher

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The team hasn't won anything yet and while the end of 2018 makes it appear the team is competitive again there are only a couple layups on the schedule. BTN crew had nice things to say about everyone...Falter at FSU or Purdue and while not disastrous the air goes out of the hype balloon real quickly. I’d describe my mindset as mildly nervous but excited anticipation...no idea how this is going to go.



I think you have described most of us. My expectations are little higher than that, but I also realize my expectations are all based on potential and LUCK.

I am starting to get pumped for this season! I hope I still feel that way next Friday morning.
 

GFBfan

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The crew was at Illinois today and said quite a bit of good things about them. Also really raved about their new facilities saying they were right up there with the best they’ve seen this tour.



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Pompous Elitist

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The crew was at Illinois today and said quite a bit of good things about them. Also really raved about their new facilities saying they were right up there with the best they’ve seen this tour.



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.
 
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Halsey Hall

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First, I get it there are many different types of practices even within the same program during any season and I am most assuredly NOT saying BTN’s bus tour provides compelling evidence who is the best coach.

I am saying, however, that Fleck appears to do a great job of grasping the tour as an opportunity while most other coaches tolerate it and don’t seem to change anything up for the day the bus rolls into town.

I haven’t seen every example this season but just from the past three stops...

MN practice is not only outdoors, but coincides with an open practice where there are people everywhere. Staged events like giving gifts to the outgoing commissioner. Players running all over the place, music blaring, coaches yelling, etc. etc.

Iowa and Nebraska, both practiced indoors despite beautiful weather outside (BTN even asks Frost about it in their interview). Everything is slower, more quiet, and the visual of an indoor practice is just... boring. Frost’s practice in particular nearly had me sleeping by the halfway point. Frost himself is so boring he makes Iowa coaching look like the WWE.

I realize some would argue the slow/steady/quiet coaching technique is better and both Nebraska and Iowa head coaches are proven winners. And again, I am not offering this as “evidence” Fleck is the best coach. I know the goal is to prepare the team and win games, not necessarily to stage a tv event for BTN.

I do feel that for a program that badly needs to make a mark, Fleck’s approach and attention to the event is a good thing for the Gophers.

Any other observations/opinions from the BTN bus tour??
Is he as boring as Chryst?
 

go4rob

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Bitter Are We?

You must be remembering something from more than two years ago, because at this time in 2017 we were coming off a 9-win season and the Athletes Village was under construction - in fact the new Athletes Village was completed sometime that winter, wasn't it?

Now we're coming off a 7-win season and still yammering about being one of the youngest teams in the country.

I can't help it, it irks me to hear how Fleck has elevated a program by moving into facilities that were already under construction when he arrived and improving our talent level so much that we're up to - ahem - seven wins.
My memory is spot on regarding the BIG10 perception of our talent level 2 years ago. The recruiting class that Claeys had put together was ranked dead last in the BIG and the level of o-linemen was such that we could barely put together a Spring Game. Dinardo had been stating for a number of years how the Gophers facilities drastically needed an upgrade just to stay competitive in the BIG. Granted, Claeys did not have the luxury of recruiting when the Athlete's Village was completed, which I believe was just prior to the 2018 Super Bowl. Fleck has taken advantage of the new facilities and definitely upgraded the talent level of this team and the guys on the BIG10 Network are merely reporting on what they have seen over the last 2 years. So why don't you wait until Fleck has, at least, completed his 3rd year before leveling any criticism against him regarding his recruiting and how much better Claeys is/was. I can tell you this, we had Tracy to our house for dinner during the summer prior to his first year and he couldn't stop looking at his watch, waiting for a good time to leave. I can remember my wife saying to me and some of our other guests, after he had left, that we have no chance. I personally think that he is an excellent football coach, just not a HEAD coach at the BIG10 level. He is a GREAT defensive coordinator, there is no doubt in my mind. However, if goes into a recruit's home after somebody like Urban Meyer, Pat Fitzgerald, Jim Harbaugh, or others had been there, we stood no chance of getting that kid.
 

Spoofin

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My memory is spot on regarding the BIG10 perception of our talent level 2 years ago. The recruiting class that Claeys had put together was ranked dead last in the BIG and the level of o-linemen was such that we could barely put together a Spring Game. Dinardo had been stating for a number of years how the Gophers facilities drastically needed an upgrade just to stay competitive in the BIG. Granted, Claeys did not have the luxury of recruiting when the Athlete's Village was completed, which I believe was just prior to the 2018 Super Bowl. Fleck has taken advantage of the new facilities and definitely upgraded the talent level of this team and the guys on the BIG10 Network are merely reporting on what they have seen over the last 2 years. So why don't you wait until Fleck has, at least, completed his 3rd year before leveling any criticism against him regarding his recruiting and how much better Claeys is/was. I can tell you this, we had Tracy to our house for dinner during the summer prior to his first year and he couldn't stop looking at his watch, waiting for a good time to leave. I can remember my wife saying to me and some of our other guests, after he had left, that we have no chance. I personally think that he is an excellent football coach, just not a HEAD coach at the BIG10 level. He is a GREAT defensive coordinator, there is no doubt in my mind. However, if goes into a recruit's home after somebody like Urban Meyer, Pat Fitzgerald, Jim Harbaugh, or others had been there, we stood no chance of getting that kid.
Well, now that I know Claeys didn’t enjoy dinner at your house my opinion of him has changed dramatically. Really something to think about.


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FMofDT

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My memory is spot on regarding the BIG10 perception of our talent level 2 years ago. The recruiting class that Claeys had put together was ranked dead last in the BIG and the level of o-linemen was such that we could barely put together a Spring Game. Dinardo had been stating for a number of years how the Gophers facilities drastically needed an upgrade just to stay competitive in the BIG. Granted, Claeys did not have the luxury of recruiting when the Athlete's Village was completed, which I believe was just prior to the 2018 Super Bowl. Fleck has taken advantage of the new facilities and definitely upgraded the talent level of this team and the guys on the BIG10 Network are merely reporting on what they have seen over the last 2 years. So why don't you wait until Fleck has, at least, completed his 3rd year before leveling any criticism against him regarding his recruiting and how much better Claeys is/was. I can tell you this, we had Tracy to our house for dinner during the summer prior to his first year and he couldn't stop looking at his watch, waiting for a good time to leave. I can remember my wife saying to me and some of our other guests, after he had left, that we have no chance. I personally think that he is an excellent football coach, just not a HEAD coach at the BIG10 level. He is a GREAT defensive coordinator, there is no doubt in my mind. However, if goes into a recruit's home after somebody like Urban Meyer, Pat Fitzgerald, Jim Harbaugh, or others had been there, we stood no chance of getting that kid.
Well said. I will add he was begged by his OC to offer the Juco QB who wanted to come here but apparently was too busy or already plenty content with Rhoda and Croft that year.

A few quotes below for those that might still have serious doubts.

Revsine:

“I don’t believe a lot of people are talking about this team but they should be.”

“Tyler Nubin really stood out today.”

DiNardo:

“The way they finished last season and the way they’ve built this roster in 3 years is pretty impressive.”

In response to is this a legitimate contender in the West: “Is that a trick question?”

“Every part of this team, it’s hard to believe (in 3 years) they’ve made this happen.”

“The psychology of this team is in a good spot.”

“It looks like they’re deeper up front than in the linebackers. If that’s the case that’s very hard to do.”

“It’s really clear this offensive line is so much better than they’ve been in the last couple of years.”

Griffith:

In response to is this a legitimate contender in the West: “There’s absolutely no way I’d say no. This is a team that’s gonna compete. They’ve got everything in place to make that happen.

“I had no idea I was gonna like this team as much as I do right now from when I got off the bus a couple hours ago.”

“It’s a well coached group. They’re gonna be active. They’re gonna be technically sound.”

On Nubin: “We’re gonna see and hear his name a lot this year.”
 

Spoofin

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Well said. I will add he was begged by his OC to offer the Juco QB who wanted to come here <b>but apparently was too busy or already plenty content with Rhoda and Croft that year.</b>
He chose to bring in a different JuCo that year.


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