What happened to the mythical three year model?

STPGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
4,668
Reaction score
71
Points
48
I remember hearing at one point that there was a desire to model the program after a 3 year model that Zook adopted for his (Illinois)program.

Does anyone else think this can still be achieved?

Year one: Lose by a little -- Result on course. Yes we lost almost every game, but many were close.

Year two: Win a little/ by a little. -- Mixed result. Could have done much better.

Year three: Win a lot/ win by a lot. This will be tough, but not impossible.
 

GoAUpher

Section 246
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
6,256
Reaction score
1
Points
36
I don't know if folks expected the same results in 3 years or if they were pointing to Zook as an example of how quickly recruiting and some excitement can change the course of a program...I believe that most folks citing Zook were doing the latter rather than the former. I think anyone who took a good look at the '09 schedule knew that it wasn't likely that the Gophers would follow this "3 year plan" exactly regardless of how the '08 season turned out...the '09 sched is too tough to expect a Rose Bowl appearance.

To answer your question, I don't think the Zook "3 year model" will be achieved if "achievement" is predicated on getting to the Rose Bowl.
 

grunkiejr

Mentor to 007
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
0
Points
36
I don't know if you're expecting to go to the Rose Bowl next year but it was quite a stroke of luck that Illinois went last year. They finished second in the conference and wouldn't have been in a BCS bowl if it weren't for OSU going to the BCS Championship game. With the current reputation of the Big Ten it will be hard for another team to advance to the BCS Championship game so in all likelihood the Rose Bowl will take #1 in the Big Ten instead of #2.
 

VarmintKong

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Points
16
If the Zook plan includes not going to a bowl game in the 4th year, then I don't want to follow that plan.
 

GoAUpher

Section 246
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
6,256
Reaction score
1
Points
36
If it involves going to the Rose Bowl next year, I'll take that plan.
I'd agree, but I think this year's UI team is a good example that one magical season doesn't make everything better. You need to keep building a good foundation for success which is what I like about Brewster. He's doing that with his recruiting, the change in expectations and focus, and showing improvement on the field. Now he just has to put more W's behind it over then next 2 years (maybe 3).
 

The Big L

Active member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
0
Points
36
I remember hearing at one point that there was a desire to model the program after a 3 year model that Zook adopted for his (Illinois)program.

Does anyone else think this can still be achieved?

Year one: Lose by a little -- Result on course. Yes we lost almost every game, but many were close.

Year two: Win a little/ by a little. -- Mixed result. Could have done much better.

Year three: Win a lot/ win by a lot. This will be tough, but not impossible.
Illinois was 2-10 and 1-7 in the Big Ten in the "second year". I think we did much better than that last year.
 

STPGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
4,668
Reaction score
71
Points
48
Illinois was 2-10 and 1-7 in the Big Ten in the "second year". I think we did much better than that last year.

I tend to agree that depending on how you look at it, this Gopher team is actually ahead of the curve. Winning big/ more doesn't necessarily mean the Rosebowl just yet for me. Heck top three in conference would be a pretty good achievement/ building block.

I did a poor job of setting it up, but I wanted to point out that when this three year model was first tossed out there, the point was it will take some time to build the program up. Year three was to be the year we started to see the "plants" bare fruit.

I have a feeling that the Cal game may be a very good predictor of how the 09'-10' season will go.
Air Force could give us fits, but if our Gophers can find a way to beat Cal, that could launch the start of a special season.
 

grunkiejr

Mentor to 007
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
0
Points
36
I tend to agree that depending on how you look at it, this Gopher team is actually ahead of the curve. Winning big/ more doesn't necessarily mean the Rosebowl just yet for me. Heck top three in conference would be a pretty good achievement/ building block.

I did a poor job of setting it up, but I wanted to point out that when this three year model was first tossed out there, the point was it will take some time to build the program up. Year three was to be the year we started to see the "plants" bare fruit.

I have a feeling that the Cal game may be a very good predictor of how the 09'-10' season will go.
Air Force could give us fits, but if our Gophers can find a way to beat Cal, that could launch the start of a special season.
I think if you ignore the "3-year" part of it, Brewster is trying to do the same thing as Zook is at Illinois. Both coaches are known as great recruiters and they are trying to increase the talent level to compete consistently in the Big Ten.

Illinois was fortunate to have Mendenhall blow up in 2007 and to have the rest of the Big Ten down which made 2007 their break out year. Outside of losing their stud LB & RB, the 2008 version of the Illini should have actually been better than 2007 yet they finished worse off because they didn't have the difference makers that they had in 2007. What we're looking to build is a foundation for future success that can be sustained. If we're lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle because someone like Weber, Decker or some other player blows up in 2009 that is great. If we're not lucky enough we should still have more overall talent and depth than we have had in the past and we should be in good shape for 2010.

Nothing has changed with the plan but if you asked Zook prior to 2007 if it was a "3-year" plan I have a hard time believing he would have put that much pressure on the team to break out in 2007. I believe that if we consistently improve the talent level in the program we'll eventually get lucky and have a breakout year.
 

Great Plains Gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
5,342
Reaction score
57
Points
48
Three to five years is more like it. Some coaches have turned programs around in three years (Devaney, Fry, Barnett at Northwestern, Bierman here and at Tulane), but it usually takes a few more years (Rich Brooks at Oregon took a lot longer than that). Brewster should have five years to show us where he's going - the Southern Cal scheduling won't help. The next two years should be tough going.
 

minngg

Banned
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
0
Points
36
If you want to look at a program that is close to where MN wants to be, look at Kansas. The Fat Man took 5 years to bring in his players and install his systems. Result? In national championship hunt two years ago. This after Mase said nobody could win there.
 

Bayfieldgopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
7,651
Reaction score
34
Points
48
I always compare Minnesota under Brewster to what Alvarez and Ferentz did winning BT crowns in year four after going winless year one and a couple of BT wins in year two. That may not happen but its a good example of building a program.

Its very, very difficult to average 5 BT wins over a ten year period.
 

GopherGod

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
2,636
Reaction score
6
Points
38
I tend to agree that depending on how you look at it, this Gopher team is actually ahead of the curve. Winning big/ more doesn't necessarily mean the Rosebowl just yet for me. Heck top three in conference would be a pretty good achievement/ building block.

I did a poor job of setting it up, but I wanted to point out that when this three year model was first tossed out there, the point was it will take some time to build the program up. Year three was to be the year we started to see the "plants" bare fruit.

I have a feeling that the Cal game may be a very good predictor of how the 09'-10' season will go.
Air Force could give us fits, but if our Gophers can find a way to beat Cal, that could launch the start of a special season.

I am curious how the program will be perceived if we happen to lose the home opener to Air Force. This is far from a guaranteed win.
 

tjgopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
4,334
Reaction score
46
Points
48
I am curious how the program will be perceived if we happen to lose the home opener to Air Force. This is far from a guaranteed win.
I'm curious why you pose that question. What do you gain by spending time worrying about how we'd be perceived IF we lose to the Air Force Academy? I mean, let's face it, we're only a year removed from losses to Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, and North Dakota State. So, from a perception standpoint, the good news is that we can't really fall much lower even with a home loss to a tough Air Force squad. So, let's hope for a win and a more respected perception of Gopher football.
 

Goldy74s

Banned
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
227
Reaction score
0
Points
16
There are some number of Brew Believers. A loss to Air Force would cause some of them to get up from that group and go sit somewhere else.

The long, long risks and efforts associated with TCF always offered substantial upside but some downside as well. A loss in the first game against a non BCS team would not be good. Anyone who is anyone in the Gopher Nation will be at that game and they will not walk away happy should we lose that game.

Personally, I would recommend not losing that game. As Lincoln said "that just won't scow."
 

grunkiejr

Mentor to 007
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
0
Points
36
There are some number of Brew Believers. A loss to Air Force would cause some of them to get up from that group and go sit somewhere else.

The long, long risks and efforts associated with TCF always offered substantial upside but some downside as well. A loss in the first game against a non BCS team would not be good. Anyone who is anyone in the Gopher Nation will be at that game and they will not walk away happy should we lose that game.

Personally, I would recommend not losing that game. As Lincoln said "that just won't scow."
I'm not sure I would recommend losing any game. :rolleyes:
 

Golden Elephant

Maroon & Gold Maven
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
260
Reaction score
0
Points
16
In response to the OP, Zook did NOT have a 3-year plan, but a 4-year plan - you're missing the 1st year of his plan:
Year 1 - Lose big
Year 2 - Lose small (close)
Year 3 - Win small
Year 4 - Win big

Now, you may have thought Zook had a 3-year plan because his best year was his 3rd year, but he did completely follow his plan in years 1 & 2. In Year 1, his teams got killed and they had only 1 or 2 wins that year. In Year 2, while their record was still terrible, almost all their losses were very close. As Grunkie points out, for various reasons they outperformed in year 3 and then in year 4 they suffered underperformance and key losses, etc., etc. so Zook did not get his plan. But even in year 3, they had a number of very close wins that they could've easily lost.

Now, how's Brew doing vs. the 4-year plan? His results:
Year 1 - obviously most Minnesotans would argue this was a "Lose big" season because they were 1-11, but those of us who followed them know how many close losses they had and how easily the record could've been 4-7 to 6-6.
Year 2 - We were somewhere between a lose small and win small year. You could definitely see improvement, but for whatever reasons we just fell flat on our face against Michigan and Iowa.
Year 3 - Hopefully, we'll continue to see improvement. I think the team will be better next year, and I'd count 7-5 as an improvement if it means all the losses were competitive (and to a slightly tougher schedule than 2008).
Year 4 - I think the offense would definitely be at peak performance in 2010 with Weber a Senior and various other skill position players and lineman as Juniors or Seniors, but a huge portion of the D graduates in 2009, so it depends on how well Brew can fill in those losses.

And, while Brew controlled the game day execution in 2007, 2008 was his first year of truly having some of his personnel (and mostly freshmen at that). I don't know if Zook was hired early enough to recruit for his first season, but Brew only had time to scrounge up a half-dozen or so players before the recruiting deadline in 2007. And I don't think any of those guys are still with the team.

I support Brew for now - I like the talent he's bringing in, his positive attitude, his work ethic and on game day I've seen some errors, but it also seems like he's learning from them.
 

grunkiejr

Mentor to 007
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
0
Points
36
I always compare Minnesota under Brewster to what Alvarez and Ferentz did winning BT crowns in year four after going winless year one and a couple of BT wins in year two. That may not happen but its a good example of building a program.

Its very, very difficult to average 5 BT wins over a ten year period.
I think there are a lot of models that can be copied:
Iowa
Wisconsin
Northwestern (in the 90's)
Oregon
Kansas
Virginia Tech
Kansas State (in the 90's)
Texas Tech

Amongst those programs most people will look at Iowa and Wisconsin as being the most similar because they are our neighbors and Big Ten Schools but I don't think the situation is very different in Oregon or Kansas either. Texas Tech has a definite recruiting advantage by being in Texas but it still plays third fiddle to Texas and Oklahoma for recruits and historically it was behind Texas A&M too. KSU relied heavily on Juco's and we'll have problems copying that model to a T. I think VaTech is a pretty good model to copy. I would love to have a Phil Knight so that we can copy Oregon.
 

minngg

Banned
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
0
Points
36
There are some number of Brew Believers. A loss to Air Force would cause some of them to get up from that group and go sit somewhere else.

The long, long risks and efforts associated with TCF always offered substantial upside but some downside as well. A loss in the first game against a non BCS team would not be good. Anyone who is anyone in the Gopher Nation will be at that game and they will not walk away happy should we lose that game.

Personally, I would recommend not losing that game. As Lincoln said "that just won't scow."
Anyone that would abandon a coach because of one loss is an idiot or has an already built in bias and is just looking for a way to bail out. I am neither of the above. I have a feeling you are both.
 

GopherGod

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
2,636
Reaction score
6
Points
38
There are some number of Brew Believers. A loss to Air Force would cause some of them to get up from that group and go sit somewhere else.

The long, long risks and efforts associated with TCF always offered substantial upside but some downside as well. A loss in the first game against a non BCS team would not be good. Anyone who is anyone in the Gopher Nation will be at that game and they will not walk away happy should we lose that game.

Personally, I would recommend not losing that game. As Lincoln said "that just won't scow."
I would agree with you on that one as they have a new coach as well as we do and we cannot say that they have more talent than us and it is easier to recruit to. The academies have got to have the toughest recruiting job out there, not only do you have to have very good grades coming in but then you also have to make a commitment to military service after you graduate which definitely limits your pool of recruits dramatically.
 

minngg

Banned
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
0
Points
36
I would agree with you on that one as they have a new coach as well as we do and we cannot say that they have more talent than us and it is easier to recruit to. The academies have got to have the toughest recruiting job out there, not only do you have to have very good grades coming in but then you also have to make a commitment to military service after you graduate which definitely limits your pool of recruits dramatically.
I totally agree with your take. Air Force is more difficult to recruit to. Why then do they have more talent than MN? Hard to blame Brewster for this one since next year he will only be responsible for the Freshmen, redshirt freshmen and the non-redshirt sophs. Could it be that Brew was left with an empty closet of players when he came?
 

GopherGod

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
2,636
Reaction score
6
Points
38
I totally agree with your take. Air Force is more difficult to recruit to. Why then do they have more talent than MN? Hard to blame Brewster for this one since next year he will only be responsible for the Freshmen, redshirt freshmen and the non-redshirt sophs. Could it be that Brew was left with an empty closet of players when he came?
Oh but if the recruits are so great then atleast some of the sophomores should be contributing or atleast beating out the empty cupboard players that Mason left. I love how people are already coming up with excuses and trying to justify a loss to Air Force in our stadium opener if it does happen. Might the fact that the players will have to learn their 2nd offense and 3rd defense scheme and terminology in 3 years be a contributing factor.
 

Goldy74s

Banned
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
227
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Until every player ever recruited by Mason has left the program, every loss will be mostly Mason's fault. Satan's hand thwarts every effort of both God and our coach to do any good whatsoever.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
637
Reaction score
0
Points
16

Gopherjer

New member
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Everyone quit replying to these two chowders, they have an agenda and spin everything anyone says. I will now ignore anything these two have to say.
 

tjgopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
4,334
Reaction score
46
Points
48
Oh but if the recruits are so great then atleast some of the sophomores should be contributing or atleast beating out the empty cupboard players that Mason left. I love how people are already coming up with excuses and trying to justify a loss to Air Force in our stadium opener if it does happen. Might the fact that the players will have to learn their 2nd offense and 3rd defense scheme and terminology in 3 years be a contributing factor.
What, are you freaking hoping that we lose to Air Force? Why dwell on it? What do you gain by speculating what would happen to the program if we lose a game that won't even be played for seven months? It appears that your tone is such that you are pulling for a loss just to see what the reaction will be. Why? What the heck kind of a Gopher fan are you GopherGod? Seriously.
 

GopherGod

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
2,636
Reaction score
6
Points
38
What, are you freaking hoping that we lose to Air Force? Why dwell on it? What do you gain by speculating what would happen to the program if we lose a game that won't even be played for seven months? It appears that your tone is such that you are pulling for a loss just to see what the reaction will be. Why? What the heck kind of a Gopher fan are you GopherGod? Seriously.
One who has season tickets for football and basketball and goes to every game, member of the goalline club, and cheers for the players but doesn't fall for a used car salesman pitch. Brewster would do well to take a lesson from Teddy Roosevelt and "speak softly and carry a big stick."
 

tjgopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
4,334
Reaction score
46
Points
48
One who has season tickets for football and basketball and goes to every game, member of the goalline club, and cheers for the players but doesn't fall for a used car salesman pitch. Brewster would do well to take a lesson from Teddy Roosevelt and "speak softly and carry a big stick."
That clears it up. Just about what I thought. Thanks for answering. Hope you don't take too much glee in "your" program should it lose to Air Force. But, it sounds like you'll be downright giddy should it happen.
 

GopherGod

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
2,636
Reaction score
6
Points
38
Top Bottom