What? When? How? And other random questions.

cjcarter8

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After the loss this weekend, the majority of which was difficult to watch, and the predictable subsequent meltdown on gopherhole, a few questions came to mind. Some of the questions, I can't give a concrete answer myself. So I am interested to see what some of you extraordinary ladies and gentlemen have to say.

What is your definition of success for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Team?

How long do you think it should take to get there?

Why? Please give a reasonable answer to support your answer. (Also, please leave out any answers that have to do with coach A at school B took C years to turn around that program. No two schools are congruent.) I want to know what about THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA makes you think that's a applicable timeline.

What makes the results of the previous coaches year 3 results relevant to what Kill is trying to accomplish especially when we know how their tenures ended? So far it looks like Brewster will have a "better" year 3, but how about the raging inferno of a train wreck that was year 4?

Is it acceptable to struggle for 4-5 years, if the next 10 are above average and meet or exceed your definition of success? I know, I know, there's no guarantee this will happen. Lets assume there are tangible signs of improvement each of the first 5 years but haven't resulted in an increase in the win column. Obviously if there is no improvement in the on field product or in the win column that coach should not retain his juob.

If you don't think that is an acceptable time frame please elaborate. Is it the talent on the roster, the allure of MN, the prestige of the school? Or is there another variable?

Does comparing the Gophers football program to other programs across the country lead to impatience within the fan base when results font go as expected?

As a disclaimer, I'm not saying Kill is the guy to turnaround the Gophers. I was just as disappointed with the loss this saturday as anyone else. The questions above are ones that I have seen people try to answer numerous times but I have yet to see an answer that pertains 100% to the Golden Gopher Football program. (Once again talking about the coach A at school B people). Of course I have my own opinion in all of this but I am curious to see what others think.

Look forward to your answers.
 

t-docious

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Success: Perennial Power, Occasional Big Ten Title/Championship game. Natty Ship! (one in a lifetime is all I need honestly)

How Long: 5 years to really make some noise. 3 Is just too short, Give him the time to recruit his team, theoretically 4 classes. It seems like a pretty fair shake to me at a major university getting paid what they do.

Experience: is it unreasonable to expect some significant improvements by year 3 campaign? If your three year turnaround deal is how you sold yourself the job, then i certainly think some criticism is warranted. I think a 3 year cycling of hiring firing a coach is a bad idea though.

Struggle: This is pretty much how I see it going for us if we keep kill and company. I think it might just take a bit longer in the B1G. A turnaround in a mid major conference, I would percieve, to be much easier than at a B1G level. But overall, struggling for 4-5 only to have seasons of greatness 10 years after would be splendid, one can only hope.

Impatient fan base: Absolutely. We want to keep up with the Jones' too. Its a god damn college football cold war arms race out there.
 

DarrenTheGreek

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Success: A) Win the Big Ten Championship at least once for every X teams in the conference. So right now, once every 12 years. B) Win your division at lealst once for every X teams in the conference. Right now that would be 6. Until we change the culture in this state to be more supportive of football at the youth level and turn out more D-1 talent I just can't expect more than that.

How long? Should be competing towards the top of your division in year 5. I'd say division championship in first 6-7 years.

Why? It takes 3-4 years to get your first guys through the system. But it takes a few years after that to build the roster complete with depth and players you really want. Look at it this way...it isn't a shot against anyone on the team right now but if a new coach comes in for a rebuilding program, he probably isn't going to get the recruits he REALLY covets the first few years. He's going to have to be content to get some of the leftovers and identify ones that can be coached up a bit. Those first few classes should be just good enough to get you out of the cellar but it is the next wave that need to take the next step.

Compare year 3? It's ok to compare Kill in year 3 against his predecessors as long as you understand that it's not always an apples/apples comparision. Note the strength of the non-conference schedules, note the overall strength of the Big Ten, note who each coach played at home/road, note the condition of the program when they took it over, note how supportive the fanbase was, etc.

Struggle 4-5 years? Yes. Realize your place. THIS IS MINNESOTA! We produce about 5-10 D-1 athletes every year. This means we HAVE to go outside our borders for talent, but since we haven't won for over 40 years it is hard to convince big time talent to come here. It takes time. Yes, I know that sports fans are fickle and this is an instant gratification culture full of people who think you should contend for a NC every year because they do it on EA Sports but people are stupid.
 
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I like to keep it simple stupid. Wins and losses. If after 5 years Kill has a losing conference record in each of those years Woody's gears will start grinding. Would he be justified?
I'll throw out the first year and add bogus numbers for the next 4
2012- 2-6
2013- 2-6
2014- 3-5 ( tougher schedule )
2015- 3-5 ( again, very tough)
2016- 4-4 ( more manageable )
Total: 14-26
I'm throwing out the non-conference because I believe we need to judge Kill on improving the program over the Mason years. So if you're Woody do you move forward and extend Kill off his 4-4 in
2016?, or do say 14-26 is not where I want to be. For me, I've lived
enough through the Mason years and no matter how Kill has done to improve other aspects of the program if I'm Woody, I make the change. Wins and losses boys that is what you have to look at.
I like Kill too, and want him to succeed. This is a business and you can't get caught up in the old warm and fuzzy feeling about a great guy like Kill. Now, this is pure conjecture on my part and I hope I'm wrong and Kill makes me eat my " conjecture "
 

lakesgopher

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success-national championship---Reality? probably 7 regular season wins and a bowl victory.

time frame-I think by year 4 we should have a good idea of the direction of kill's program. i dont think Kill and staff can recruit at a high enough level to compete for big ten titles. i think he can make us respectable in the next 2-4 yrs so the next coach can take the ball and run with it.

why-recruiting, we need the horses to win, recruiting at a mac level wont win at a high level

comparing-not a fair assessment. i think kill is further ahead of brew because we are more stable.

struggle 4-5 yrs-depends on how people define "struggle?" i just find it really hard to believe Kill and staff can take us from the gutter to the penthouse. he will make the program better which if we hire right can give momentum to maybe an equal coach that is a much better recruiter. that would be a success for the program imo.
 

cjcarter8

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I like to keep it simple stupid. Wins and losses. If after 5 years Kill has a losing conference record in each of those years Woody's gears will start grinding. Would he be justified?
I'll throw out the first year and add bogus numbers for the next 4
2012- 2-6
2013- 2-6
2014- 3-5 ( tougher schedule )
2015- 3-5 ( again, very tough)
2016- 4-4 ( more manageable )
Total: 14-26
I'm throwing out the non-conference because I believe we need to judge Kill on improving the program over the Mason years. So if you're Woody do you move forward and extend Kill off his 4-4 in
2016?, or do say 14-26 is not where I want to be. For me, I've lived
enough through the Mason years and no matter how Kill has done to improve other aspects of the program if I'm Woody, I make the change. Wins and losses boys that is what you have to look at.
I like Kill too, and want him to succeed. This is a business and you can't get caught up in the old warm and fuzzy feeling about a great guy like Kill. Now, this is pure conjecture on my part and I hope I'm wrong and Kill makes me eat my " conjecture "
Is Kill's contract up in 2017 or 2018? Would you agree that a move one way or the other probably needs to be made before his contract year to avoid a lame duck situation.
 

Iceland12

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Success: ?
I'm looking for them to find a QB that can hit an open receiver more than half the time. To complete a pass when they have protection. To throw the ball away in those circumstances when there isn't anybody to throw to or space to run. Those last two things are on coaching not a QB's lack of physical skills. That's all I'm looking for now. That's not whining or screaming for a quick turnaround. That's just asking for a competent QB play.
 
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I define success for the Gophers on a broad scale as the team being a bowl game regular with the 3-9 or 4-8 meltdown seasons becoming rare and an end to the constant calls for patience during rebuilding. The peak goal for the team would be an 8-4 (5-3) or 9-3 (5-3) season with a Gator Bowl or Outback Bowl bid. I believe the window for this team to make a Rose Bowl has been permanently closed. The money and resources of the elite schools are too great and the hurdle of a Big Ten Title game makes Pasadena even more remote. We likely won't make it in my lifetime and I can deal with it.

How long will it take to get there? I honestly don't know. I think it's possible, but we're too far away to set a time table. The rot of the last couple of Mason seasons combined with the disastrous Brewster era did tremendous damage to achieving my version of success which was attainable circa the early 2000s. I hope Kill is the coach to lead us there, but worry he isn't the guy. We're still early enough in his reign given the circumstances that pulling the plug would be unwise. We do need to see measurable progress in 2014, however.

I think comparison to other programs can be harmful. I'm guilty myself of doing it on a regular basis. One problem is comparing us to other Big Ten teams when really better comparisons in many respects would be Pitt, Boston College, TCU, and Cincinnati, all of them college teams in decidedly pro sports markets. It's tough to look at Wisconsin and Iowa and want to be them (atmosphere, the town comes to a halt on gameday, success even if Iowa's is fading a bit) while also knowing that the size and make up of the area along with the irrelevance of the Gophers to so many renders such a thing extremely difficult.

How do we elevate the program? We can't change our history of the last 45 or so years, our location or our weather. We can change our facilities. The Bank was a good start, but the practice facilities, weight rooms, training table, dorm rooms, and other facilities must be not just very good, but among the elite because it's the only way to set us apart. We must also hire wisely. Gutey, Wacker (who I met and was greatly impressed with as a person), and Brewster were poor hires and we still pay the price. I also think that if we ever get to where I think we can and want us to, we're going to be the place that sends head coaches on to better jobs because you can realistically go only so far here. That will make hiring wisely even more important because we'll get a different sort of turnover.
 

2727Gopher

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I look at it this way - outside of off-field incidents, non-football issues or exceptional circumstances, I wouldn't even start to evaluate a coach until he's done with three seasons. At that point, I think that, of every 4 years, one great year (with at least a shot late in the season at a Big Ten title), two good years (.500 in the Big Ten) and one rebuilding year would be a good job by a coach. A great job could eventually make us even better than that, but for now, I think that's a realistic and attainable goal once the program has been built.
 

stuck_in_scony_go4_fan

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I just want to be competitive in every game.... give us a chance to win on every given Saturday... I can handle losing games... I can't handle being bitch slapped up and down the football field
 

Go Gophers Rah

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What is your definition of success for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Team? At this point, I'd just like the Gophers to be a respectable B1G team again. To me this means that most seasons have 3-5 conference wins with the occasional (like once every 5 or 6 years) 1 or 2 win conference record and the occasional 6 conference win season. Basically at (or a little bit higher) the same level as the Mason years.

How long do you think it should take to get there? I think Kill deserves 4 years to show he's making progress. If, at the end of 2014, we have yet to notch 3 conference wins in a season, then it will be time to move on. If he can get a 3-5 conference record this season or next, then he deserves 5 or 6 years.

Why? Becuse the University of Minnesota is one of the 4 or 5 largest universities in the country. I believe that the university and the community have shown a willingness to provide all of the necessary resources to expect (at the very least) a middle-of-the-pack team.
 

RedPoo

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Success is a sliding scale.
If we make a the worst bowl possible this year, that's a success.
Continued improvement over the next three seasons is success.
Being a serious contender for the division sometime within the next 5 years is a success.

Once this program is built up (say, starting 5+ years from now and moving forward) I think success becomes occasional B1G championship game appearances/victories (say, one championship every ten years) and the program being strong enough to sustain that level of success when this coaching staff inevitably moves on.

I think it will take that long because we need to see both how a team grows through the years, and how they perform when Kill has an entire roster of his own recruits. I think we're capable of getting to the level I described above because we're a major university in a relatively well-populated state with the available resources and dedication from the University to get there. (And, by the way, both the resources we have now and the dedication from the U are light years ahead of where they were when Mason started, and I think a lot of that has to do with his success here with limited resources. I supported firing him, but I'm always going to be grateful for the attention he brought to this team, which I think has been a lot more important than most people realize.)

I think that, not only is it acceptable to struggle for a few years before we reach that success, it is almost imperative. There's a reason Kill and his staff are always talking about "building on cement", "brick by brick" etc. Lucking into a couple of talented recruits, finding a system that works for them and catching few breaks along the way is a nice lighting-in-a-bottle year, but you build a program with consistency...building an identity and slowly getting stronger. Illinois, Northwestern, and Auburn are a few examples that come to mind of teams that sort of "rode a hot streak" over the course of a single season recently and weren't able to keep it up because of how the programs were (or weren't) built up deliberately.

I don't think the "year threes" of previous coaches are especially relevant because of the above reason. For instance, it's obvious Brewster did not have a consistent vision for the future...he was pretty transparent that his game plan was to get the highest-rated recruits out there regardless of fit and try to find something that worked with their skills. I'm not saying that method is impossible to make work in some places, but it's not what this staff is trying to do so it's like comparing apples to oranges.

It sounds to me like what you're trying to get at with the question is how do we know if Kill is on the right track while the team on the field struggles, and unfortunately, I don't think we can. The best we can do is look for progress (or regression) and wait until it becomes obvious that it's either working or it isn't. Right now I think it looks like it is, if only because the team is almost definitely better this season that it was last season.
For me, I expect to know a TON more about where we're at in 2015.
 

Mick Turition

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Short answer: Northwestern. That level would be acceptable. If the historically worst team in Big 10 history can achieve the results Northwestern has achieved over the last 10+ years than that should be the minimum level for Minnesota. No Big10 team has less support, worse facilities, higher academic standards nor worse football history than NW.
 

Texas-Gopher

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What?
1) Don't embaress Minnesota off the field.
2) Make the U football team respectable. 4-5 B10 wins/year average.

When?
1) Done.
2) 2-3 more years. This is Minnesota.

How?
1) NA.
2) Stay the course, stay cool, don't panic after 1 game. If we don't win a single big10 game this year that would be disappointing.
 
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