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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Enter the Meat Grinder

Minnesota is jacking up the level of competition in the years to come. According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg they are looking to add Texas to a post-2009 slate that includes USC, Colorado and Oregon State after an already challenging 2009 schedule. Coach Tim Brewster ain't scurred:

The schedule is extremely challenging, but that's to my liking. I love the fact that we're playing Air Force, we're playing Cal, we're playing Syracuse. We're playing some really good football teams. Somebody said that we had the fifth most challenging schedule in America, and I like that. I think it's a good thing.
Missing Indiana and Michigan during the conference schedule in 2009 helps the strength of schedule but eliminates two very winnable games. And going big seems to be helping recruiting:

But from a recruit's perspective, I think that's what they want. When I talk to recruits on the phone, they say, Hey, coach, who are you playing in the nonconference schedule? They want to know. When I say, We're playing USC, you can sense an excitement in a young man's voice. Kids want to play in marquee nationally televised games.

To be honest with you, I want the University of Minnesota to be on that stage. I want to play nationally televised games where a tremendous exposure is put on our program. And when you play USC, that happens.

We're going to play some other teams also that are going to give us exposure. I don't think there's a downside. I really don't. We're an ascending program the way I look at our program. We're going to keep getting better. We'll be up to the challenge of playing the type of schedules that we're going to play at Minnesota through the next couple of years.
The added hypothetical exposure will be beneficial, but only with wins and bowl games. The big name teams seem to be offset by the standard BCS cupcake menu. Other schools currently on the docket from 2010-2015 are South Dakota, North Dakota State, Syracuse {Also the opening game of the '09 season.}, San Jose State, UNLV, Western Illinois, Miami of Ohio, South Dakota State and Ohio {www.gophersports.com}. Naturally this is incredibly premature and open to an abundance of change. They could conceivably play none of these teams if a school with a bigger checkbook comes calling. A lot of scheduling comes down to the strength of a school and the luck of hitting big name teams on a down swing and avoiding mid-majors on an uptick.

The final result will be interesting to see, but it will be difficult to ignore Minnesota scheduling big name teams from out of the conference. Although it will be a meat grinder, we'll borrow words of wisdom from Wedding Crashers: Rule #76. No excuses. Play like a champion.

1 comment:

Bee2636 said...

The trend is catching.

UNC and LSU are in negotiations
for an ACC-SEC opener.