The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished below .500 this year for sixth time in seven seasons. The opinions from this year vary more than those on the hill regarding the fiscal cliff. The glass-half-full group point to the fact that we doubled our win total from last year to six and won Big Ten games against Purdue and Illinois. We returned to bowl play and took a Texas Tech team that was favored by nearly 10 points down to the wire. They proclaim that the program is moving in the right direction and the team has young players to build on, beginning with freshman QB Phillip Nelson.
The glass-half-empty crowd point to the fact that our six wins came against cupcakes. Coach Kill seems adamant on padding his win totals in future years as well, as evidenced by his cancellation of two future games with North Carolina (and the $800,000 it cost the University to cancel the games). The Gophers hardly looked competitive in the Big Ten. We were handled easily by Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan St. and Iowa. And we blew a 7-point lead and the ball with under 2 minutes to play in a bowl game. In addition, our best wide receiver AJ Barker just fled campus for alleged mistreatment that is not totally understood yet.
Time will tell if Kill is the man to take us out of the dregs of the Big Ten. We tend to believe he is. He’s shown some impressive improvements in his time here and we have no reason to believe they won’t continue if Kill remains healthy. Will we be fighting for a Rose Bowl berth next year? No. But maybe a few years from now we will be.
While we continue to debate the issue in the offseason and track recruits, we wanted to share this video that we stumbled upon with you. It’s not all Gophers football related, but it’s a Minnesota film by a Minnesota student. The cinematography is excellent for an amateur video. We thought you’d enjoy this walk through 2012 from Brian Butterfield.
Here’s to more progress and all these questions answered in 2013.