We really didn't want to put Minnesota Golden Gophers coach Jerry Kill this low in our power rankings, but we couldn't let our heart overrule our brains, regardless of how hard we tried.
Jerry Kill has been an absolute force of nature at Minnesota, battling recurring seizures while trying to rebuild the program into a winner in the Big Ten.
Kill got his coaching start back in the 1990s with the Division II Saginaw Valley State Cardinals (coaching against arch-rivals Grand Valley State Lakers, which were then under the direction of a guy by the name of Brian Kelly), before finding his way to the FCS Southern Illinois Salukis via the FCS Emporia State Hornets.
After turning around the Salukis from a 1-10 program in 2001 to a 12-2, national semifinal participant in 2007, Kill was asked to do something similar with the Northern Illinois Huskies.
By his third season, the Huskies had won the MAC-West, and Kill was hired by Minnesota, which hoped the magic had not run dry.
Kill does have the Gophers bowl-eligible this season, but 6-6 doesn't buy you a lot of time in the Big Ten these days—just ask Danny Hope.
What's more, we can't help but be continuously concerned over Kill's health.
First and foremost, Jerry Kill needs to take care of himself, but he strikes us as a guy who puts his program first. While that's a very admirable trait and buys him a ton of goodwill from Gophers fans and administrators alike, it may not be the best thing for all concerned in this situation.
Minnesota needs a full-time coach who can focus 100 percent of his attention each and every day on the program. As the old saying goes, the spirit is willing...
If Kill really wants to put the program first, it may be time to take a long, hard look at what his sporadic health problems do to his team: Can we really blame college football players for missed plays when they worry about an absent coach?
Perhaps it's time for Kill to really put his program first and step back, at least until his health improves.