If you were within earshot of the University of Minnesota on Saturday afternoon, that tapping sound you heard might have been Athletic Director Joel Maturi pounding a nail into the coffin of Tim Brewster's coaching career.
After another embarrassing display by his offense in Iowa City, the Tim Brewster experiment could likely to over.
The Gophers have looked lost and undisciplined on offense in the vast majority of their games. The first string offense failed to score a touchdown in four games this season. No matter what level of football you're at, that is unacceptable.
With a new offensive coordinator in Jedd Fisch, some struggles were to be expected. Fans can excuse the occasional fumble of interception, what they can't handle is the continuous parade of stupid penalties and the constant mismanagement of the clock, resulting in wasted timeouts and pointless delay of game penalties.
Someone has to be accountable for those errors, so the lion's share of the blame falls on Brewster's shoulders.
Don't get me wrong, Brewster has done some great things for this program. Team speed has drastically improved. The defense, which usually leaked like a sieve under Brewster's predecessor Glen Mason, might be the best defensive unit the Gophers have put on the field this decade.
Still, it hasn't been enough and the Gophers are once again stuck at .500 and headed to a lower-tier bowl game, a far cry from the Rose Bowls that Brewster talked about when he took over.
I realize that it takes time to build a program. You have to give Brewster time to develop the highly-touted recruits he brought in. The question you have to ask is: How much time is enough?
Next year will be Brewster's fourth season. I think it's more than fair to expect a coach to show some signs of improvement by the end of year four. To date, Brewster's yet to win a trophy game against a rival and is winless in the Big Ten during the month of November. That's not going to get it done.
I fully expect Brewster to be back next year, mainly because the University can't afford to buyout another contract. The AD went out on a limb to hire Brewster, next year is Brewster's last shot to make Joel Maturi look good.
If Brewster can't go 8-4 or better next season, I think he's gone and Maturi might have to be held accountable for his mistake. If I were Maturi, I'd be very nervous if University President Robert Bruininks came knocking on his office door asking to borrow that hammer.