Minnesota's Tim Brewster a Candidate for the Kansas Job

Denny K.Correspondent IDecember 9, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 13:  Minnesota Golden Gophers' head coach Tim Brewster talks with an official during the game against the Montana State Bobcats at the Metrodome on September 13, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minnesota defeated Montana State 35-23.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

It's been less than a week after Mark Mangino resigned and Kansas's athletic director, Lew Perkins, must already be feeling like the ugly and awkward kid who can't get a date to the high school dance.

Sources connected to Perkins first said he was going after Stanford's Jim Harbaugh.  You should give him credit for shooting high, I guess.  However, it appears Harbaugh is going to stay at Stanford and wait for a NFL job.  Harbaugh also turned down speculation surrounding the Notre Dame vacancy.

After the discussions about Harbaugh, the local Kansas media was surprised when news broke that Lew Perkins had been having "conversations" with Ole Miss' Houston Nutt.  After a day of speculation about this possibility, Nutt came out and said that though Kansas was "appealing" he would be staying at Ole Miss.  Ouch.

Fresh off the Houston Nutt rejection, different media outlets are now reporting that Lew Perkins may be trying to steal away the Minnesota Gophers' head coach, Tim Brewster.

While not quite as strange as the Houston Nutt fiasco, Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi seemed to verify the speculation yesterday by telling the Twin Cities media that he had a) heard the rumors b) could not guarantee Brewster would be back next year and c) probably wouldn't know anything about it until a deal was finalized with Kansas, so basically quit bothering him with questions. 

This response does not strike me as one that comes from an AD who is very interested in retaining his coach.

While Brewster isn't quite the Tyra Banks of college football, like Houston Nutt, he has had his share of drama in the last three years at Minnesota.  Brewster is 14-23 during those years and he has not been given a contract extension past the five year deal he originally was awarded. 

Many in Minnesota feel the uncertain future of Brewster at Minnesota is hurting recruiting there and recently two recruits have decommitted from the Gophers' after saying the athletic director's reluctance to give Brewster a long term deal made them feel uncertain about the future of the program.

One thing is for sure, many Minnesota fans would view it as a blessing if Kansas took Brewster off their hands.  While Brewster has guided the Gophers to two Insight Bowls in back-to-back seasons, including a defeat by Mangino's Kansas team in last year's bowl, 42-21, he has been unable to make the Gophers more than a poor to mediocre competitor in the Big Ten conference.

Despite playing in a very weak Big Ten conference this year, Brewster's team went 3-5 in conference play including a loss to a horrendous Illinois squad. 

Asides from struggles in the Big Ten, Brewster's Gophers have also had some very embarrassing non-conference debacles during his tenure.  Worst among these would probably be a loss to the North Dakota State Bison.  This season, on Nov. 14, the Gophers almost outdid that defeat by barely putting away the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 16-13.

It would be ironic if Kansas hired away a Minnesota football coach after more than 10 years ago the Gophers' grabbed the Jayhawks' Glen Mason.  Besides any satisfaction that may give fans, I really don't see the sense in this possible hire. 

Nebraska's hiring of Bill Callahan and defensive coordiantor Kevin Cosgrove a few years ago, two guys with Big Ten backgrounds, should really call into question whether or not Big Ten coaches can succeed in the Big 12. 

More relevantly, Brewster does not seem to be an upgrade at all over Mark Mangino.  If anything, it seems to me that it would be a downgrade at the coaching position.