It appeared as though this was finally the year that the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers head football coach Tim Brewster was done making outlandish promises about the Rose Bowl, a Big Ten Title, and how good his team was.
It seemed that coach Brewster had finally realized that a big job of a college football coach trying to build a winning program is managing expectations. There's one slight problem. The fans of a football bowl division school expect to beat a team from the football championship subdivision.
Coach Brewster must have missed that memo as he was out coached, out classed and his team was out played.
The Golden Gophers quickly marched down the field on their first possession, only to be stopped quickly in the end zone. The kicked a field goal to go up 3-0 early in the first quarter. That was the only lead they held all game.
The Gophers offense sputtered in the first half, struggling to come up with enough yards for the first down on third and short time and again. They had two turnovers in the first half, one on a failed attempt to convert a fourth and short and the other on a missed field goal by Eric Ellestad.
The defense never made a play when they needed it. They were tired from spending too much time on the field and from chasing after a very mobile and slippery quarterback in South Dakota's Dante Warren.
The game was a huge disappointment for Gophers fans, but the biggest disappointment so far this season is probably the fact the Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi didn't fire Coach Brewster.
Coming into this season, Coach Brewster was 14-24 in his first three seasons as head coach. He has lost two bowl games. In the Big Ten Conference he has not managed more than 3 wins in his first three seasons, and the highest the team has finished is 7th.
This should be Coach Brewster's make or break season at the University of Minnesota. These are now mainly his recruits on the field. It is his system, and the past three years have been unacceptable to fans of the maroon and gold.
Unless the Gophers somehow manage to go 5-3 or 4-4 in the Big Ten Conference Coach Brewster should not be brought back next year. And that will be a very hard task to accomplish, considering games against #18 Penn State, #2 Ohio State and #9 Iowa all at home and a road game against #11 Wisconsin.
This will be the end of the Brewster era in Minnesota, and Gophers fans everywhere will be happy even after this team musters another 1-11 season.