Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Considering non-conference scheduling

Hey, how about this revolutionary idea from Minnesota coach Tim Brewster?

Considering non-conference scheduling


     Hey, how about this revolutionary idea from Minnesota coach Tim Brewster: Scheduling tough non-conference opponents helps your recruiting.

     Whoa! Why don't more football coaches in the Big Ten feel that way?

     I know what you're thinking. Highly skilled high school recruits pick Penn State because of Joe Paterno, or Ohio State because of the tradition there, not because of the schedule. Minnesota is cold and snowy and the Golden Gophers haven't been to the Rose Bowl since 1961.

     But the Gophers could be a rising power in the Big Ten in future years if Brewster's idea works. Minnesota opened this season at Syracuse, where a new coach, a new quarterback and a sellout crowd awaited, then hosted Air Force and its fine rushing attack, and nationally ranked California.

    The Golden Gophers have a home-and-home series with Southern California in 2010 and 2011, then have two games with Texas in 2015 and 2016.

     "My philosophy is this: what we want to do, first and foremost, is we want to play a schedule that appeals to recruits," Brewster said. "Recruits call me all the time and they talk about our non-conference scheduling, and they're really excited about the fact that we're playing a team like USC, that we're playing a team like the University of Texas. To be quite honest, that's what it comes down to.

     "Number one for me is recruiting. No. 2, our fan base is extremely excited about the non-conference scheduling that we have in place. It helps prepare our football team. We're a fairly well battle-tested football team because of the schedule we've played to this point. I've just got to think that it's helped us and it'll serve us well in the Big Ten."

     Let's see if it helps the Gophers on Saturday.


Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 30 years, covering covering Penn State football, Villanova basketball and other college sports, along with golf and the Penn Relays. This is his seventh season on The Inquirer’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976-84.

Joining Joe this season is Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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