ASK CFN Jan. 19 - Tim Brewster?
Posted Jan 19, 2007

Is Tim Brewster the right guy for Minnesota? Did Florida and Boise State get enough respect? These questions and a lot more in the latest ASK CFN.

Pete Fiutak

Fire over your questions to me at I might not be able to answer them all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise. (Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the questions short ... it makes my life easier.)

Past ASK CFNs ...     
Fox's BCS broadcasts
- Is Brady really better than Russell?
Hot & Cold Bowl Programs
- How ineffective was Reggie Ball?
- A 2007 Top 10 Mock Draft
Can Michigan win a national title?
- BCS possibilities for several teams
- West Virginia schedule, BCS rules
- Toughest coaching jobs
- Hidden Heisman 5

- Is Temple worst ever?
- Oklahoma-Oregon fiasco
- Has Bob Stoops lost it?
- Is Colorado done?

You stated Minnesota needed to make a big splash…what are your thoughts on Tim Brewster? – Tom

A: We’ll see. My policy on new coaches, especially obscure ones, is to always give them a few years before passing judgment. Did anyone really know who Bob Stoops was before he went to Oklahoma? Outside of college football insider circles, Bret Bielema wasn’t exactly a household name before Barry Alvarez anointed him as the chosen one at Wisconsin. Brewster’s reputation is as a motivator and a big-time recruiter, which should be a breath of fresh air after the rough time Glen Mason had doing both. Minnesota has a lot to offer and should be doing far better when it comes to bringing in some of the top players and keeping the main guys at home. A few defensive playmakers would be nice, and there’s no reason some great running back prospects shouldn’t give the Gophers a look. Like I said, wait and see.

Ha ha. You disrespected the Gators all year with your anti-SEC bias. What is CFN going to do now that we proved you wrong? It was sickening to see how everyone ignored Florida, and look what we did? Deal with it! – FT

A: “Ignored Florida?!” … “Anti-SEC bias?!” Are you for real? I can’t tell you how many of these types of e-mails we’ve received since January 8th, and I’m not sure if there’s a major UF inferiority complex kicking in somewhere, or if there’s a segment of the Gator Nation that’s unnecessarily paranoid. We said we thought Ohio State would win, but we also said it was an even matchup and the Gators had a great chance to pull it off. When has CFN ever been anti-SEC, and when have we not kissed the league’s big butt at every turn?

Before the season, I got into it with one of Scout’s Florida guys over dinner at the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas when I said there was no way, no how the Gators were going to win the national title with their schedule if two BCS teams finished unbeaten. He was yelling at me that Florida was good enough to win it all and was going to roll through the slate. As it turns out, while he wins, we were both right. Just because we thought the schedule was too tough to get through unscathed, and it was, doesn’t mean we didn’t think Florida was fantastic. However …

It's time to put the Gator kool-ade down and I mean quick. #4 in the nation (in the CFN pre-preseason rankings)? They'll be lucky to be top 4 in the conference next year. They lose A TON. Way too many players gone for them to be top 5. Tim Tebow hasn't shown he can do anything that he'll need to do next year. Florida does have a favorable schedule but Georgia, LSU, FSU have much brighter short term futures than the Gators do. UF has not out-recruited any of those programs no matter what you may have heard. Keep in mind UF has a mental battle as well as a physical battle. They will be in Gator hell I mean heaven down in Hogtown and all that patting on the back will hurt them in the off season. They scraped by games in the regular season in 2006 that they will lose this time around. – JK

A: I’ll give you that LSU looks nasty (that’s why we have the Tigers No. 2), but you’re wrong on the recruiting side of things. Urban Meyer and his staff have done a whale of a job and are bringing in big talents all over the place. In the SEC, you have to take your turn since so many teams are fantastic, and Florida, LSU, or anyone else can all but forget about dominating the entire league on a yearly basis like USC can do in the Pac 10 and Oklahoma and Texas do in the Big 12; the league is just too good. I’m with you that Florida might be overranked by everyone at the start of the year, but it's not a bad team by any stretch.

New year, same old CFN rankings.  You guys have always shown a significant bias in your rankings against Boise State, no matter who they beat and by how much they will never move up in your rankings.  If a team had accomplished the exact same as Boise State has but the name on the front of the jersey was West Virginia or Louisville they would be treated much differently.  In fact, West Virginia and Louisville have not really accomplished much more than Boise if you really look at.  You just seem to have a built in bias against Boise State in your rankings.  I guess no win is big enough to change that.  – JM

A: If you want to go by what Boise State accomplished, you should've checked out the
2006 CFN Final Season Rankings. Actually, we’re sort of treating Boise State exactly like we treated West Virginia last year. The Broncos can absolutely play with anyone in a one-game shot. No question. But remember, Chris Petersen and his staff had weeks and weeks to prepare for Oklahoma and were able to put in all sorts of funky wrinkles and were able to properly prepare the team. Would they have had similar success had the game been in mid-October the week after playing Texas Tech or Nebraska or Missouri? Probably not.

On a talent basis, Boise State might have upped the overall level compared to past seasons, but if you put last year’s team in one of the BCS leagues, at best it’s Wake Forest, at worst it’s Kentucky. In other words, it wouldn’t have gone unbeaten in the week-in-and-week-out grind of the bigger leagues (I feel like I’m on a continuous loop on this). The 2007 team loses a ton of good defensive talent along with QB Jared Zabransky; it’s going to take a step back.

What are your thoughts on Gary Crowton going to LSU as the offensive coordinator? Are we talking a complete overhaul of the LSU offensive or do you think Crowton and Miles will try to join their two mindsets? With Flynn and Perriloux waiting their turn for 2007, this could be very interesting considering both of them are pretty mobile guys. Do you think this changes the way recruits (such as Joe McKnight and others) look at the LSU system? – MS

A: He certainly is qualified. I’d be a bit concerned about the way the Oregon offense died down the stretch last year, and I hated the way the quarterback situation was handled (although that was Mike Bellotti's doing more than Crowton's), but he’s a fantastic assistant and a great hire. I’m not so sure the Tigers will go to a pure spread attack right off the bat, but it’ll certainly use more elements of it. The offense isn't going to struggle.

How can the Big East, with only 8 teams, really be a power conference?  I’m a Pitt guy and long for the conference to be legit, but even if all the teams are playing well I will still doubt the credibility of the Big East.  How can they fix this? Since continued expansion would just be with second tier teams.  Adding teams like Memphis, Southern Miss, ECU, and UAB would give them 12 teams and championship game, but does this really help with legitimacy?  Can you figure this out and provide some guidance to Tranghese? – LB

A: Easy. Get Notre Dame. Find a way to get the Irish in the Big East and all of sudden you have that “power conference” you’re looking for. While you’re dogging the idea of adding “second tier” teams like Southern Miss and East Carolina, remember that Louisville and South Florida weren’t anything special untul recently. Adding Southern Miss, Houston, East Carolina, and Notre Dame would make the league even more interesting. As is, it’s not all that bad.

How about the Big east 5-0!!! How about the ACC.. Remind me if I’m correct shouldn’t the ACC conference be up for the Big East rule for the BCS automatic Bid.... How pathetic... All the haters on the Big East hurry up and jump on the bang wagon.... - Corporal Andrew m. Hartwigh, USMCV

A: Yeah, chirp away Big Easters. It’s your time to shine. However, South Florida was the better team than East Carolina. Rutgers was the better team than Kansas State. West Virginia was the better team than Georgia Tech, who was without its starting quarterback (yeah, and the Mountaineers were without Steve Slaton). Louisville was far better than Wake Forest. Cincinnati was the heavy favorite over a MAC team. The Big East was supposed to go 5-0 thanks to lousy bowl slots. It would've been nice to have seen Rutgers and South Florida play someone bigger and badder.

With Wisconsin not playing both Ohio State and Michigan this year, the question was raised amongst my buddies about the Big Ten holding a Conference Championship game.  They say they can do it.  But I thought the NCAA rules on this were that to go beyond 12 games, other than a bowl game, a conference needs 12 teams to be eligible for a conference championship game.  I searched online for NCAA rules on this but couldn’t find it.  Can you help clear up this debate? – BY

A: If you remember, the ACC had to wait to put in its title game until Boston College came over two years ago to form a 12-team league. I’d much rather see the league ditch a non-conference game and come up with a Pac 10-like everyone-plays-everyone slate to determine a true champions. It’s not right that some Big Ten teams have to play Ohio State and Michigan and miss Illinois or Indiana.

What's more important - a great head coach, or great assistant coaches? The general consensus is that Ron Prince did a fairly good
job his first year, but now he's lost a bunch of assistant coaches, including his defensive coordinator - which is the same problem Bill
Snyder kept having. Does losing assistant coaches eventually counter-act even the best coaches?
- marc in Seoul

A: I talked to Mack Brown about the possibility of losing some of his great assistants this off-season, and he basically said that at Texas there’s no problem picking up other great coordinators to step in. While that’s Texas, most big programs don’t have much of a problem finding great candidates. It’s when the smaller programs lose a hot-shot assistant that there it really hurts.

For a head man, part of the job is coming up with the right guys to fit the overall plan. Just like the head coach doesn’t do all the recruiting, but gets credit in the end for when the good players come in, he doesn’t do all the coaching but deserves praise when his team is well coached. A long answer to a short question; one follows the other. If Prince is a great head coach, he can spot the good talent and will hire coaches who’ll quickly fill the void without a problem.

How do you think the Ohio State and Michigan blowouts will affect pollsters voting in years to come? Both looked impressive during the year but were exposed as being overhyped in the post season. - Torello

A: They won’t do jack squat. Some teams will always be overhyped and overrated when they look amazing. Part of our job is to point out when teams might not be quite as good as they look, like we did with Miami in 2002 and USC in 2005, completely missed with Florida State in 2000 and didn’t push hard enough with Ohio State this year. On the flip side, it’s not like Florida was amazing throughout the season. It was fantastic at coming up with wins, but it didn’t show anything to suggest it would do that to Ohio State. There were some out there who predicted the Gators to win, but no one predicted a blowout. Voters will vote by what they’re able to see.