The jury is still out on Tim Brewster at Minnesota, but the fourth-year coach already has made an extremely positive impact in one area: scheduling.
Minnesota has significantly upgraded its nonconference schedule during Brewster's tenure, adding the likes of California, USC, North Carolina and Oregon State. The Gophers no longer live in Cupcake City in September like they did under Glen Mason.
That's why it was disappointing to see Minnesota's two-game series against Texas canceled Wednesday. The Gophers had been scheduled to host Texas on Sept. 19, 2015, and visit Austin on Sept. 17, 2016. Minnesota attributed the cancellation to "a contract impasse concerning video rights," which relates in part to Minnesota's commitment to the Big Ten Network.
School officials didn't hide where they think the blame lies.
Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi told the Associated Press, "It’s extremely disappointing. The kind of agreement we could not come to is the same agreement every other school on our schedule agreed to. Every other school in the Big 12 agreed to this."
Maturi added: "We have a signed agreement. If we wanted to go to court, we’d win. But that’s not our style."
"I'm extremely disappointed that Texas has chosen not to play us," Brewster, a former Texas assistant who cut his teeth under Longhorns head coach Mack Brown, said in a prepared statement. "This was very unexpected, considering we had an agreement in principal. Our fans and our team were excited to play Texas. Obviously, they weren't as excited about playing us. We plan to fill that slot in our upcoming schedule with a quality BCS opponent."
Minnesota has a bit of a cushion to fill the vacancies, and here's hoping Maturi and Brewster add a solid team from a major conference. I doubt the replacement will carry the prestige of Texas, but Minnesota should continue its aggressive approach to scheduling as it tries to enhance its national profile.