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Mike Tice To Gophers?
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Post Mike Tice To Gophers? 
Recent news stories quote former Vikings coach Mike Tice as saying he is very interested in the vacant University of Minnesota football job. A failure to complete his bachelor's degree at Maryland might be a sticking point. Question is- is Mike a good fit for college football?

I generally liked Tice as a coach. His teams did sometimes mysteriously implode, not unlike the Mason-led Gophers. But on the whole it seemed like the players liked him a lot, he knew the game, and generally seemed very passionate and competent.

My big question about Mike is temperment. It seemed that when things went sour on him, he became surly, belligerent, and insulting to anyone who questioned him. I recall seeing very few coaches other than Denny Green who started throwing tantrums whenever their brilliance or results were questioned. Mike seems to tilt this way under pressure.

Most college coaches seem to be a different breed. They seem to be pretty cool in interviews, and know that they badly need to cultivate alumni boosters with a little sugar. Can Mike pull in his horns long enough to balance his cockiness with some diplomatic humility?

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I doubt Tice is who the Gophers will go after.

Gary Barnett is out there. So is Dave Gibbs, and quite a number of others.

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I always thought Tice was a good coach. He lacks experience, perhaps talents too, but he works very hard.

If you asked me, Tice is better than Brad Childress. This wasn't due to Tice's better record and a second-round playoff appearance. The offense led by Brad Johnson could really scored. The past season, Brad Childress pretty ruined Brad Johnson and ended his career. Benching Brad Johnson isn't the answer to Vikings problem.

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Still playing that ol' saw, Terry? LOL! Very Happy

I'm still willing to give Childress time. It's only been one season and Tice's 2005 team had more receiving talent than Childress' 2006 team. Don't forget that.

Anyway, with some of the names becoming more clear, I'm now pulling for the young and talented Lane Kiffen, who's a great recruiter, to be the next Golder Gophers captain. And at 31, he could create a REALLY LONG dynasty here, if he catches on.

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Post Chicken/Egg 
Talent begets talent. In big time college football today, the best recruits go to programs with a strong history of sending players to the NFL. That's why Florida and California teams are so dominant- they always have a lot of players drafted, and they have great weather for wide open pro-passing offenses.

We can't provide the weather, and won't if we have an outdoor stadium. So we have to get momentum and create a winning tradition that gives kids confidence that they will get the national exposure needed to create pro scout attention. It comes down to a very good coach who has an eye for talent, and can overcome our climate disadvantage.

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I think Lane Kiffen has as good a chance as any to pull that off, if one chooses not to go with someone who has previous head coach experience.

The TCU guy is supposed to be darn good, but MN isn't TX, as Jim Wacker proved.

And Tony Dungy isn't interested, unfortunately - a dream candidate, sure, but he's already rejected the idea, so...

Short of Kiffen , Dungy or the TCU guy, I think it would be wise to look at NAME-BRAND head coaches. Someone with either NFL experience or who has been a successful college coach elsewhere.

Gary Barnett leads that field, to my way of thinking...

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Post MN need a turn-around specialist. 
I was in Iowa when the Hawkeye football team had the longest consecutive seasons losing streak in Division One football -- 17 seasons. The Iowa A.D. was so desperate he hired an Ohio high school coach, Bob Cummings, to lose for a couple of seasons. Bob became famous for his coach's show, in which he'd look at the tape of the previous game and say, "If that guy hadn't been there, we'd have scored!" (Well, yeah, Bob, maybe that's why the other team's coaches had him there.)

Iowa was so pitiful we regularly led the nation in pass defense because nobody bothered to pass. They'd just run over us.

And then Iowa hired Hayden Fry, the guy who'd turned around programs at SMU and North Texas State. That first season we played Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium, back when Nebraska was a perennial Top-5 team with a powerhouse ground game. At halftime the score was Nebraska 6, Iowa 0 and us fans in the stands stood up and gave Hayden and his team a standing ovation.

We lost 24-21. After the game, a reporter asked Hayden if his team should be happy with a moral victory. Hayden said if he saw one of his players smiling, he'd punch him in the mouth. In 3 years he took us to the Rose Bowl.

Great coach, great assistants (several of whom went on to head coaching jobs elsewhere) and great recruiting. That's what it takes to win consistently in the Big Ten. (Of course, the Introduction to Finger Painting classes that helped keep players eligible didn't hurt.)


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Nice post, Odin, and several good points on the qualities MN needs at the Gophers' spot.

Here's the key question, though: Does anyone currently being mentioned strike you as the "next Hayden Fry" or the "Hayden Fry of MN"?

Do you have any names to suggest that aren't being tossed around? I'm intrigued.

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