Losing bowl games will simply not attract the major recruits the Gopher football program needs to be competitive in the Big 10.
After a sixth bowl loss in a row to Syracuse on Friday, it will be interesting to see if those recruits who are interested in playing for Minnesota will begin to question if its the place for winners or not.
Sure, playing in the Texas bowl gave the Gophers Freshman valuable post season experience, but one has to question if that experience is paying off or not.
This marks the second bowl loss in a row under head coach Jerry Kill, and in each game, the Gophers seemed to play nervous and confused. This was the same type of play under Glen Mason and Tim Brewster in bowl games.
I still want to believe that the Gophers will reach a better bowl game next season and come out with a victory, but that is not promising because of the long losing streak.
The program is rebuilding and on the upswing under Kill and next season is the most promising in over a decade for the Gophers, but if expectations are not met or exceeded and the Gophers flop in another bowl game, things could get ugly again for the program.
Star recruits want to play for schools’ that provide a winning atmosphere. For Kill, two consecutive bowl losses can be accepted because nobody expected the Gophers to even reach a bowl the past few years, but next season the team needs to win, or Kill may not land the guys necessary to create a dynasty in Minnesota.
Kill did a good job landing four-star running back Jeff Jones, a guy who is in-state but was a crucial signing. Jones had other offers from better programs, but chose Minnesota, probably because Kill brought winning back to Gopher football.
If the bowl losses keep mounting however, expect Minnesota to land average recruits, and for Jerry Kill’s legacy with the program to resemble that of Glen Mason.