The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 46 games over .500 in the Tubby Smith era. However, thanks to inflated self-worth, folks are now calling for Smith’s job. Forget the fact that the Golden Gophers are currently 18-8 at the moment, or in a position to the make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010, and that Smith has convinced well above-average prospects to come play in Minnesota, only then can you join this group of nonsensical people.
I won’t even bash the Golden Gophers program, a program which had their best seasons either vacated or are a century old, that would be to cliche. But it would also be irresponsible of me not to point out that before Smith arrived, the Golden Gophers were about as irrelevant in the Big 10 as The Fresh Beat Band is to your IPod. Only, save for a few exceptions, has Minnesota played basketball late in March and not have their appearance vacated. In fact, they have only technically appeared in three NCAA Tournaments in the last 22 years, two of those under Smith.
So imagine my surprise when people started calling for Smith’s job. Mind you, people who are likely not old enough to remember Golden Gopher success pre-Smith. Unless you are old enough to remember the 1989 version of the Golden Gophers, you have lived through a long stretch of mediocrity and sanctions.
Still, Smith’s more than admirable job helping restore the program has proven futile to those clamoring for his demise. I’d like to ask these people if they know of a magical tree where good coaches grow? Who are you, assuming you are a Minnesota fan, going to get to be your next head coach that is better than Smith? If I gave you some truth serum, do you honestly believe that your athletic department is willing to shell out huge cash for another name coach? And finally, what exactly do you think your program is, a premiere college hoops program?
How in the world did good not become good enough for the Golden Gophers basketball program? The athletic department will rue the day they fire Smith, I can promise you that. I mean, it isn’t every year that Minnesota is coached by a man who has won a National Title, appeared in 16 NCAA Tournaments, and has a proven record of success everywhere he goes.
Then again, the Golden Gophers never had expectations this high. Funny though, where did those expectations come from to begin with?
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone