The first game at TCF Bank Stadium was a big one because it was just that—the first one. Now only two weeks old, Minnesota's shimmering new home will host its first legitimately big game when No. 8 California comes to town on Saturday. In years past, the Golden Gophers were criticized for a soft non-conference schedule that padded their win totals before the Big Ten season started. But coach Tim Brewster has changed that philosophy. USC will play here next year and the Gophers (2-0) this week get perhaps the second-best team in the Pac-10 when Jahvid Best and the Golden Bears (2-0) roll into "The Bank."
The game will be televised on ESPN, giving the country its first extended look at the 50,000-seat, open-air facility on the university's campus in Minneapolis. "This is the stage that we want to be on at the University of Minnesota," Brewster said. "We want to play in meaningful, significant games." Be careful what you wish for, coach. You just might get it.