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How to fix Tubby Smith's Gophers

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With seven games to go in the Big 10 schedule, the University of Minnesota will have to go 5-2 to finish above .500 in the conference this season.

A month ago, that may have not been a tall order, but the Golden Gophers (17-6, 5-6) have lost six of their last eight conference games, and have now fallen out of the Associated Press Top 25.

What should be done to turn it around?

One idea is to fire coach Tubby Smith, who Sports Illustrated says "is on the hot seat." (Way out on the limb there, SI.)

Star Tribune writer Jim Souhan writes "once again, Smith's team is growing more confused and ineffective as the season progresses, and he's being outcoached by almost everyone in the conference." His solution, hire VCU coach Shaka Smart if the Gophers continue to tank.

The DailyGopher blog says if replacing Smith isn't in the cards, then perhaps the U can make like the Twins and shake up the assistant staff.

The Big 10 blog TheBigTime is accusing Gopher Nation of freaking out way too early -- and firing Smith isn't the answer.

As writer Andrew Coppins suggests: "This is a team FIRMLY in the NCAA tournament picture at the moment and are just ONE game under .500 in the toughest conference in the country."

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