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Fitzgerald, Mason optimistic about future of programs

Northwestern and Minnesota have struggled mightily this season, but coaches Pat Fitzgerald and Glen Mason still have reasons to be optimistic, writes Bruce Hooley.

Updated: October 26, 2006, 10:21 AM ET
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com

There are traces of defiance in both their voices, proving neither Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald nor Minnesota's Glen Mason has conceded what everyone outside their programs accepts as fact:

Defeat on Saturday is as certain as the sunrise.

The coaches of the two winless programs in Big Ten conference play, Fitzgerald and Mason must feel like they've stumbled into some sort of masochistic reality show for guys with million-dollar contracts.

At a time when ...

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