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  1. #1

    Default Post Spring Big Ten Power Rankings (#6. Minnesota)

    per Hoosier Huddle:

    6) MINNESOTA, 2018 RECORD: 7-6 (3-6)
    Minnesota finished their season on an impressive high note. The Golden Gophers stunned Wisconsin, beating the Badgers 37-15 in Madison to become bowl eligible. Minnesota then beat Georgia Tech to win their first bowl under head coach PJ Fleck. The season was not without turmoil, however. Minnesota lost four straight games in early October and surrendered 55 points to a weak Illinois team in November. Overall, as PJ Fleck attempts to restore the Gophers football program, 2018 was a success with bowl eligibility and a postseason victory. The Gophers return most of their roster and should be a very experienced group compared to years past.

    https://hoosierhuddle.com/hoosier-bl...kings/2019/5/1

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    Minnesota lost four straight games in early October and surrendered 55 points to a weak Illinois team in November, and replaced DC Robb Smith with Joe Rossi the next day. After that the Gophers showed much improvement.

    Those few words could have been added to give people outside of Minnesota a better understanding of this squad. But, I will continue with the belief that no one outside of the state knows that Minnesota has a football team anyway.

  3. #3

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  4. #4
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    [should be a very experienced group compared to years past.
    The messaging is not working.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompous Elitist View Post
    The messaging is not working.
    Who's messaging? Fleck's? Or just the handful of you that can't let go of the young team stuff from last year?

    From the Strib back on March 8th:
    So just because his team is young once again doesn’t mean it won’t have success, Fleck said.

    "We might be youthful. I think we’re at top five most youthful team in America again,” Fleck said. “But we are way more experienced than we were last year.”

    Fleck said the Gophers have more experienced underclassmen than most teams in the nation, citing Tennessee and Utah as other examples. That happens when freshmen start at quarterback, three freshman offensive linemen play in the bowl game and overall eight freshmen start on offense at the end of the year for Minnesota.

    http://www.startribune.com/p-j-fleck...ice/506833742/

    Fleck has fully embraced the expectations increase for the team and has been talking about how the team needs to rise to those raised expectations. And yeah, he usually includes the part about youth because the reality is we are still a very young team overall but we are also have a ton of experience in our starting lineup to go along with that youth.

    The combination of youth with experience should excite people because that greatly increases the chances of being able to be more then just a one hit wonder and have some sustained success.

    I understand that some are never going to like Fleck but at least have a real reason for ripping on him as opposed to inventing a message that isn't there.

    Some hear the youth comments and immediately equate that to an excuse for why we won't be good, probably because that is how it has been used in the past by other coaches here and also how Fleck used it when he first arrived. But when he talks youth now it isn't an excuse it is a reality but not a limitation on what the team can be and become.

  6. #6
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    The two deep doesn’t look that youthful to me. And the young guys that are playing are likely NFL-caliber players. Sometimes youth happens by fate or by chance, and other times by choices made.

    PJ, as usual, is the most negative Gopher fan I see outside of a few trolls here and there. I think most here are much more optimistic about the teams chances than PJ has ever been. He is starting to get only his guys into the two deep so I feel like he’s starting to change the messaging a little more which is nice to see.

  7. #7

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    "As PJ attempts to restore the Gopher football program..." From a disappointing 2017, OK, but Kill righted the program.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    "As PJ attempts to restore the Gopher football program..." From a disappointing 2017, OK, but Kill righted the program.
    Kill righted the program? Finishing in the middle of the west every year and never beating Wisconsin is righting the program?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by GopherWeatherGuy View Post
    Kill righted the program? Finishing in the middle of the west every year and never beating Wisconsin is righting the program?
    From what he inherited, both on the field and academically, yes. We never got to see what Kill’s ceiling was.

  10. #10

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    I saw plenty. Good guy and did some good foundational things. Still have to have a great record or win a Rose Bowl to be great. In my opinion Fleck will accomplish far more than Kill.

  11. #11

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    I supported Kill a lot and believe he did indeed set the program on a positive track. I credit him for sending it in the right direction but believe he had a ceiling to what he could accomplish. It was better after Kill than before both academically and on the field. Claey's had no business being head coach...good with Xs and Os but stunk at the rest of it. Fleck has no ceiling...and least not one that we've seen yet. I absolutely love him and wonder if he would have come here if Minnesota was the dumpster fire that it was when Kill took over. I think one can support both coaches and give them both credit for where we are today. I was also one who was 100% for the firing of Claeys because I believe players represent the school and if they don't do that well, they should be kicked off the team.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoMn View Post
    I supported Kill a lot and believe he did indeed set the program on a positive track. I credit him for sending it in the right direction but believe he had a ceiling to what he could accomplish. It was better after Kill than before both academically and on the field. Claey's had no business being head coach...good with Xs and Os but stunk at the rest of it. Fleck has no ceiling...and least not one that we've seen yet. I absolutely love him and wonder if he would have come here if Minnesota was the dumpster fire that it was when Kill took over. I think one can support both coaches and give them both credit for where we are today. I was also one who was 100% for the firing of Claeys because I believe players represent the school and if they don't do that well, they should be kicked off the team.
    Well said and agree with most of what you wrote. The part in bold gets lost on a lot of people in here (at least lost on many of the vocal people). Too many see anything positive with Fleck as a shot at Kill/Claeys and the same is true on the flip side. Doesn't have to be that way but for some they can only see it one way.

    Personal feelings towards Kill aside I absolutely give him credit for what he did here in taking over for Brewster and the mess he left behind. The health issues kept us from truly seeing what Kill could do but I also agree there was a definite ceiling that is lower then where we want to go. Fleck has a chance to be the coach that finally pushes us over the hump, here's hoping he gets it done.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNVCGUY View Post
    Who's messaging? Fleck's? Or just the handful of you that can't let go of the young team stuff from last year?

    From the Strib back on March 8th:
    So just because his team is young once again doesn’t mean it won’t have success, Fleck said.

    "We might be youthful. I think we’re at top five most youthful team in America again,” Fleck said. “But we are way more experienced than we were last year.”

    Fleck said the Gophers have more experienced underclassmen than most teams in the nation, citing Tennessee and Utah as other examples. That happens when freshmen start at quarterback, three freshman offensive linemen play in the bowl game and overall eight freshmen start on offense at the end of the year for Minnesota.

    http://www.startribune.com/p-j-fleck...ice/506833742/

    Fleck has fully embraced the expectations increase for the team and has been talking about how the team needs to rise to those raised expectations. And yeah, he usually includes the part about youth because the reality is we are still a very young team overall but we are also have a ton of experience in our starting lineup to go along with that youth.

    The combination of youth with experience should excite people because that greatly increases the chances of being able to be more then just a one hit wonder and have some sustained success.

    I understand that some are never going to like Fleck but at least have a real reason for ripping on him as opposed to inventing a message that isn't there.

    Some hear the youth comments and immediately equate that to an excuse for why we won't be good, probably because that is how it has been used in the past by other coaches here and also how Fleck used it when he first arrived. But when he talks youth now it isn't an excuse it is a reality but not a limitation on what the team can be and become.
    don't you mean this year?
    If we want to fix what happened, you need to fire Coyle and Kaler as well.

    People are renewing. - Mark Coyle

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by caliGopher View Post
    don't you mean this year?
    No because the messages are totally different outside of the fact that we have a young team age wise. Which is my whole point, some are latching onto the youth angle and assuming it is being used as an excuse for struggling which is not what is actually happening.

    Last year on offense we had new faces all over the place. We had a number of guys getting their first taste of college football so the reality was we had no clue what to expect from them.

    Fast forward one year and these players are still young but now they have a full season of experience under their belt. When we look at our depth chart it is not full of a bunch of unknown commodities it is full of players that saw a lot of playing time last year and appear to have very promising futures.

    The best part is that even with that experience from last year these players should still be on the upswing of their college careers with a legit chance to continue getting better.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNVCGUY View Post
    No because the messages are totally different outside of the fact that we have a young team age wise. Which is my whole point, some are latching onto the youth angle and assuming it is being used as an excuse for struggling which is not what is actually happening.

    Last year on offense we had new faces all over the place. We had a number of guys getting their first taste of college football so the reality was we had no clue what to expect from them.

    Fast forward one year and these players are still young but now they have a full season of experience under their belt. When we look at our depth chart it is not full of a bunch of unknown commodities it is full of players that saw a lot of playing time last year and appear to have very promising futures.

    The best part is that even with that experience from last year these players should still be on the upswing of their college careers with a legit chance to continue getting better.
    I don't disagree with anything you said.

    Still, we're the second youngest team in the country(*citation of fact needed), right? The team is improving. The coach's blithering is not. It meant nothing last year to keep harping we were the youngest team in America. It means even less this year. So why do it? My problem is not that it was an excuse - I never saw it as an excuse and I don't believe it was true last year or this year. What bugs me is that Fleck has made a strategic decision to stack the freshman end of the program with walk-ons (which is not a bad idea - unless one of these not ready for primetime players ends up starting - ahm..Howden) then turned that into a mantra about how young we are like it something we've got to overcome. You want to overcome it? Start counting the Sr's and the Special Teams players and providing context for why two DBs from the year prior's squad were run off making us younger in a position we couldin't aford loses in and... you get the point.
    If we want to fix what happened, you need to fire Coyle and Kaler as well.

    People are renewing. - Mark Coyle

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