Gophers Similar to Northwestern circa mid 1990's

Gold Rush

Active member
I mean this as a compliment actually as the Wildcats were a pretty tenacious bunch. Their recruiting was consistently not as good as most of the other Big Ten teams but they were severely underrated and upset some pretty good teams. I think most teams headed into the season and penciled that one as a win and they sneaked in and won some Big Ten titles along the way. What I liked about that team is how poised they were - they didn't beat themselves and no matter if they were winning or losing played hard until the end of the game.

Before the season started, how many teams penciled in the Gophers as a win, maybe even an easy one? Or, if they didn't they probably penciled it in as a game they should win if they played their best? Then at the end, after they lost say how did we lose that one? My guess is Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Purdue and certainly Nebraska all are guilty on that one. Well - that's the same thing Northwestern used to do. Respect is hard earned in college football.

I think this Gopher bunch today has been flying under the radar much the same way. I think a lot of people saw PJ Fleck as the second coming of Tim Brewster, maybe a little crazy and questioned his leadership. Even Jerry Kill who knew him very well has badmouthed him every chance he gets. Now people are changing their tune on Fleck as well as the team bigtime. People are hopping on the bandwagon, but they are 8 games late - us Gopher fans have been enjoying this run. I bet Fox Sports will notice a nice little uptick in viewers for the Rutgers game for starters!

If the Gophers can keep Fleck, they have a chance to be right there with Iowa and Wisconsin and in the hunt for big things every year. For now, let's enjoy the ride as long as we can and if we lose - we get right back out there and line it up again next week with our best effort. That is exactly what made Northwestern so tough, too.
 

Panthadad2

Active member
...Before the season started, how many teams penciled in the Gophers as a win, maybe even an easy one? Or, if they didn't they probably penciled it in as a game they should win if they played their best? Then at the end, after they lost say how did we lose that one? ...
Call me weird, but a part of me wants the Rutgers game to be closer than expected (due to the Gophs playing younger players to keep starters fresh, vanilla game plan, etc.) so the Gophs continue to stay under the radar and underestimated as long as possible.
 

Gold Rush

Active member
Call me weird, but a part of me wants the Rutgers game to be closer than expected (due to the Gophs playing younger players to keep starters fresh, vanilla game plan, etc.) so the Gophs continue to stay under the radar and underestimated as long as possible.
Right now, you can be assured that Penn St. Iowa and Wisconsin are all thinking they got this one and Maryland and Northwestern are thinking that's a game we should pull out. Rutgers is probably the only team that is thinking they have very little chance to win.

Gophers favored by 30 points? I think the Gophers will win but they are due for a letdown, especially after an emotional win vs. Nebraska. I think they win something like 34-10 but would not be at all shocked if it is closer than that. If I were betting I would take the points, but I am not betting against the Gophers!!
 

GopherinPhilly

Active member
Right now, you can be assured that Penn St. Iowa and Wisconsin are all thinking they got this one and Maryland and Northwestern are thinking that's a game we should pull out. Rutgers is probably the only team that is thinking they have very little chance to win.

Gophers favored by 30 points? I think the Gophers will win but they are due for a letdown, especially after an emotional win vs. Nebraska. I think they win something like 34-10 but would not be at all shocked if it is closer than that. If I were betting I would take the points, but I am not betting against the Gophers!!
If the Gophers execute the way they have the last two weeks, we should beat Rutgers by as many as we want.
 

Schnauzer

Pretty Sure You are Wrong
I'm on record several times as seeing the mid 90's Northwestern rise as a sort of model for the Gophers. For years I have asked "When are the Gophers going to have their breakout Northwestern season?"

In terms of comparing this season's Gopher undefeated start with the Wildcats of the 90's, there are as many differences as there are similarities and the Gophers would have to complete the still-unlikely trip to the Rose bowl to truly compare.

So far, the biggest differences are: Northwestern got a huge head turning victory over Notre Dame right out of the gate. The Gophers are still mostly off many radars having "not played anybody" yet. On the other hand, that Northwestern team stubbed their toe against a lowly opponent - Miami of Ohio in an early non-conference game. The Gophers nearly followed that script not once, not twice, but three times with the heart stopping non conference schedule. But, unlike the Wildcats, the Gophers actually did find unlikely ways to win those games.
 

Urbandale

Active member
It's interesting that in his mailbag this morning in The Athletic, Stewart Mandel wrote, "Nebraska should never be losing 34-7 to Minnesota. Ever."

And that's ok. I'm willing to bet that early Barry Alvarez someone wrote, "Michigan should never be losing 34-7 to Wisconsin. Ever." And I'm willing to bet that someone wrote the same thing about Iowa early Hayden Fry.

The national narrative can change, and I think it will. It just doesn't swerve on a dime like local opinion does.
 

HopHead

rank lieutenant
It's interesting that in his mailbag this morning in The Athletic, Stewart Mandel wrote, "Nebraska should never be losing 34-7 to Minnesota. Ever."

And that's ok. I'm willing to bet that early Barry Alvarez someone wrote, "Michigan should never be losing 34-7 to Wisconsin. Ever." And I'm willing to bet that someone wrote the same thing about Iowa early Hayden Fry.

The national narrative can change, and I think it will. It just doesn't swerve on a dime like local opinion does.
I was looking at the Minnesota/Nebraska game history on Wikipedia. In 1959 the Gophers lost 32-12 to a Nebraska team that had only five winning seasons in the previous 20 years. At that point the Gophers led the series 28-5-2. I wonder if any reporter wrote an article about how "Minnesota should never be losing 32-12 to Nebraska. Ever." Things change.
 

Ski U Master

Active member
Call me weird, but a part of me wants the Rutgers game to be closer than expected (due to the Gophs playing younger players to keep starters fresh, vanilla game plan, etc.) so the Gophs continue to stay under the radar and underestimated as long as possible.
At this point, I don't think the number of points we win by (assuming we win) will dampen the attention the Gophers get. The national guys will only see 7-0, not the underlying margin of victory. They hype train is on the tracks and rolling, the only thing that can stop it is a loss.
 

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