Recruiting and Minneapolis climate

Schnauzer

Pretty Sure You are Wrong
Some of you Gopherhole old timers may or may not recall that back, oh, I don't know, maybe about 2010 or so I posted a detailed climate comparison for each city in the B1G. I am too lazy to try to find it now (or reproduce it) so trust me on these general take-aways:

1. The October and November temps in Minneapolis were not dramatically different than most of the B1G. I believe Bloomington Indiana was about the only place beyond a few degrees average difference temp. The Michigan schools were very close to Minneapolis in average temps during those months.

2. An underrated aspect of the climate across B1G territory was rain. Minneapolis had the driest fall climate of all B1G cities.

3. Since then, Maryland/Rutgers/Nebraska have joined the B1G So I would assume Maryland would be another temp outlier now and I'm guessing Nebraska would be slightly warmer but also the first B1G city to be dry compared to MN.

4. The conclusion at the time for combating "Why would you want to play at MN, its too cold there" was given facts - would you rather play in conditions that are 40 degrees and dry, or 45 degrees and wet? In general, that still holds true.

Listening to Fleck's weekly KFAN radio show, I heard him hit squarely on another aspect of recruiting players to Minneapolis that also has sat in the back of my mind for years: prepping for the NFL. It was clear in listening him talk about recruiting to cold weather climates that he has put thought into this and has considered potential concerns over it. He was quick to point out that there is a big difference between Oct/Nov and Dec/Jan in Minnesota. He also recited the talking point that 70% of NFL cities are in cold weather locations and what better place to prep for Dec/Jan NFL conditions than at the University of Minnesota. My guess is he does a great job addressing any concerns over cold weather, and diffuses that one early on. Meanwhile, given his parting quote/shot - I am also assuming Tracy Claeys was probably still working on that one when he was fired.
 

Pompous Elitist

Active member
One has to consider number of cloudy days, precip days, and overall weather patterns. South Bend Indiana and certain areas in the Big Ten footprint, for example, are heavily prone to clouds and lake effect snow. And, the corollary to cold winters is comfortable, awesome summer weather and tolerable,shoulder season weather vs areas down south. Fewer severe weather events, eg tornadoes, hurricanes.

I’ve always though MN shouldn’t run away from the winters but embrace it ans play it up for the positives and uh, “character building” aspects - not for weenies.... Some people might be intrigued by skiing, skating, sledding etc
 

MnplsGopher

Active member
MN is "dry" because when it snows, that's not counted as precipitation. So the other places, where it's still warm enough for it to rain instead of snow, is why they're wetter.

Lincoln is solidly 10-ish degrees warmer than Mpls, in terms of the monthly avg high for Oct-Dec. Less precipitation by 0.3 - 0.4 inches per month, and significantly less snowfall.
 

MnplsGopher

Active member
Yeah, not so sure about that.
Could be wrong.

I'm going by the climate chart on the Wikipedia entries for both cities. They have separate rows for precip and snow. Also, the weather.gov climate data for Minneapolis has separate trackers/counters for precip and snow.
 

Schnauzer

Pretty Sure You are Wrong
MN is "dry" because when it snows, that's not counted as precipitation. So the other places, where it's still warm enough for it to rain instead of snow, is why they're wetter.

Lincoln is solidly 10-ish degrees warmer than Mpls, in terms of the monthly avg high for Oct-Dec. Less precipitation by 0.3 - 0.4 inches per month, and significantly less snowfall.
Here is the actual information. Interestingly, during Oct and November - although daytime highs differ in the 8-9 degree F range, the daily low temps don't vary much between Lincoln and Minneapolis (0-2 degrees F).

Also, as I mentioned, Lincoln is the only B1G town with less precipitation than MN, regardless if you are talking rain or snow.

https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/?c1=53128000&c2=52743000
 
If you get good enough and stay good without many slip back seasons or meltdown seasons, the climate and weather don't matter, certainly not as much. Until the Gophers or any program in the Midwest, Northeast, and Pacific Northwest reaches that point, these things can be a big issue depending on the recruit. We can't do anything about our climate and weather, or about our geographic location. In an attempt to win and recruit, we have to step it up on everything else. The athlete's village and related team facilities upgrades were part of this. When TCF Bank Stadium opened, the Gophers' locker room was gigantic and considered palatial compared to what most schools had at the time and is still way up near the top of this category across college football. It surprised me in 2009 and still does now that so many fans, members of the general public, and media members didn't get why having facilities of this caliber is so important. We can't out-weather, out-climate, and out-location teams a good number of teams, but we can top them in the facilities department and should never stop striving to be elite or as close to it as possible in this category.
 

Livingat45north

Active member
We talk a lot about the cold winters up north for the BIG, but contrast that with the summer heat in SEC land, 99 degrees and 99% humidity. Playing football in that kind of heat has gotta be hard.

Fields can have heating coils to warm up the playing surface when it's cold outside. I saw a track meeting on TV last week happening in an outdoor stadium in Qatar where the temps we're something like 110 outside of the stadium, but 78 at track level -- they were blasting cold air into the stadium to cool it down, and again, this is an outdoor stadium.
 

MnplsGopher

Active member
We talk a lot about the cold winters up north for the BIG, but contrast that with the summer heat in SEC land, 99 degrees and 99% humidity. Playing football in that kind of heat has gotta be hard.

Fields can have heating coils to warm up the playing surface when it's cold outside. I saw a track meeting on TV last week happening in an outdoor stadium in Qatar where the temps we're something like 110 outside of the stadium, but 78 at track level -- they were blasting cold air into the stadium to cool it down, and again, this is an outdoor stadium.
Anything is possible if you're willing to spend unlimited money, like Qatar is. A tiny nation with nothing but sand ....... and oil. And they want to become some mecca for olympic athletes, for some reason, so yeah, they're willing to spend money that no one else is willing to spend.

Anyway, yes it is possible. NFL teams have that kind of money, and playing outside in Dec warrants it in a few locations.

Most universities don't want to spend that kind of money, and usually in Nov it isn't really needed.
 

Panthadad2

Active member
Daughter is in Texas. Until the last few days, it's been in the 90s or higher every day for months. For large football players in full pads and often playing on even hotter turf, I can't imagine how hard that can be. Playing in the north's 40-70 degree college football season weather (with the occasional drop lower like this weekend) would seem ideal compared to that.
 

HoustonTXGopher

Active member
It has been brutal in Houston this summer. We finally got some lows dipping into the 60's and highs should be stabilizing in the 80's instead of mid 90's every day. I have always thought that playing football in Minnesota for 2-3 cold games a year to get out of the southern heat would be far worth it.

August in the south with pads on seems terrible. I know Minnesotans think it gets hot in August in Minneapolis, but believe me, its refreshing compared to the added humidity we get down here in Houston. My point is playing a couple of cold football games is far better than the 50 practices you go through in the south in August and September. Sell that to the southern kids!
 

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