Dodd: Ranking the top 10 college football coaches under age 45 (#6. PJ Fleck; spotlight has dimmed a bit on Fleck)

BleedGopher

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per Dodd:

6. P.J. Fleck (40), Minnesota

26-19 (.577) in four seasons: The spotlight has dimmed a bit on Fleck who is 5-6 in his last 11. Heading into his fifth season at Minnesota Fleck is still an impressive 26-19 with the Gophers. He still has the arrow pointed up. We'll write off a depressing 3-4 season in 2020 because of, well, everything. A loss of defensive talent and COVID-19 knocked nearly everyone off kilter. Fleck has proved he can do it in the MAC and the Big Ten. Next step, playing for the Big Ten title. 2020 ranking: 5


Go Gophers!!
 

fmlizard

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Nothing real controversial here. I wouldn’t call last year depressing given the circumstances. More like frustrating...5-2 with a win in Madison was tantalizingly close.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I get having Riley, Day, and Campbell ranked above Fleck, but not Harsin or Huepel. They haven't proven anything at the P5 level, and their previous programs took a slight step backwards under their leadership compared to the coaches they replaced.
 

Plato

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This will be a "normal" season with spring and fall camps, fans in the stands and an uninterrupted schedule.
PJ will be fielding his recruits and after the season is over rational judgements about him can be made.
 

Some guy

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I get having Riley, Day, and Campbell ranked above Fleck, but not Harsin or Huepel. They haven't proven anything at the P5 level, and their previous programs took a slight step backwards under their leadership compared to the coaches they replaced.
Yeah.
Riley and Day are a total different category than Campbell and Fleck. I think there are probably 30-40 coaches in the country who could win big at Oklahoma and Ohio state. Including fleck and Campbell.

Campbell probably slightly better to this point.

But if you consider what Riley and Day are doing “special” then they definitely belong.
 
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MplsGopher

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Campbell probably slightly better to this point.
ISU 2020 > Minnesota 2019. I don't think there is any way to spin that?

The loss to Louisiana to open the year, notwithstanding. But Gophers nearly lost to any and all of South Dakota St, Fresno St, and Georgia Southern.
 

Gophers1992

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ISU 2020 > Minnesota 2019. I don't think there is any way to spin that?

The loss to Louisiana to open the year, notwithstanding. But Gophers nearly lost to any and all of South Dakota St, Fresno St, and Georgia Southern.
I don't agree with this at all. They went to a better bowl game by virtue of being in a less deep conference. They had an impressive win over Oklahoma which was about equivalent to our PSU win in 2019. They played a pretty weak Oregon team (barely top 25) in their bowl game who got there by winning a weak PAC-12 largely thanks to COVID. I'll call their 3 point loss to OSU about equal to our loss to Iowa. All in all their 2020 at best was about equal to our 2019. You can't just throw out a 17 point home loss to a Sun Belt team. We lost to two top 15 teams in 2019, we just had a more unfortunate bowl placement.
 

Word

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ISU 2020 > Minnesota 2019. I don't think there is any way to spin that?

The loss to Louisiana to open the year, notwithstanding. But Gophers nearly lost to any and all of South Dakota St, Fresno St, and Georgia Southern.
You can spin it that 2020 wasn't a "real" year and winning is harder in the big ten. I haven't analyzed ISUs 2020 season under a microscope though.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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per Dodd:

6. P.J. Fleck (40), Minnesota

26-19 (.577) in four seasons: The spotlight has dimmed a bit on Fleck who is 5-6 in his last 11. Heading into his fifth season at Minnesota Fleck is still an impressive 26-19 with the Gophers. He still has the arrow pointed up. We'll write off a depressing 3-4 season in 2020 because of, well, everything. A loss of defensive talent and COVID-19 knocked nearly everyone off kilter. Fleck has proved he can do it in the MAC and the Big Ten. Next step, playing for the Big Ten title. 2020 ranking: 5


Go Gophers!!
Forgot to mention new OC, the biggest reason for 3-4 imo.
 

MplsGopher

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You can't just throw out a 17 point home loss to a Sun Belt team.
Sort've like how you ignored that that was a top 25 team, huh?

I agree mostly with most of your post. They're fairly equivalent, if you dig into it.


But at a shallow glance, a Fiesta Bowl win is always going to top an Outback Bowl win.


It was the covid year. We'll see what happens this year, in both cases.
 

hungan1

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per Dodd:

6. P.J. Fleck (40), Minnesota

26-19 (.577) in four seasons: The spotlight has dimmed a bit on Fleck who is 5-6 in his last 11. Heading into his fifth season at Minnesota Fleck is still an impressive 26-19 with the Gophers. He still has the arrow pointed up. We'll write off a depressing 3-4 season in 2020 because of, well, everything. A loss of defensive talent and COVID-19 knocked nearly everyone off kilter. Fleck has proved he can do it in the MAC and the Big Ten. Next step, playing for the Big Ten title. 2020 ranking: 5


Go Gophers!!
If it wasn't for the kicking woes, the Gophers could have possibly been 8-3 last season!!!
 

MplsGopher

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For me it was the defense and special teams.
Yeah, Sanford is lucky as hell that he had this to fall back upon, along with awesome running game by Mo.

Then it wouldn't be as blatantly obvious to our setback last season, as to how badly he broke the passing attack that worked so well for us in 2019.
 

hungan1

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The truth shall bare itself soon.
 
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hello-world

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So... 26-19 with the Gophs is "impressive"?

Yes, that's impressive. A .578 winning percentage puts him ahead of every coach Minnesota has had since Bernie Bierman. 70 years of other coaches, he's outperforming all of them.

Even more impressive when you consider the things he has had to steer this team through in only 4 years as head coach. Scandal -> Rebuild -> Pandemic -> Riots. Then you consider the off-the-field things that he's achieved. Better Recruiting -> National Media -> NFL Draft Picks. The guy has been a homerun hire.
 
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Some guy

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I don't agree with this at all. They went to a better bowl game by virtue of being in a less deep conference. They had an impressive win over Oklahoma which was about equivalent to our PSU win in 2019. They played a pretty weak Oregon team (barely top 25) in their bowl game who got there by winning a weak PAC-12 largely thanks to COVID. I'll call their 3 point loss to OSU about equal to our loss to Iowa. All in all their 2020 at best was about equal to our 2019. You can't just throw out a 17 point home loss to a Sun Belt team. We lost to two top 15 teams in 2019, we just had a more unfortunate bowl placement.
Matt Campbells best non Covid year is an 8-5 Alamo bowl

he had more years to reach his Covid peak



I do rank him slightly higher than fleck though
 

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Yes, that's impressive. A .578 winning percentage puts him ahead of every coach Minnesota has had since Bernie Bierman. 70 years of other coaches, he's outperforming all of them.

Even more impressive when you consider the things he has had to steer this team through in only 4 years as head coach. Scandal -> Rebuild -> Pandemic -> Riots. Then you consider the off-the-field things that he's achieved. Better Recruiting -> National Media -> NFL Draft Picks. The guy has been a homerun hire.
Four years at Minnesota?

You must have missed the memo...PJ's first season was Year Zero!
 
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