Staples: All Fleck needs to do is win between 7=9 games most years and beat Wisconsin once every 3-4 years and he’s set for life.

GopherJack

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I would love to be at least .500 against WI and IA going forward.
 

GhostofBronko

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Next four years isn’t “for life” when he’s that young.

Most wouldn’t, but not even a division title?? That means Iowa and Wisconsin are still getting the better of us. People will be restless to taste the promised land.

Minnesota should not be a perpetual Wake Forrest/Vanderbilt program.
Well, if "most" wouldn't want to fire him, that pretty much comports with the authors contention.
 

hello-world

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My opinion of Fleck changed when he beat Wisconsin, changed again when he almost lost to South Dakota, and then changed again when he managed to go 8-0 at Minnesota.

In other words, yes, if he beats Iowa and Wisconsin on the regular, then I would be happy to have him.

I remember him asking a group of prominent alumni if they would be happy only beating Wisconsin and one guy was bold enough to say "Yes!" in front of 100 other people. Fleck then said, "Well, I wish you were my boss!"

Frankly, I don't think that guy is in as much of a minority as that moment made him seem. Losing to Wisconsin for 15ish straight years did a number on Minnesota's ego.
 
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RememberMurray

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This year will be tougher to win 10, but almost seems 9 would be a disappointment.

Is 10 wins minimum, say 3 out of 4 years going forward, just unreasonable for Minnesota??

It can’t happen without displacing Iowa and/or Wisconsin. We can have all three programs at 10 wins every year. And they’ll fight hard to maintain what they’ve worked so hard to earn.
You nailed it; the bolded sentence is the crux of the matter.

Finishing "in the mix" with Wisconsin and Iowa may be acceptable to some, but it would definitely not qualify as "elite", at least not in my understanding of the definition of that particular word.

If I thought we were doomed forever to play the 'never-quite-as-good little brother' to Wisconsin and Iowa, I'd begin to wonder why we're even bothering with football at the U. I don't want to be Eddie Payton to their Walter.

Wisconsin and Iowa are solid programs, but they are definitely not great programs. The Badgers and Hawkeyes have been what they are for a long time. It's the dawn of a new, maroon and golden era now.

You're right, Mpls; it's time to displace them. Exactly the right word.
 
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Some guy

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You nailed it; the bolded sentence is the crux of the matter.

Finishing "in the mix" with Wisconsin and Iowa may be acceptable to some, but it would definitely not qualify as "elite", at least not in my understanding of the definition of that particular word.

If I thought we were doomed forever to play the 'never-quite-as-good little brother' to Wisconsin and Iowa, I'd begin to wonder why we're even bothering with football at the U. I don't want to be Eddie Payton to their Walter.

Wisconsin and Iowa are solid programs, but they are definitely not great programs. The Badgers and Hawkeyes have been what they are for a long time. It's the dawn of a new, maroon and golden era now.

You're right, Mpls; it's time to displace them. Exactly the right word.
You can really see that in the Michigan State program.

when Michigan and Penn State were both reeling Michigan State was a national power. When Michigan and Penn State are top 20 teams it is really Difficult for Michigan State.

Not enough wins to go around to have OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all in the top 20 every year. they are guaranteed 6 combined losses each year just by playing each other.
 

RememberMurray

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You can really see that in the Michigan State program.

when Michigan and Penn State were both reeling Michigan State was a national power. When Michigan and Penn State are top 20 teams it is really Difficult for Michigan State.

Not enough wins to go around to have OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all in the top 20 every year. they are guaranteed 6 combined losses each year just by playing each other.
Yes, that's exactly correct and I think that's what Mpls was saying. There are only so many wins to go around.

The question is: do we want to boldly challenge for #1 in the West, or are we content to settle for the leftovers?

For me, there's not much difference between 4th place and 3rd place. Second feels a little better, but there's limited satisfaction in that, too.

If we believe we simply can't be first, because... well, we're Minnesota... then I'd like to hear specific reasons why we can't change the dynamic.

Is our goal to be the third best program in the B1G West?
 
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MplsGopher

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Yes, that’s what I was getting at. And oops, my post was supposed to say we can’t have all three (Minn, Wisc, Iowa) with 10 wins every year. Unlikely anyway.

That’s the double edged sword of getting this $50+M every year from the conf: every program is building new state of the art facilities and/or doing major upgrades, and looking to hire great coaches.

Purdue wants to get into the West title conversation. NW is always a threat. Even Illinois is trying to keep pace and improve. Of course Nebraska is what it is.
 

RememberMurray

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Yes, that’s what I was getting at. And oops, my post was supposed to say we can’t have all three (Minn, Wisc, Iowa) with 10 wins every year. Unlikely anyway.

That’s the double edged sword of getting this $50+M every year from the conf: every program is building new state of the art facilities and/or doing major upgrades, and looking to hire great coaches.

Purdue wants to get into the West title conversation. NW is always a threat. Even Illinois is trying to keep pace and improve. Of course Nebraska is what it is.
Yes, that's how I understood your assertion — that all three can't have 10 wins, year after year. And I agree.

The way to get to 10+ wins is to be a little bit better than Wisconsin and Iowa. That would also help prevent the Badgers and Hawkeyes from achieving 10 wins, since we would then be beating those two teams more frequently.

The question, therefore, is simply this: Can we see Minnesota at or close to the top of the B1G West on a regular basis? I'm talking about a scenario in which we'd be just a little bit disappointed if we finished in second place, behind Wisconsin or Iowa.

Is that a realistic goal, over the long haul?

I say, "Yes. Of course. That should be the goal."
 
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MplsGopher

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Yes, that's how I understood your assertion — that all three can't have 10 wins, year after year. And I agree.

The question, therefore, is simply this: Can we see Minnesota at or close to the top of the B1G West on a regular basis?
I would be happy to be proven wrong with data on this, but I’m wondering how much truth is in the following: Wisc and Iowa are never highly ranked in recruiting, but they get it done with a strong contingent of in-state/local kids and then supplementing out of state/region, and mostly 3*, with a few higher level mixed in per class.

Fleck is not doing that here. And that’s just fine with me. Whatever works, is what I support. But I would say that his main contingent have been out of state and out of region kids, and only supplementing with more local. Again that’s fine with me, I don’t want an argument about that part of it.

Just wonder — if it’s even true to some extent — how much that factors into the sustained success for Wisc and Iowa.
 

RememberMurray

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I would be happy to be proven wrong with data on this, but I’m wondering how much truth is in the following: Wisc and Iowa are never highly ranked in recruiting, but they get it done with a strong contingent of in-state/local kids and then supplementing out of state/region, and mostly 3*, with a few higher level mixed in per class.

Fleck is not doing that here. And that’s just fine with me. Whatever works, is what I support. But I would say that his main contingent have been out of state and out of region kids, and only supplementing with more local. Again that’s fine with me, I don’t want an argument about that part of it.

Just wonder — if it’s even true to some extent — how much that factors into the sustained success for Wisc and Iowa.
I think it's a great question, and a valid point. Following along that line of thinking, and assuming that it's true that Fleck recruits more out of state athletes, here are a few similar/related questions:

1) Is Fleck's emphasis on recruiting of out of state athletes due to Minnesota high schools producing fewer good football players than high schools in Iowa and Wisconsin?

2) Is Fleck's recruiting out of state athletes the real key to signing a better overall roster at Minnesota, year over year, than is possible to achieve at Iowa and Wisconsin, with their reliance on more in-state signings? In other words, is recruiting out of state the best — or the only — way to beat Iowa and Wisconsin?
 
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btowngopher

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I would be happy to be proven wrong with data on this, but I’m wondering how much truth is in the following: Wisc and Iowa are never highly ranked in recruiting, but they get it done with a strong contingent of in-state/local kids and then supplementing out of state/region, and mostly 3*, with a few higher level mixed in per class.

Fleck is not doing that here. And that’s just fine with me. Whatever works, is what I support. But I would say that his main contingent have been out of state and out of region kids, and only supplementing with more local. Again that’s fine with me, I don’t want an argument about that part of it.

Just wonder — if it’s even true to some extent — how much that factors into the sustained success for Wisc and Iowa.
We've actually signed the same number of instate kids as Wisconsin 2 of the last 3 years. I think its more a matter of they get more of the best local kids because they are winning programs, I don't think they are winning programs because of the fact they have more local kids. I'm sure there are many examples of losing programs that get a lot of local players.
 

RememberMurray

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We've actually signed the same number of instate kids as Wisconsin 2 of the last 3 years. I think its more a matter of they get more of the best local kids because they are winning programs, I don't think they are winning programs because of the fact they have more local kids. I'm sure there are many examples of losing programs that get a lot of local players.
Yes. And I'd imagine that out of state recruits are crucial for many winning programs as well.
 

btowngopher

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One thing those schools typically do is keep their best O-linemen in state. Which is something I think would be huge if we can get that turned around.
 

MplsGopher

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One thing those schools typically do is keep their best O-linemen in state. Which is something I think would be huge if we can get that turned around.
For right or for wrong, I think it is “known” that the upper Midwest is good at producing big lineman. Wisc and Iowa have a reputation for putting OL in the NFL.
 

RememberMurray

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For right or for wrong, I think it is “known” that the upper Midwest is good at producing big lineman. Wisc and Iowa have a reputation for putting OL in the NFL.
The corn-fed farm boy. It may be one of those stereotypes that actually contains a nugget of truth.

I think Fleck has proved to me that to build a program you start with your offensive line, and go from there. Iowa and Wisconsin certainly do.

When we beat Wisconsin in Madison in 2018, I thought our o-line man-handled the Badgers. We were more physical than they were overall.
 

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So if over the next 4 years PJ averages 9 wins, and only beats Wisconsin once and has no division championships, you'd call for his firing?
Doubt anyone here would.
 

Spaulding!No!

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I think it's a great question, and a valid point. Following along that line of thinking, and assuming that it's true that Fleck recruits more out of state athletes, here are a few similar/related questions:

1) Is Fleck's emphasis on recruiting of out of state athletes due to Minnesota high schools producing fewer good football players than high schools in Iowa and Wisconsin?

2) Is Fleck's recruiting out of state athletes the real key to signing a better overall roster at Minnesota, year over year, than is possible to achieve at Iowa and Wisconsin, with their reliance on more in-state signings? In other words, is recruiting out of state the best — or the only — way to beat Iowa and Wisconsin?
In the crap division that is the big ten west all u need to do is get your instate best and border states best and you win. For big time you need to go national to find em. Fleck is upping the game in the West.
 

MplsGopher

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^^^ gives me an interesting thought: if you took the top 25 ranked recruits in each state, and treated them as a recruiting class, where would each state rank in the top recruiting classes list?

Guessing California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio would be top 5.
 

IceBoxGopher

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I think that opinion in the opening of this thread is off the mark, but is somewhat close to being right. 7-9 wins per year probably won't keep him around. But 8-10 or 11 wins like Kirk Ferentz has done, would probably keep him around. If he's able to do what Alvarez, Bielema and Chryst have done at Wisconsin, having a lot of success but not a national title, he'll definitely stay around.
 

RememberMurray

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I think that opinion in the opening of this thread is off the mark, but is somewhat close to being right. 7-9 wins per year probably won't keep him around. But 8-10 or 11 wins like Kirk Ferentz has done, would probably keep him around. If he's able to do what Alvarez, Bielema and Chryst have done at Wisconsin, having a lot of success but not a national title, he'll definitely stay around.
Hmmmmm...

Ferentz, in 21 seasons at Iowa:

8+wins: 12 times, in 21 seasons (.571% of seasons)

10 or 11+ wins: 6 times, in 21 seasons (.285% of seasons)

Which leads to the following conclusions:

— Ferentz wins 8+ games per season slightly more than half the time.

— Ferentz has actually won fewer than 8 games 9 times in 21 years, which means he has been under 8 wins in .428% of his seasons.

— In the 9 seasons in which he won fewer than 8 games, Ferentz has won an average of 5.8 games per year.

— Over the course of his 21 seasons at Iowa, Ferentz has won an average of 7.7 games per season.


— Over the course of his long career, Ferentz has had a much, much higher chance of winning 7 or fewer games than of achieving 10+ wins.

 
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MNVCGUY

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So if over the next 4 years PJ averages 9 wins, and only beats Wisconsin once and has no division championships, you'd call for his firing?
Doubt there would be a lot of people calling for his firing because 9 win seasons are not something to take for granted, especially around here. But I do think people would be getting restless and there would be a decent amount of complaining about why the program hadn't won a division title yet or was still struggling to beat Wisconsin on a more regular basis.

The point of the story though is accurate in that it essentially focuses on the non-delusional fan bases that don't expect their team to be in the hunt for a National Championship every year.

Mason's name came up a few times. He could have lasted longer here if he had been more willing to work with the administration and local coaches. Mason wore out his welcome and was phoning it in towards the end of his run.
 

RememberMurray

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I don't subscribe, so I can't read the article. I don't know if the writer saying that Minnesota fans will settle for a record similar to Kirk Ferentz's average of 7.7 wins for season.

I can only speak for myself. If Fleck has Ferentz-like career here, I won't call for a change, but I won't be thrilled either.

7.7 wins per season is a B- or a C+, in my eyes. Decent, but not elite. I think Fleck himself has his sights set higher than that.
 

builtbadgers

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I don't subscribe, so I can't read the article. I don't know if the writer saying that Minnesota fans will settle for a record similar to Kirk Ferentz's average of 7.7 wins for season.

I can only speak for myself. If Fleck has Ferentz-like career here, I won't call for a change, but I won't be thrilled either.

7.7 wins per season is a B- or a C+, in my eyes. Decent, but not elite. I think Fleck himself has his sights set higher than that.
Lets say we are lucky and he stays 16 years, like Alvarez. Barry averaged about 7.7 wins per year but it came with 3 Rose Bowl Championships, 3 Big 10 titles, and a decided record over Minnesota. I would take that here and call that a A.
 

RememberMurray

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Everybody has their own picture of what it means to achieve elite status.

Alvarez, with three B1G Championships in 16 years, was very good. I wouldn't call it great.

His three Rose Bowl titles is an admirable achievement. There's nothing quite like a trip to Pasadena!

Beating those Minnesota teams, from back in Alvarez's day, isn't really all that impressive. Some of those Gopher squads were fun, but it wasn't like the Badgers were dominating Ohio State or Penn State. And that's precisely why I'm hoping for even more with Fleck. All the way to greatness. Elite.

I never wanted Mason fired. I loved Jerry Kill. But Fleck has me believing we can aim higher still.
 

MplsGopher

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Don't disagree with you Murray ... but I am pessimistic about any team that right now is not in that elite tier, ever being able to step up into that elite tier consistently.

It's a chicken/egg conundrum, driven by extremely limited supply. There are precious few of those elite, bona fide 5* recruits each year, that a school needs in order to actually compete for a national championship. And those recruits are very unlikely to risk their futures (NFL) on going to a non-elite school.

So how can you break that impossible barrier to entry??


Dabo at Clemson seems to be the only one. And I frankly would not be surprised if they had a network of boosters who paid the crap out of players to get them there, to start it out. Now, of course, they probably don't need to do that, since they're one of the best in the nation.
 
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Everybody has their own picture of what it means to achieve elite status.

Alvarez, with three B1G Championships in 16 years, was very good. I wouldn't call it great.

His three Rose Bowl titles is an admirable achievement. There's nothing quite like a trip to Pasadena!

Beating those Minnesota teams, from back in Alvarez's day, isn't really all that impressive. Some of those Gopher squads were fun, but it wasn't like the Badgers were dominating Ohio State or Penn State. And that's precisely why I'm hoping for even more with Fleck. All the way to greatness. Elite.

I never wanted Mason fired. I loved Jerry Kill. But Fleck has me believing we can aim higher still.
Elite status!!! That is something Gophers fans have been dreaming about for decades and coaches have come and gone while trying to get there.

Fleck? Does he have the tools and skills that his predecessors lacked? Maybe he does and then again, maybe he doesn't.
 
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