"Purdue and Illinois are teams that Minnesota should be beating in year six of the P.J. Fleck era." | Gopherhole

BilldGopher

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Well, if we ever needed a Gophers football version of "Miracle on Ice" then next weekend would be it.

Whether the statistics bear it out or not as to whether it makes a difference the PSU Whiteout is a football thing of beauty.

Coach maintains that the team can ruminate on the L for about 12 more hours and then on to the Penn State Championship Week. Boy, do we need that mindset more than ever...
 

cjbfbp

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2018 had a solid finish with the Gophers going 4-2 in the final 6 games.

I agree with that but this is a much more veteran team than that one, although maybe not now that our QB could be out for some time.
 

cjbfbp

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Prior to this year, I thought PJ Fleck had elevated the program to the point where we were arguably the "best of the rest" of the Big Ten. They weren't in the same conversation as the elite programs (Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and possibly Michigan State). But they had beaten most of the dregs of the conference pretty handily for the most part. You could pretty easily make the argument they were better than Northwestern, Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and Nebraska. Two games doesn't necessarily change my opinion but with a soft schedule and a pretty experienced team, it's hard not to be disappointed with where they are right now.

Illinois and Purdue are clearly not dregs. Sometimes you have to overlook the team name. These rankings change, just like they did with us. I would say that both of these teams are better than Iowa and Wisconsin this year. Whether Northwestern and Nebraska are still dregs, we'll have to see.
 

GopherVotary

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It's a fair discussion to have.

Gophers went 11-2, and some people thought that meant the Gophers had moved to a different level.

Now, it seems as if that year might have been a peak, not a plateau.

Doesn't mean that the Gophers can't have another season like that. But it doesn't look like it's happening this season.

Illinois and Purdue are the types of games that Mason or Kill would lose, and fans would complain that the Gophers needed a better coach to "make it to the next level." Apparently, getting to that level is harder than it seems.
Correct. We haven’t been at the “next level” since the ‘60’s. It’s best to accept that we will never return there, but we can still enjoy moderate success.
 

kg21

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When our passing game looks like it currently does, we can lose to anyone. I don't get all of this confidence.

We were kicked in the nuts in a way I didn't think would happen. This game felt like 40-7
 


kg21

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Correct. We haven’t been at the “next level” since the ‘60’s. It’s best to accept that we will never return there, but we can still enjoy moderate success.
I do enjoy the season and look forward to it. Hell, we are already half done. Hard to believe.
 

golfing18now

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Illinois and Purdue are clearly not dregs. Sometimes you have to overlook the team name. These rankings change, just like they did with us. I would say that both of these teams are better than Iowa and Wisconsin this year. Whether Northwestern and Nebraska are still dregs, we'll have to see.

You are right. They have both taken a step forward this year. I was really referring to throughout the duration of the Fleck era. Wisconsin and Iowa have been consistently at the top of the West. Illinois has been awful for a number of years but given a pretty fertile recruiting area and a decent coach, they might be a problem moving forward.
 


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What's weird is that 2019 team just got by 3 teams from minor conferences early before ending 11-2 and pounding Auburn in the bowl game while we absolutely dominated the first 4 games this year only to stumble big time. I don't like our chances against Penn State but you never know and still a lot of football to be played. Old adage is that you either get better or get worse. We sure as hell have a lot of room to get better.
Everyone forgets that team faced an incredible run of opponent's back up QB's that season. Incredible run of injured starting QB's. The 19 team was certainly a good team but it really helped to have that happen week after week.
 




allthgoodnamesrgone

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To be fair, 2017 was year zero, 2020 doesn’t count, and 2021 was sabotaged by Sanford, so this is really more like year three of the Fleck Era. He just needs more time.
 


Great Plains Gopher

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The point about not making in-game coaching adjustments is a good one. That seemed to be the case with the Bowling Green and Illinois games last year and Illinois today. 21 yards passing should be totally unacceptable, and our reserve QBs have almost no real game experience (mop up action when nothing counted). If Athan has to face Penn State for four quarters, say some prayers.
 




cjbfbp

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PJ should be beating these programs six years in. He’s not. He hasn’t elevated the program beyond what he inherited. Best season had recruits from both regimes. We don’t seem to be ahead of where the program was the year before he came. Hope they can turn it around the rest of the way.

That entire logic is nonsensical. Programs don't just get better every year. If that were the case, we should just extend Fleck's tenure here as long as possible. Within 10 years, we'll be as good as Ohio State.

Fleck beat Purdue in years 2, 3, 4, and 5. This Purdue team is better than the ones we played in years 2, 3, and 4 and is at least as good as the one we played in year 5. Fleck beat Illinois in years 1, 3, and 4. This Illinois team is much, much better than any of those three.
 
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Tucker32

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That entire logic is nonsensical. Programs don't just get better every year. If that were the case, we should just extend Fleck's tenure here as long as possible. Within 10 years, we'll be as good as Ohio State.

Fleck beat Purdue in years 2, 3, 4, and 5. This Purdue team is better than the ones we played in years 2, 3, and 4 and is at least as good as the one we played in year 5. Fleck beat Illinois in years 1, 3, and 4. This Illinois team is much, much better than any of those three.
Yep, so he's losing ground on both. He really hasn't gained any ground from what he inherited. Now, things could look differently if they turn it around the rest of the year. However, given the past two weeks, I would expect us to go around 3-3 the rest of the year, maybe 4-2, ending the seasong 5-4 or 4-5 in a year the Big Ten West really isn't all that good. That's not gaining any ground on where we have been. I would expect him to be better than that in year six, and hope they turn it around the rest of the way and do better than that.
 

Plato

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PJ's best year was based on players recruited by previous coaches.
PJ has induced a bit of a personality cult at MN.
What happened to NE and WI by keeping a coach for only a year or two too long is an object lesson.
Frost could recruit but his severe character disorders kept him from fulfilling the promise that adoring NE fans had hoped for.
Those problems had to be there before Frost went to Lincoln but were overlooked.
Chryst's best years were again based on recruits from the prior coach.
Alvarez had been burned by 2Bs abrupt departure and then hiring a misfit in Andersen so he ignored Chryst's statements from his years as a boy wonder OC that he did not have the personality or skills to be an HC.
The result has been increasingly poor recruiting, a stale offense, poor administrating and public relations, and a persistent decline in team performance.
Chryst should have been let go at the end of the last season.
IA is starting on the slippery slope but is hidden and prevented from a rapid decline by a very good DC and defense.
That is what kept Chryst's failures from being obvious until graduation and players going into the NFL made this year's defense a work in progress.
After this year is over PJ's performance should be looked at very carefully.
 

cjbfbp

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Yep, so he's losing ground on both. He really hasn't gained any ground from what he inherited. Now, things could look differently if they turn it around the rest of the year. However, given the past two weeks, I would expect us to go around 3-3 the rest of the year, maybe 4-2, ending the seasong 5-4 or 4-5 in a year the Big Ten West really isn't all that good. That's not gaining any ground on where we have been. I would expect him to be better than that in year six, and hope they turn it around the rest of the way and do better than that.

Again, that's nonsensical. There's nothing special about "Year 6." There's no reason why Year 6 can't be worse than Year 5 or even Year 3. We have gained ground from where we were before Fleck. Not counting the pandemic year, we've had three straight winning seasons (one with 11 wins and another with 9 wins) and we're likely to make it 4 straight this season. We've won all 3 of our bowls under Fleck and we were underdogs for two of those.

Kill/Claeys never had more than two winning seasons in a row. Kill was 0-3 in bowls. Claeys was 2-0 but one of those was against a MAC team. I don't have to go into Brewster because that comparison should be more than obvious.

Now, maybe Fleck hasn't upgraded the program to your desired level but he has upgraded the program from where it was in the previous ten years.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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You guys will change your tune when Illinois beats both Purdue and Michigan.

They’re just really good.

It doesn't really matter if Illinois is really good. It matters more that it has potentially taken Bielema only 2 years to turn around a bad program and win the west, something we haven't done in 6 years under Fleck.
 

MNVCGUY

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You guys will change your tune when Illinois beats both Purdue and Michigan.

They’re just really good.
I think it is safe to say that right now Illinois looks like the best team in the West by a pretty fair margin as long as DeVito stays healthy. He isn't anything spectacular but he makes their offense go.

The only time they have really struggled this season is when he went down against Iowa early in the game.
 

GophersInIowa

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It doesn't really matter if Illinois is really good. It matters more that it has potentially taken Bielema only 2 years to turn around a bad program and win the west, something we haven't done in 6 years under Fleck.
I do think the 2019 Gophers team is probably better than Illinois this year and wins the west if they were playing this year but your point still stands. It's disappointing.
 
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MNVCGUY

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It doesn't really matter if Illinois is really good. It matters more that it has potentially taken Bielema only 2 years to turn around a bad program and win the west, something we haven't done in 6 years under Fleck.
While it is true that it looks like Illinois is going to be a factor for the West title and may win it i would be careful about calling it a turnaround. MSU won 11 games last year, they won't come anywhere close to that this year.

Minnesota was co-champions of the West in 2019.....I know many in here don't want to count it as a division title because we tied with another team and lost out on the tie breaker but Fleck does have a Big Ten West title on his resume whether our fans want to admit it or not.
 

Go Gophs

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It doesn't really matter if Illinois is really good. It matters more that it has potentially taken Bielema only 2 years to turn around a bad program and win the west, something we haven't done in 6 years under Fleck.
So are you willing to say that because they are having a great year so far, that Illinois will now be a power? That, just like that, they are the tops of the conference and can and will maintain that forever?

They have a great RB and I don't care what people say, that QB is as good or better than any other in our conference sans the kid at Ohio.
 

Go Gophs

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If there is anything to chastise Fleck on in his tenure here, it is flat out his recruiting. We still recruit towards the bottom of the conference. We are seeing it right now. We have nothing to throw the ball to, these are a collection of mid-major/D2 type receivers.

Fleck does great IMO with what he has to work with. If the bar needs to be raised anywhere, it should be in recruiting.

Honestly, that is a problem with every program at the U and has more to do with the University as a whole, it's location, feel etc than anything any coach does.
 


Go Gophs

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PJ is 4-2 vs Brohm and suddenly he's an inferior coach to Brohm?
PJ is as good of a coach as there is in the BT. People are just clueless as to the talent disparity.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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So are you willing to say that because they are having a great year so far, that Illinois will now be a power? That, just like that, they are the tops of the conference and can and will maintain that forever?

They have a great RB and I don't care what people say, that QB is as good or better than any other in our conference sans the kid at Ohio.
While it is true that it looks like Illinois is going to be a factor for the West title and may win it i would be careful about calling it a turnaround. MSU won 11 games last year, they won't come anywhere close to that this year.

Minnesota was co-champions of the West in 2019.....I know many in here don't want to count it as a division title because we tied with another team and lost out on the tie breaker but Fleck does have a Big Ten West title on his resume whether our fans want to admit it or not.


I'm not saying that Illinois will now be a power forever, but Bielema knows how to coach. He's proven far more than someone like Mel Tucker. They will be tough to beat every year now that he's there because he knows how to build offensive lines, great running games, and great defenses.

It should eat at all Gopher fans that a coach who has owned us over his career came in to a program much worse off than Minnesota, and turned them around in only 2 years to where they may win the west the season the Gophers should be the team to win the west. This is the year Iowa/Wisconsin/Northwestern are all down, and they are the only teams to win the west since the division was created 9 years ago.
 

salzie

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PJ's best year was based on players recruited by previous coaches.
PJ has induced a bit of a personality cult at MN.
What happened to NE and WI by keeping a coach for only a year or two too long is an object lesson.
Frost could recruit but his severe character disorders kept him from fulfilling the promise that adoring NE fans had hoped for.
Those problems had to be there before Frost went to Lincoln but were overlooked.
Chryst's best years were again based on recruits from the prior coach.
Alvarez had been burned by 2Bs abrupt departure and then hiring a misfit in Andersen so he ignored Chryst's statements from his years as a boy wonder OC that he did not have the personality or skills to be an HC.
The result has been increasingly poor recruiting, a stale offense, poor administrating and public relations, and a persistent decline in team performance.
Chryst should have been let go at the end of the last season.
IA is starting on the slippery slope but is hidden and prevented from a rapid decline by a very good DC and defense.
That is what kept Chryst's failures from being obvious until graduation and players going into the NFL made this year's defense a work in progress.
After this year is over PJ's performance should be looked at very carefully.
I'm so tired of the PJ won with Kill recruits

PJ didn't inherit starting QB,most of the OL, etc. Mo played a valuable role in the 2019 season
 

Go Gophs

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I'm not saying that Illinois will now be a power forever, but Bielema knows how to coach. He's proven far more than someone like Mel Tucker. They will be tough to beat every year now that he's there because he knows how to build offensive lines, great running games, and great defenses.

It should eat at all Gopher fans that a coach who has owned us over his career came in to a program much worse off than Minnesota, and turned them around in only 2 years to where they may win the west the season the Gophers should be the team to win the west. This is the year Iowa/Wisconsin/Northwestern are all down, and they are the only teams to win the west since the division was created 9 years ago.
Yes, I'm with you there and he is also such an unlikable guy.
 




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