There's still a TON of play for...last time Gophers won back to back Axe games was Wacker in 93-94!! Last MN coach to win 3 games v uw was Gutey! LFG!

BleedGopher

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per Harvey:

PJ Fleck’s 3rd win vs. the Badgers​

Already, PJ Fleck is 2-3 in head-to-head games against the Badgers. While he is playing to get back to .500 in the series, Fleck is the first Minnesota head coach with multiple wins in the rivalry since Glen Mason registered wins in 2001 and 2003. Jim Wacker also registered a pair of wins for Minnesota in 1993-94, but getting to 3 wins in the rivalry is a particularly high bar for the Gophers.

To find the last Minnesota coach to get to 3 wins against Wisconsin, you have to go all the way back to the late 1980s. That coach would be John Gutekunst. Despite finishing his tenure at Minnesota with a 29-37-2 overall record, Gutekunst was particularly effective against the Badgers.

From 1986-91, Gutekunst finished 4-2 head-to-head against Wisconsin in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Regardless of your stance on Fleck, getting his 3rd victory in the rivalry would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Back-to-back wins vs. Wisconsin​

It’s no secret rivalry wins mean a little bit more. That’s what makes recent history in this game hard to swallow for Gopher fans.

Going back to the year 2000, Minnesota has 4 total wins in the Axe game. The Gophers are also still searching for a winning streak in the game this millennium.

To find back-to-back wins against the Badgers, you would have to go all the way back to 1993-94 when Jim Wacker produced 2 straight wins for Minnesota. Unfortunately, Wacker would finish his tenure with a 16-39 overall record and a 2-3 mark against Wisconsin.

PJ Fleck has been a much more consistent presence than Wacker, and it would be a great time to prove he can build a streak against the Badgers.

Back-to-back 9-win seasons​

Entering Week 13 with a 7-4 record, Minnesota maintains a shot at 9 wins. It would take a win over the Badgers and a win in bowl season, but that is not out of the question, considering Fleck is 3-0 in bowl games for the Gophers. How impressive would that accomplishment be?

The last time Minnesota finished with 9 wins in back-to-back seasons was the turn of the century. No, not 2000. 1900. As in 1900-05, a stretch that saw the Gophers go 65-4-5.

Since 1905, Minnesota has never produced back-to-back 9-win seasons. If not for the COVID season in 2020, the Gophers may have already accomplished this feat under Fleck.

As it stands, Minnesota has produced 11 wins in 2019 followed by 3 wins in 2020 and 9 wins in 2021. While the ultimate grade of Fleck’s remains positive, reaching the 9-win plateau in back-to-back seasons would be another feather in his cap to build on for 2023 and beyond.


Go Gophers!!
 







Gophers_4life

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If the Big Ten had always been division-less (regardless if a CCG was there or not), would 8-4 finish still be considered a good year? I'm thinking yes.

But the West was always an artificial construct, and it so happened that Nebraska has been nearly incredible weaker than they were envisioned/supposed to be when they were added. They were supposed to be like a Michigan level program.

Getting to play in the West, as opposed to a more full mixed schedule, I think has boosted the win total by 1 or 2 per year.
 

Some guy

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If the Big Ten had always been division-less (regardless if a CCG was there or not), would 8-4 finish still be considered a good year? I'm thinking yes.

But the West was always an artificial construct, and it so happened that Nebraska has been nearly incredible weaker than they were envisioned/supposed to be when they were added. They were supposed to be like a Michigan level program.

Getting to play in the West, as opposed to a more full mixed schedule, I think has boosted the win total by 1 or 2 per year.
I think it’s the opposite.
There are only 2 automatic wins in the conference and they’re both in the east.
It is easier to get to 10-11 wins in the west no question.

It is easier to get to 7-8 wins in the east.
Penn state literally has 5 wins before the season starts every year in years without a tough non conference opponent.
 




Gophers_4life

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I think it’s the opposite.
There are only 2 automatic wins in the conference and they’re both in the east.
It is easier to get to 10-11 wins in the west no question.

It is easier to get to 7-8 wins in the east.
Penn state literally has 5 wins before the season starts every year in years without a tough non conference opponent.
East - Ohio St, Mich, and Penn St are likely losses. Mich St normally is like a Wisc/Iowa level program. Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland are lower level.

West - no one is unbeatable, Wisc and Iowa normally tough. Nebraska has been meh, that is the key thing. The rest are lower level.


Not worth arguing about because it's going away. If Nebraska had been an Ohio St/Michigan level program, that would've been very different.
 

Mr. 131

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A "TON" to play for? Not really - but I do hope we win the Axe.
The game against Iowa was so much fun, and I don't think I've ever felt so dejected after a loss. I'm usually really good at keeping things level headed, but yea...I reverted to little kid self and took the loss to heart.

Right now watching a Gophers game doesn't sound fun at all.
 

Some guy

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East - Ohio St, Mich, and Penn St are likely losses. Mich St normally is like a Wisc/Iowa level program. Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland are lower level.

West - no one is unbeatable, Wisc and Iowa normally tough. Nebraska has been meh, that is the key thing. The rest are lower level.


Not worth arguing about because it's going away. If Nebraska had been an Ohio St/Michigan level program, that would've been very different.
For sure.
But it’s easier to win 7 against penn states schedule than wisconsins schedule.
Easier to win 10+ against Wisconsin’s
 

cjbfbp

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From 1986-91, Gutekunst finished 4-2 head-to-head against Wisconsin in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Regardless of your stance on Fleck, getting his 3rd victory in the rivalry would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Of course, the author doesn't provide any context for this record. From 1986 through 1991, the Badgers had the following seasons: 3-9, 3-8, 1-10, 2-9, 1-10, 5-6. So, this record is about as impressive as going 4-2 against Rutgers these days.

Obviously the Badgers have been much better in this era and getting the third win in five seasons would be a more impressive feat. The Badgers seem about as down this season as they have been in the last twenty years so now would be the time to do it. I think we can.

Before the season started, I thought a 9-3 regular season with a bowl win to make it 10-3 would be a happy outcome given expectations but back-to-back 9-4 seasons would still be an outcome worth celebrating. We can no longer do the former but we still can pull off the latter.
 



stocker08

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Disappointing season considering that we had a golden opportunity to win the west and ended up fumbling. And.....while we've handily won our games against clearly worse teams (with the exception of Nebraska).....we've dropped the close game toss ups....even when we were the better team (Purdue & Iowa). Got to beat Wisconsin this weekend to salvage some sort of positive. Winning the Axe is always #1 on my Gophers season wishlist. And a win there will likely get us an SEC matchup in the Music City or Reliaquest Bowl.....which should be fun.

Lose.....and the negativity is going to run rampant. Especially if we drop to something like the Quick Lane Bowl. PJ would have a lot of tough conversations to eat for breakfast.
 


Gopher_In_NYC

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per Harvey:

PJ Fleck’s 3rd win vs. the Badgers​

Already, PJ Fleck is 2-3 in head-to-head games against the Badgers. While he is playing to get back to .500 in the series, Fleck is the first Minnesota head coach with multiple wins in the rivalry since Glen Mason registered wins in 2001 and 2003. Jim Wacker also registered a pair of wins for Minnesota in 1993-94, but getting to 3 wins in the rivalry is a particularly high bar for the Gophers.

To find the last Minnesota coach to get to 3 wins against Wisconsin, you have to go all the way back to the late 1980s. That coach would be John Gutekunst. Despite finishing his tenure at Minnesota with a 29-37-2 overall record, Gutekunst was particularly effective against the Badgers.

From 1986-91, Gutekunst finished 4-2 head-to-head against Wisconsin in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Regardless of your stance on Fleck, getting his 3rd victory in the rivalry would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Back-to-back wins vs. Wisconsin​

It’s no secret rivalry wins mean a little bit more. That’s what makes recent history in this game hard to swallow for Gopher fans.

Going back to the year 2000, Minnesota has 4 total wins in the Axe game. The Gophers are also still searching for a winning streak in the game this millennium.

To find back-to-back wins against the Badgers, you would have to go all the way back to 1993-94 when Jim Wacker produced 2 straight wins for Minnesota. Unfortunately, Wacker would finish his tenure with a 16-39 overall record and a 2-3 mark against Wisconsin.

PJ Fleck has been a much more consistent presence than Wacker, and it would be a great time to prove he can build a streak against the Badgers.

Back-to-back 9-win seasons​

Entering Week 13 with a 7-4 record, Minnesota maintains a shot at 9 wins. It would take a win over the Badgers and a win in bowl season, but that is not out of the question, considering Fleck is 3-0 in bowl games for the Gophers. How impressive would that accomplishment be?

The last time Minnesota finished with 9 wins in back-to-back seasons was the turn of the century. No, not 2000. 1900. As in 1900-05, a stretch that saw the Gophers go 65-4-5.

Since 1905, Minnesota has never produced back-to-back 9-win seasons. If not for the COVID season in 2020, the Gophers may have already accomplished this feat under Fleck.

As it stands, Minnesota has produced 11 wins in 2019 followed by 3 wins in 2020 and 9 wins in 2021. While the ultimate grade of Fleck’s remains positive, reaching the 9-win plateau in back-to-back seasons would be another feather in his cap to build on for 2023 and beyond.


Go Gophers!!

AND MO -

Mo is ~60 yards behind Brown for the most rushing yards this season and is leading in TDs over a gaggle of imposters; Mo 19 and then 18.

He would likely be the first Gopher back to win either of them and IIRC the last back to win that daily/season double was Ricky Williams- this would hopefully ensure Mo as a first team AA and Doak Walker winner.
 

cjbfbp

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Disappointing season considering that we had a golden opportunity to win the west and ended up fumbling. And.....while we've handily won our games against clearly worse teams (with the exception of Nebraska).....we've dropped the close game toss ups....even when we were the better team (Purdue & Iowa). Got to beat Wisconsin this weekend to salvage some sort of positive. Winning the Axe is always #1 on my Gophers season wishlist. And a win there will likely get us an SEC matchup in the Music City or Reliaquest Bowl.....which should be fun.

Lose.....and the negativity is going to run rampant. Especially if we drop to something like the Quick Lane Bowl. PJ would have a lot of tough conversations to eat for breakfast.

I can't imagine us losing the Quick Lane Bowl against a MAC opponent this time but I hope we don't have the chance to find out. I think we'll be too far down in the pecking order for the Music City even with a win over Wisconsin although I would assume that Purdue can't go there two years in a row. Right now I'd guess Illinois for that bowl and our best bets to be the Pinstripe or Duke's Mayo.
 

Plato

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When looking at the W/L record it is only conference wins that count.
If you do not believe me, ask the Walrus.
 

BigTenGuy

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Still a huge game. Win also means (in addition to the Axe and a 3-3 Wisconsin record for PJ):

A winning conference record.
A .500 division record
A .500 career Big Ten conference record for PJ (no small accomplishment)

Loss means, among other things:
4th losing conference record in PJ’s 6 years
2-4 division record in the miserable Big Ten West
An incredibly weak 7-win season, with 7 wins against teams with current Sagarin ratings of 55, 73, 96, 107, 141, 169, 211 (there are 131 FBS schools, so 2 victories against FBS teams with FCS-level ranks)
 

USAF

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For sure.
But it’s easier to win 7 against penn states schedule than wisconsins schedule.
Easier to win 10+ against Wisconsin’s
Huh?

Nonsensical.

It CANNOT be sumultaneously easier for PSU to win 7 than Wisconsin to win 7,

AND

easier for Wisconson to win 10 than PSU.

Dude. Think b4 you post.
 

STPGopher

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Nothing really to lose here. Let the players play! Let them ball out. Trick plays, vertical passing game, wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles! Not saying play reckless, but open up a bit. I think the players will respond. Everyone on the roster has to know the significance of this rivalry.

Play hard, play smart, take calculated risks, KEEP the Axe!
 


PMWinSTP

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Not going for the wet blanket here, but Gophs didn't really consistently play nine games in a season until the early 1940s.
 

Some guy

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Not going for the wet blanket here, but Gophs didn't really consistently play nine games in a season until the early 1940s.
That’s true but that has absolutely nothing to do with this thread considering it’s only about wisconsin and the two programs have played every year since 1906 unless you’re referring to something I missed
 

GridironGus

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It's kind of amazing that Minnesota and Wisconsin have played 131 times and there is only a one win difference. Only closer rivalry is William & Mary and Richmond who have played 133 games with both teams winning 64.
 


PMWinSTP

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Co
That’s true but that has absolutely nothing to do with this thread considering it’s only about wisconsin and the two programs have played every year since 1906 unless you’re referring to something I missed
Comment based on the OP article reference to 9 win seasons.
 


West Fargo Gopher Fan

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RIP Jim Wacker.

If positivity and optimism won football games he would have never lost. I first became a gopher fan during his years as HC. Boy were those some rough years.
 

NotAFanOfBecky

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RIP Jim Wacker.

If positivity and optimism won football games he would have never lost. I first became a gopher fan during his years as HC. Boy were those some rough years.
Geezo Beezo those were some fun offenses but God awful defenses! He seemed like such a genuine good guy. Wished he would have won more because I loved his attitude.
 




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