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B1G All-Decade Grades: Minnesota

Ugh. I guess we said we’d do these for every B1G team so we have to include Minnesota.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 Minnesota at Northwestern Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While 2020 has come out the gates in relatively crummy fashion, the decade leading up to it were some of the Big Ten’s best. Huge TV deals, and overall success highlighted the 10 year span in the conference.

In an attempt to reflect upon the good times — the period of time from 2010 to 2019 — we at B5Q have set out to grade each football and basketball program over that time span.

Next up, our neighbors to the west that we hate because they’re exactly like us but somehow way, way worse...the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Maryland v Minnesota Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Football grade: C

I came into this exercise expecting to give the Gophers an F-- for their football grade but after some extensive research (I looked at their CFB Reference page) it was clear to me that Minnesota is the epitome of average. Their record over the past decade is 66-61, their record in bowl games is 4-3 (although they have won four in a row) and, most importantly, they are the defending 2019 co-B1G West champs.

Minnesota has also struggled against their primary rival, Wisconsin, winning only once in the past decade and they’ve lost five straight to Iowa and only beaten Michigan once (although they haven’t played every year) in the last decade.

Twice in the last decade Minnesota has fired their head coach midseason. Their current head coach is bound to leave them once any school with more prestige comes calling and then they’ll have to completely re-brand their entire program because how can you row the boat when the captain jumped ship?

The Gophers have a handful of players in the NFL over the past 10 years and a handful of players expelled due to sexual assault allegations which, sadly, is par for the course at Power 5 schools.

Minnesota Gophers Basketball vs Nebraska, 3/3/12, (left to right) Minnesota Gophers Rodney Williams went to the air and jammed the basket home as he was defended by Nebraska’s Brandon Ubel in first half action.] Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune bbisping@star
Rodney Williams was a highly rated recruit for the Gophers in the early part of the 2010s.

Basketball grade: C-

The Gophers went 188-150 over the last 10 years and 68-116 in conference play. They’ve been ranked in the AP Poll during four seasons but have never finished in the AP top-25. Minnesota has had a winning record in the B1G exactly once in the past 10 years. They’ve also only been to the NCAA Tournament three times this decade.

Minnesota has recruited pretty well for a team that, as recently as five years ago, won a mere eight games, but that hasn’t turned into any sustained on-court success. Head coach Richard Pitino is perpetually on the hot seat but has seemed to follow losing seasons with winning seasons to keep his job. After finishing 15-16 this past year, one would expect the Gophers to have a winning record next year if this trend holds.

Amir Coffey is the only Gophers player currently on an NBA roster, but he will soon be joined by Daniel Oturu, so their production of pro talent is improving.

The Badgers seem to struggle against the Gophers at The Barn, going 5-4 there over the past decade, but Minnesota is never really a team that you circle when the schedule comes out. They have an extremely “C-” energy as a basketball program.


Minnesota basketball poll for the last decade

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    (7 votes)
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  • 36%
    (205 votes)
  • 43%
    (241 votes)
  • 17%
    (95 votes)
558 votes total Vote Now


Minnesota football poll for the last decade

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    (26 votes)
  • 35%
    (196 votes)
  • 38%
    (216 votes)
  • 20%
    (116 votes)
560 votes total Vote Now