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OPINION: Minnesota doesn’t understand rings

Hey guys, Minnesota won a bowl game, and a whole bunch of other nonsense!

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

I like to consider myself an educated person. Someone that thinks critically. Someone that can understand things.

However, I have no clue what is going on in Minnesota...

For those of you that don’t know, the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Auburn Tigers, 31-24 in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020.

Such an occasion is usually celebrated with a trophy and also the creation of championship rings for the players and staff.

Last night, Minnesota released images of its “Outback Bowl Rings.” I put Outback Bowl Rings in quotes, because... well, you’ll see.

The rings not only celebrates the Outback Bowl, but also a features slew of other accomplishments.

The B1G Ten West Division Co-Champs Trophy

OK, not really a thing. There is a B1G Title game, where each of the division’s champions are pitted against one another and if there is a tie in record, the team that holds the tie-breaker is crowned the division champion and plays in the title game.

While Wisconsin and Minnesota did finish the season with the same conference record (7-2), Wisconsin won the head-to-head match up, therefore they were B1G West Champions.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Take this post from the Gopher Hole Forum, where Minnesota fans tried to figure out if there could be co-champions.

One person went as far listing out the B1G tie-break rules in the event that there is a tie. After doing so, he posted the following, on Oct. 28, 2019.

“The answer is no, neither Iowa or Wisconsin will be able to claim that they are Co-Division Champions with us.”

Therefore, Minnesota cannot either.

Outback Bowl Trophy

This actually makes sense, Minnesota bested Auburn 31-24, then they were crowned champions and should get a ring celebrating that.

The Governor's Victory Bell Trophy

While Minnesota did win it’s annual game against Penn State, 31-26, I don’t think that a rivalry game should be included on the ring, that celebrates the team winning another game...

First Time Hosting College Gameday in Program History

Why stop here? This is an accomplishment that should be shouted from the rooftops. One that should be immortalized in a banner, hung prominently in their stadium and every building on campus, celebrating that one time, a national television crew hosted a pregame show on campus.

Sorry, that was sarcasm.

They also lost the game.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

B1G Ten West Division Co-Champs

Again? Really? You had to celebrate a non-existent thing twice?

Restoring The Elite Winning Tradition of Minnesota Golden Gopher Football

Elite? Is that really the word you want to use to describe Minnesota football? We’re talking about a team who including the 2019 season has won nine or more games, just nine times since it joined the B1G in 1896.

Six of those nine seasons occurred between 1900-1905.

This section of the ring is further broken into two sections; Restoars and Firsts.

Oh, I get it, Restoars, like oars, because they row boats, how clever.

“Restoars” points at how the school is bringing the program back to its glory days noting these accomplishments:

  1. Started the season 9-0 (1904)
  2. Won a Jan. 1st Bowl Game (1962)
  3. 11-win season (1904)
  4. Finished the season ranked No. 10 (1962)

“Firsts” notes the following accomplishments

  1. AP Top 10 Win in a Bowl Game
  2. Won the Outback Bowl
  3. Highest Rank (No. 8) in CFP Poll
  4. 86 players above 3.0 GPA

“Firsts” is also assigned the number of 82, which makes no sense to me. Anyone have a clue?

Ranked 10th in the Nation According to AP and Coaches Poll

OK, I guess.

Team Semester GPA

Congrats, but that normally isn’t something celebrated on a bowl game ring.

I can just imagine the ring company talking to P.J. Fleck about all the stuff he wants included on the ring:

“You want ALL of this on the ring?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?”

“You won a bowl game... normally, we just put stuff about the bowl game on the ring that is created, because you won the bowl game.”

“Hey! We had a great season! We need to showcase it, never know when it will happen again... Row the Boat.”