This is the first Monday in 53 years where you can wake up and say Minnesota beat Nebraska in football. That, my friends, is a helluva way to start a Monday. Joe C of the Strib says that while the Gophers are making progress they still want more. Obviously Minnesota is receiving a lot of praise nationally for the big upset of the Huskers, so it'd be foolish NOT to enjoy that a little bit, am I right? But let's start with Nebraska's current and probably soon to be former head coach:
"I thought they outphysicaled us," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "That’s the most disappointing thing that I saw."
Of everything that happened Saturday, including a Gopher offense so completely different from anything we'd seen in the three years Matt Limegrover has been calling plays here, this was the most amazing thing to me. Minnesota lined up, and pushed Nebraska around all afternoon. It happened. The Gophers lined up, ran the ball a lot, and did it well. Despite the fact I haven't watched many of the Gophers' previous 16 attempts to beat the Huskers, I can say with certainty that Minnesota never pushed around Nebraska like that any time in the last 53 years. Which makes it all the more amazing that the Iowa game, where the exact opposite happened, was just three games ago. It's what makes sports amazing and weird and bizarre all at the same time. Oh, and just for fun, take a look at the caption in the picture from that story and tell me what's wrong with it. Or did I miss a really big roster announcement?
Joe C also writes about Ra'Shede Hageman's second straight monster game. Coincidence that he's played like a first round pick two straight weeks and the Gophers have won both games? Yeah I don't think so.
Marcus Fuller of the PP talks about how David Cobb has seized the starting running back job after rushing for 138 yards in the victory. It's his second straight game with over 100 yards, and at 615 on the season and five games remaining (because, you know, BOWLING!) he has a legit chance to be Minnesota's first 1000 yard back since 2006.
While Tracy Claeys says the Gophers are still in the hunt for the division title (technically true) he doesn't want his players getting too caught up in their success:
"I worry about handling the success now," Claeys said. "You have got to go through the same process to win this week that you did last week. And if you don't do that, they're good enough to put a big number on you in a hurry."
If he needs any help getting his players' focus back for Indiana, just show them the line for the game, as Indiana is favored by 9.5! Is the game this Saturday arguably Minnesota's most winnable remaining game? Yes. Is it far from a given? Absolutely. If the Gophers bring to Bloomington the defense we've seen the past two weeks and the offense and play-calling we saw against Nebraska, I really like their chances. But the Hoosiers have had two weeks to prepare, and while their defense hasn't been very good, their offense can score a lot of points. As Matt pointed out yesterday when he ranked the Nebraska win, this would be a game a Mason Era team would lose in spectacular fashion. Let's hope the Kill Era Gophers don't make the same mistake.
Nate Sandell of 1500E!SPN says the Nebraska win WAS a signature win, but it can't stop there.
The Gophers jump from 8th to 6th in the weekly E!SPN B1G blog power rankings, actually received votes in the top 25, and should be considered one of the best stories in the B1G and the entire nation.
On the national scene, per Stewart Mandel of SI.com there's currently six undefeated power conference teams- Alabama (8-0), Oregon (8-0), Florida State (7-0), Ohio State (8-0), Baylor (7-0) and Miami (7-0)- which is the latest we've had that many in a season since 2002, when four of them stayed unbeaten. Good thing the college football playoff starts next season, right? Despite another dominating win by FSU, Oregon jumped the Seminoles up to #2, and it's almost a certainty that if both Bama and Oregon win out, they'll be meeting in the national title game, no matter what the rest of them do. Care to give your opinion of which of those six run the table in the regular season? I'm saying at least three.
Gopher Hockey didn't pull a huge upset, but the young squad did have a VERY impressive weekend by tying Boston College Friday night, then taking them out behind the ol' woodshed yesterday to the tune of 6-1. Minnesota defensemen had an incredible four of the six goals, and they're quickly answering the question of whether they'd be able to replace Nate Schmidt, Mark Alt and Seth Helgeson. Making the feat even more impressive was that senior D Jake Parenteau missed the game with an "upper body injury", so it meant both freshmen Mike Brodzinski and Jake Bischoff needed to step up, and both scored in the game. Goalie Adam Wilcox made 31 saves and had a big weekend overall. They're certain to hang onto the #1 spot in the polls, though Jess Myers of the 1500E!SPN asks a legit question: how important is Minnesota's strong October?
Finally, take a deep breath Wild fans: Gopher alum Thomas Vanek has reportedly been traded, but it's not to Minnesota. It's to the New York Islanders, apparently for Matt Moulson and a 2015 second round pick. Moulson is a pretty good player and will be locked up for Buffalo for quite awhile, but the relatively low price the Islanders paid for one of the top goal scorers in hockey in Vanek is because he's very unlikely to sign an extension there. Who knows, maybe the Isles go on a deep playoff run and Vanek falls in love, but it's still very likely he test free agency. And as long as he does that, Minnesota remains his most likely destination.