As part of the first reboot in five years of the sbnation.com website, all of the blogs who cover football were asked to think about the future of football in the next five years. A lot can change in five years. Five years ago, Minnesota was coming off of a 3-9 season hoping that Jerry Kill and company would pull us out of the long Brewster era depression. Now, the Kill/Claeys era has come to an end, and the PJ Fleck era is beginning in a much better spot. Several of the TDG writers thought about how they think the next five years will play out under Fleck. Spoiler alert....people are pretty positive about the future of the program right now.
Or were drunk while giving their responses...
Below are five predictions of the future of the Minnesota Golden Gophers written by five TDG contributers
Where will Minnesota be in 5 years? I can't say exactly. However, here are some things I think will have happened by then:
- The Gophers will sign 2 Top 25 recruiting classes
- They will have been in contention for the B1G West at least 3 times, winning it at least once.
- I want to say they'll have a B1G Title but I honestly can't predict that until we see more. Thinking we'll contend for or win the B1G West is easier because we've been right there multiple times now. Beyond that is just pure optimism on faith.
- Coach Fleck will still be at Minnesota and will have already been extended following the B1G West winning year.
- 65% of Minnesota fans will be happy, 30% of Minnesota fans will be talking about how we're settling because we haven't won a title yet, 5% of Minnesota fans will be unhappy because they are always unhappy.
- Pat Reusse will still have an unhealthy obsession with P.J. Fleck. Here is an artist's rendering of what that will look like:
I'm optimistic about the next five years of Gopher football, but I'm not confident enough to go so far as to predict a division title. If that sounds gutless, that's because I've been gut punched enough by this program that I'm not sure my insides are still even intact at this point. Yes, the Gophers have won eight games in three of the last four seasons, are set to open the Athletes Village in January, and have one of the most talked about young head coaches in college football at the helm for the foreseeable future. But this is the same program that hasn't won an outright Big Ten championship since 1941, been to the Rose Bowl since
1960 1962, or beaten Wisconsin since 2003. P.J. Fleck is well aware of this, and I believe he is up to the challenge, but I thought the same of Jerry Kill. He was able to take the program to the brink of a division title, but no further, and had to sacrifice his personal health to even accomplish that. So you'll have to excuse me if I sound like a pessimist, but it takes great faith to believe that next five years can outrun the shadow of the last 50. And I'm not quite ready to make that leap yet.
P.S. I have zero concern about Fleck leaving Minnesota in the next five years. None. That's not to say he won't leave, but if he does, it means he succeeded at Minnesota. And as long as he leaves the program in better shape than when he found it, what more could you ask? Worry less about him leaving and focus more on whether he will succeed. Don't put the cart before the horse.
In the next five years…
-The Sleeping Giant will have awoken after a 60 year slumber.
-Fleck and the Gophers will have Rowed the Boat to Pasadena by winning two B1G West titles and one overall B1G title.
-Fans will #BlameLeidner for not winning both B1G title games they played in.
-Fleck will receive a contract extension to make him one of the 2-3 highest paid B1G coaches.
-A statue of Fleck will be unveiled outside The Bank and Jerry Kill will wonder why he doesn’t have a statue.
-GopherNation still wishes Adam Weber was QB.
-Donations will flood in so fast they will build an expansion to the Athletes Village as well as add a third deck to The Bank.
-Most Minnesotan’s still think Fleck is Tim Brewster 2.0.
-I’ll have another shoe thrown at me for being an idiot.
-Pat Reusse will still be doing Pat Reusse things. -
-Jerry Kill will #BlameLeidner for him not having a statue.
In the next five years, Minnesota will have a fully completed practice facility and at least a minority of the fanbase will complain that it is not as good as other schools. This will be used as a sign that Minnesota just doesn't care enough about athletics. The same casual fans will never attend any games unless the team wins a lot and then claim they've been fans forever and Fleck should be fired for not winning a national championship. Minnesota's recruiting will have steadily improved and to finish in the top 5 of the conference. The Gophers will be particularly good at recruiting wide receivers and offensive lineman. During this time, they will contend for the BIG West title several times, and win it at least once. The Gophers will win the Axe at least four times. Fleck will have not left Minnesota and will have received a contract extension. It will be oddly school friendly because Mark Coyle is good at his job.
The Gophers will have their most successful five year stretch since at least 1999-2004, but probably since 1960-1965. Minnesota may take a year or two to warm up to being #ELITE, but once PJ gets his players into the program, the program will take off. Minnesota will make it to Indy for the first time, but it will take until year 6 to make it to Pasadena.
Minnesota’s recruiting will regularly be in the Top 25 in the nation, and a certain offensive lineman from a Twin Cities suburb will be the Gophers first legitimate 5 -star recruit in a very long time...if not ever.
Minnesota will see its trophies more than 50% of the time.
Gopher fans will still find something to complain about.
So what do you think? Are we all too positive? Are we too negative? What is your prediction for the next five years of Gopher Football?
What is the most likely outcome for Gopher Football in the next five years?
This poll is closed
Status quo. We win 7-9 games a year but always fall short of Indy.
PJ works his magic and we make it to Indy 1-2 times over the next five years
Forget Indy...PJ has the Gophers in Pasadena at least once in the next five years...and is extended.
The Gophers do so well...Indy, Pasadena, etc that PJ Fleck is gone to a major title contending program before 5 years are up.
Crash and Burn. Reusse wins. We suck and PJ is either on a very hot seat or allready sent packing.