Yes, the Golden Gophers are 7-0 with an overall winning streak of 9 games. Yes, the schedule has been very fortuitous for Minnesota, which we knew months ago. But let’s be clear about one thing, they have still done exactly what they have needed to do to be undefeated.
Most importantly, this is not going to be a Monday Perspective arguing for more respect or suggesting that this team is THE team to beat in the West. There is still a lot to prove for this team, but what is it that they have to prove?
They have already achieved 7 wins, something that happens less than half of the time in the last 10 years. And one of those years it took the bowl game to get that 7th win. So 7 wins...big deal right? Agreed. We aren’t exactly in unexplored territory and you don’t get a banner for being bowl eligible +1. But we also shouldn’t pretend like we have arrived as a program. So there is plenty to prove yet.
They really haven’t beat anybody of significance. Nebraska is a storied program, but not what they once were. And certainly not what so many foolishly predicted in the preseason. Other than that they have beat up the bottom of the Big Ten and took care of business against a mediocre non-conference schedule.
It is OK to acknowledge this. We really haven’t beat anybody “good.”
But here is where I’m going to take a sharp turn. Tell that to Wisconsin.
This is not an attack on Wisconsin, this is not a chance to gloat, this is not in any way believing we are a superior team. But they also played a really bad Illinois team. An Illinois team that the Gophers never allowed to be in the game. An Illinois team that is essentially ranked within a few spots of Fresno State. Wisconsin played a very weak team, they didn’t show up on that particular Saturday and they were beat. Weak schedule for the Gophers? Yes. But have they done exactly what they were supposed to do.
Four Big Ten opponents and the Gophers have outscored them 154-62 (with 31 of those points coming in the 4th quarter of the Purdue game). What do they have to prove? Plenty, but so far they’ve done exactly what they are supposed to have done.
Right now, this team has done exactly what it was supposed to and nobody should be apologizing for being undefeated. There is more work to be done and what will truly make for a great season is yet to be determined.
We will worry about such things at a later day. For now, there is no need to apologize for beating everyone they’ve had on their schedule. Other Big Ten teams have done less and winning is never easy.
Maryland is up next and if this team doesn’t focus on the Terps, then they’ll earn their first loss just like everyone else. Some teams succumb to the God of Death.
Let’s get Maryland this week to finalize the 2019 revenge loss tour. Then we can spend two weeks worrying about Penn State.