Remember back when we were hosting one of the biggest Gopher Football games in decades? That, my friends, is very old news. This weekend’s game with Wisconsin is bigger.
And this is exactly the moment we have all been waiting for.
For years what has been said is that there is no reason this Gopher program can’t be relevant, competitive. There’s no reason they cannot at least compete for a Big Ten title once every few years.
Well, this is that moment. And it is important to note that this team has earned the right to be here.
I realize that there have been some key games in the last couple decades, there have even been a couple games that could have led to a Big Ten title or Rose Bowl. But none really felt as close as this one. The 2003 team had Michigan on the ropes and that win may have propelled Minnesota to a Rose Bowl under Glen Mason. But even that year it certainly felt like we were punching above our weight class. In 2014 we were playing at Madison in the final week of the regular season with a trip to Indianapolis on the line. But again, that game really felt like we would need some breaks to go our way to come out with a win.
Here are my TMP pieces of advice.
1 - Enjoy this moment!
College Game Day is going to be here. Go and check it out, enjoy the fact that this team is gaining national recognition for what they’ve accomplished.
We are playing for a chance to keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe in back to back seasons for the first time since 1993-94!
We are playing for a chance to go to the Big Ten Championship game for the first time since the title game was put in place.
And most importantly, we are playing for a chance to go to the Rose Bowl. The preeminent post season game for Big Ten teams for as long as any of us can remember. This is the game that the Gopher program has been striving to get back to for generations. And it is there for the taking.
And this particular team has the talent and makeup to accomplish this.
Saturday is going to be an electric atmosphere with so much riding on the game. ENJOY THIS MOMENT!
2 - I’ve got nothing else.
Just enjoy Saturday. Win or lose, this is where we want the program to be. If we lose to Wisconsin, it’s OK. This is still a 10-win regular season team who will be playing in a great bowl game. It will easily be the most successful season in decades. And most importantly, this program is being set on a foundation to see seasons like this more often than once in a generation (or two) and we can enjoy more of this down the road.
But if we win? This becomes the most special season of Gopher football in most of our lifetimes. Don’t be afraid of this dream, cause it is right there!
This team has earned the right to be in this moment. We, as Gopher fans, have earned the right to truly enjoy this.
I am so excited for Saturday’s game. Two talented teams. Rivals. With so much riding on the line. It cannot get here soon enough.