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Big Ten Football: Minnesota nice is here to say something nice about our Big Ten rivals

Cause if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week the Minnesota gubernatorial race held a televised debate. In the morning after, the key takeaway was this question posed to both candidates where they had to say something nice about their opponent.

As a good Minnesotan, I feel it is important to be polite and nice. This seemed like the right time to take a moment, reflect on our Big Ten West rivals and try to say something nice about each of them.


  • GopherNation: You have a good football team this year, I almost didn’t even recognize you for most of the season.
  • GoAUpher: You’re going to win the Big Ten West. I’m not sure what evil spells Bert has conjured or who he sold his soul to (again) but congrats on surprising everyone.
  • wildcat00: Illinois, you have suffered through the wilderness of the Big Ten West for so long. I’m happy for you. I don’t think it will last, but I hope the Fighting BERTs win the West this season.
  • UStreet: (I’m not sure if my colleagues appreciate the true meaning of Minnesota nice, but I do) There’s a great song about your town that really captures the spirit. It even uses an appropriate melody from Bob Dylan.
  • Blake: The laxed security at the gates of Memorial Stadium is a breath of fresh air.


  • GopherNation: Really proud of you for not blaming officiating for the outcome of the Gopher game this year.
  • GoAUpher: Thanks for intercepting that last Tanner pass earlier this season. Why? Because I was watching the game on a 30-45 minute delay via the magic of DVR. That INT meant I got a bunch of text messages expressing frustration about said interception. In turn, that allowed me to know the game was over, resulting in me changing the channel. End result? I saved myself the annoyance of watching Purdue win with my own eyes.
  • wildcat00: I guess you had that one possession game all figured out. Except when you really needed it against Penn State.
  • UStreet: I appreciate the number of people who went to Purdue and then afterwards decided it was important to leave the planet entirely.
  • Blake: Purdue Pete ranks right up there alongside Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger as a terrifying horror icon.


  • GopherNation: What you lack in athletic ability, you really make up for with intelligence.
  • GoAUpher: Thanks to Iowa, you’re unwillingness to force Fitz to hire good coaches is only the second dumbest thing happening in the Big Ten West.
  • wildcat00: Congratulations on that win in London!
  • UStreet: The visitor experience at Ryan Field is fantastic. It almost feels like a home game atmosphere.
  • Blake: I appreciate that Pat Fitzgerald hates Iowa as much as I do.


  • GopherNation: It is really hard to underestimate your football team. Especially that defense.
  • GoAUpher: Thank you for bringing Scott Frost back for another season instead of making the smart move.

wildcat00: Thanks for sending Adrian Martinez to Kansas State. He looks pretty good in purple.

UStreet: Maintaining a sellout streak by buying up your own tickets to cook the books is innovative thinking.


  • GopherNation: I admire you have such high self-esteem that you don’t even care what your mascot looks like. If it were me, I’d be way too embarrassed to have my mascot looking like a skunk in a popcorn box, but good for you.
  • GoAUpher: Your fans are the unhappiest I’ve seen them in many a season. Thank you for that.
  • wildcat00: Dumping a reasonably successful head coach before even the midway point of the season is brave, I’ll give you that.
  • UStreet: It must be hard to run a program when your legislature is trying to kneecap the only positive thing in the state of Wisconsin. I respect the effort to soldier on.


  • GopherNation: Family values are so often underapprecaited and I’m proud of your commitment to family. Despite evidence of being an abject failure, it is admirable to stick with your son as the offensive coordinator.
  • GoAUpher: Gary Barta is the dumbest mf’er. You’re running your program like it’s a crappy local car dealership. I couldn’t be happier about it.
  • wildcat00: I really appreciate Spencer Petras almost single-handedly keeping Iowa’s opponents in the game. That kind of large-hearted generosity should not go unrewarded.
  • UStreet: I hear there is now supposedly less rhabdo and racism in the program. Kudos.
  • Blake: You’ll never find a more textbook example of nepotism than the continued employment of Brian Ferentz, and I have to imagine it will be cited in classrooms for years to come. Educators and textbook publishers alike thank you.