Posted at 4:00pm -- 9/30/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan..."/> Posted at 4:00pm -- 9/30/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan..."/>

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Gopher Lore From the Past


Posted at 4:00pm — 9/30/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Gopher Lore From the Past

Gophers, not golfers! Or was it golfers, not gophers? This line was of course one of the legendary lines from the classic Caddie Shack. This article will look at the original gopher factory, The University of Minnesota football legacy.

Not much from the beautiful land of 10,000 lakes has flown across the big story line of college football the last few years. Minnesota has enjoyed some successful seasons yielding bowl games and occasional big wins. Glenn Mason enjoyed solid success, a level that frankly should be acceptable for institutions boldly stating that academics are the reason for being. But, the bowl collapse still remains infamous.

Minnesota is a powerhouse research institution. Research institution is a term many universities try to use but few meet the criteria. At such an institution, most everything hinges on, or is linked to, money derived beforehand or afterwards from grants and gifts. All the Big Ten Universities can be considered successful research institutions. Minnesota and Wisconsin are close to elite, if not elite.

But long before the era of Big College is for making money, Minnesota had a football team. Actually, the gophers started in 1882, about the same time Michigan initiated play. As a side note, this site does not subscribe to the postulation, offered by one Big Ten member, that football was invented in 1951.

The happy days for Minnesota were the 1930’s. Bernie Bierman became the coach in 1932 and shortly thereafter led the Minnesota program to three CONSECUTIVE national championships. The furballs were not done, however, as in the early 1940’s Minnesota grabbed two more coveted titles. 1960 saw the last Gopher title, one that would not happen in the modern football formula. Minnesota was voted National Champion before the bowl season, and yes, Minnesota did indeed lose the Rose Bowl to Washington.

The next year was as equally bizarre as Ohio State faculty kept the Buckeyes out of the Rose Bowl partly as the result of two eccentric egos; Woody Hayes- representing the football side, and Jack Fullen, a graduate who played the virtuous college is for the innocent role. Well, Fullen’s side won by three votes and soon giddy Minnesota accepted the vote. The second time around Minnesota got its only Rose Bowl victory over UCLA. Minnesota since has a share of a Big Ten football title, 1967. The Big Ten sent Indiana’s famous Punt, John, Pont team to the Rose Bowl.

Lou Holtz made a quick two-year visit and Glen Mason had a good ten-year run.

Since then Minnesota football has bounded around from mediocre to pretty good. As most know, Minnesota is back playing on campus. There is nothing like a college campus to gain a great game day environment.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

Go Blue — Wear Maize!