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Friday, November 02, 2012

Know Your Foe: Minnesota 2012

There I was -- swamped at work this week.  But since we moved Rigby to the Photoshop position, Andy to wallpaper specialist and with Benny having transferred from the MZone during our last hiatus, we were left without a capable back-up blogger to step into the starting line up to do Know Your Foe.  Luckily, my work situation healed in the nick of time.  So after a couple practice tweets to make sure my blogging skills were okay, I sat down at the computer and...

Tomorrow, Michigan faces Minnesota for the 99th time, with Michigan holding a commanding 71-24-3 advantage in the series including last season's 58-0 bludgeoning in A2.  Both Michigan and Minnesota are 5-3 but the Wolverines are 3-1 in B1G play while the Golden Gophers are 1-3.  Of course you knew all that.  What you didn't know is below in this week's installment of Know Your Foe - Minnesota 2012.

This looks like some coin
recovered from a shipwreck
History – Founded in 1851, the original campus overlooked the Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River (yes, the Mississippi divides the Twin Cities), but it was later moved about a mile to its current location. During the Civil War, the school shut down following a financial crisis (probably The Jessup's Trading Post, Saloon and Bank mortgage meltdown caused by those shitty Louisiana Purchase derivatives). It reopened in 1867 - with the help of Minneapolis entrepreneur John Sargent Pillsbury, (yes, that Pillsbury) - and was upgraded from a preparatory school to a college in 1869. There was no graduating class until 1873 when two students received their diplomas (and thus setting the stage going forward for the all-time shittiest class reunions in recorded human history).

Location – The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Yes, there is a campus in each city, kind of like North Campus and Central Campus in Ann Arbor (they even have their version of the Bursley Bus connecting the two). Though the winters in Minnesota last about 11 ½ months, the Twin Cities are actually a fun place. There’s a legacy of great music – Prince, The Replacements, Husker Du and Lazy Bill Lucas (props to Bill for overcoming his laziness and making something out of himself). Mary Tyler Moore lived there, too.

You've got a dental school - use it
Nickname – Golden Gophers. Goldy the Gopher to be exact.  After being chosen as the state's official animal in 1857, Minnesota was declared the Gopher State. Taking advantage of this natural connection, Minnesota football coach Clarence Spears named his team the Gophers in 1926. Several years later, Bernie Bierman’s champion football team was coined the “golden swarm,” a reference to their gold-colored jerseys, and the team soon became known as the “Golden Gophers.”

Have to say, a mascot named after the vermin/varmit/varmint from Caddyshack doesn't quite strike fear into an opponent's heart.  Plus, even with such a fine dental school on campus, you'd think the actual Minny mascot would get his teeth fixed by now.

We're told Goldy "energizes thousands of student fans as they chant 'Ski-U-Mah,' a rally cry that means 'Victory UM.'" We at the MZone think it actually just means "another reason not to have a mascot roaming the sidelines.  Ever."

Dreads on your QB?  Nice try, Minnie
Colors/Logo –Maroon and Gold.  While they use Goldy the Gopher a lot as a logo, on their helmets, they have that funky "M" with those weird serifs on them. They’ve had some version of it on their headgear since at least 1968. This year they rolled out new uniforms and were so excited about it, they made a YouTube video.  Woo hoo!  They also sport new helmets this season which have a "textured maroon finish."  At least they didn't succumb to the all-black uni craze sweeping college football.

Fight Song - The Minnesota Rouser is a very underrated fight song, though the title sounds like a porno movie from 1955 or a drink somebody talks you into trying at 1 a.m.  The song was originally known as Minnesota, Hats Off To Thee, and was written by a church choir director. Know Your Foe practically guarantees you've heard it and you might have even hummed it to yourself without even knowing whose fight song it was.

Academics – According the latest U.S. News and World Report Ranking, Minnesota is the #68 National University, same as last year. That ties it with Clemson, Rutgers and BYU - and places them ahead of #72 -- Michigan State (Suck it, Sparty).  It has a total undergad population of 34,812 and accepts just under 47% of its applicants

In his 2007 Minnesota KYF, Benny claimed that the pride of the University is the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute which ranks among the top 15 professional schools of public affairs at public universities in the country. I beg to differ.  According to the U.S. News and World Report Ranking linked above, the school is 52% female and apparently has coeds going there like former American Idol contestant and bikini calendar girl, Casey Carlson, shown here:

Must...resist...making..."little brown jugs"...joke

Stadium/Fans - The Gophers got a shiny new home for football in  2009 called TCF Stadium which is sometimes referred to as "The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole."  Unfortunately for the football team, as is often the case with gopher holes in real life, usually others simply come and destroy what is inside leaving nothing but greasy, grimey gopher guts behind.

Athletics – If it weren't for hockey, wrestling and football glory from over 50 years ago, the sports tradition at Minnesota would be pretty lame.  Academic fraud wiped out their lone Men's basketball Final Four appearance (as opposed to the cheating that wiped out our most recent Final Fours in the early 90s). But Williams Arena is one of the more unique places to play with those sunken benches. How no one gets hurt diving for a ball, I don’t know. Plus it forced former head coach Clem Haskins to sit on a bar stool, which was kind of cool.

Famous alums – Kind of like their sports teams, good but not great.  From actors such as Loni Anderson, John Astin, Peter Graves, TR Knightm Kate Mulgrew, Ron Perlman and a Ghostbuster; to a number of Congressmen and cabinet members you've probably never heard of unless you're from Minnesota; to business leaders including Robert Gore, the inventor of Gore-Tex (the cold weather material, not the robotic inventor of the Internet).  In the Space, Bitches, Space category, they have two astronauts.  And they have two Vice Presidents but, alas, no presidents.  However, they do have Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn Dahm of Playboy fame.

The Game – Minnesota started the season 4-0, beating UNLV, New Hampshire, Western Michigan and Syracuse then dropped three in a row to Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin before bouncing back last week against the corpse that is Purdue. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Is Denard healthy?  He is?  Okay:

Real U-M -28
Other U-M -10


616goblue said...

On a football Friday, before breakfast and doing "the three S's" I read Know Your Foe. Another outstanding edition with another version of Little Brown Jugs, which confirms it being an Mzone original.

As a Michigan football season ticket holder since 1995 and Victors Club Member, I approve this message.

Space bitches, space.

Dennis said...

As long as Denard stays healthy, even though it is on the road, Minnesota doesn't have anywhere near the offense to get past your defense. I know Denard hasn't done well on the road, but still.

If he goes down early, it might be similar to that 6-4 PSU Iowa game.

However I'm thinking much the same as you, probably 24-9.

Good luck.

Yost said...

I'll take any and all luck, Dennis. Especially after last week.

And as always, thanks for the kind words, 616.

surrounded in columbus said...

Top notch.

BTW- go sparty tomorrow (that hurt to say).

Ramona said...

Gardner provided a whole lot of healing today.... just a week ago we couldn't fathom the idea of DR not playing today. We are back to having a double threat against OSU.. nice work today HAIL !!

bigGexpress said...

Is it time for the Duck Star to return?

Every1nosme said...

Does this create a qb controversy? Gardner seemed to be more accurate than DR with his throws and may have earned a shot at the starting job next year with his performance today. Should have put him in last week when the other guy turned out to be ineffective. He could give us a real shot next year if the defense can continue what they started this year as he seems to be a more complete qb than DR. Hate to keep a senior and the most dynamic playmaker you have off the field but I think they should consider letting gardner finish this season up for the experience to prepare him for next year and still try to get denard in the game too. Any thoughts?

Ramona said...

DR was reported to be noticeably in pain during warm ups? I still think he and Gardner can be a double whammy if DR is not hurt.