Column: Gophers deserve College GameDay, ya feel me?

Samuel Gordon

Dear ESPN College GameDay,

There’s something special going on in Minneapolis.

I’m inviting you to spend the morning of Nov. 23 on our campus to tell college football fans across the country about the incredible turnaround taking place.

You’re already privy to our head coach’s situation. Your five-minute feature this past Saturday on Jerry Kill and his ongoing battle with epilepsy was touching.

In Minneapolis, you could not only extend that narrative but also showcase the team and the players that are leading this unlikely turnaround. They deserve some attention, too.

Who would have thought the Gophers would be on the precipice of national relevance once again?

I’ve lived in the Twin Cities my entire life, and I’ve covered this team for the last three years.

I was skeptical about the Gophers at first, and I can understand why you’d be, too. But here they are at 8-2 with four straight Big Ten wins  in a season for the first time since 1973.

Just two years ago, Minnesota was a 3-9 football team that primarily served as a punching bag in the Big Ten.

Now the Gophers are No. 25 in the nation, according to the coaches’ poll, and sit at No. 27 in the eyes of the Associated Press.

That’s unfathomable for those who know the program well — and for those who don’t.

The Gophers will try to extend their winning streak Nov. 23 against their biggest rival and reigning Big Ten champion, Wisconsin, the No. 17 team in the country.

The game itself should be competitive — unlike recent meetings. Minnesota’s power running game and efficient passing attack have propelled the winning streak, and the Gophers’ improved defense should be able to contend with the Badgers’ potent offense.

You’ll have the opportunity to showcase one of the oldest rivalries in college sports. It’s a trophy game too, as the teams will battle for the legendary Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

And on top of all that, the GameDay crew will have the opportunity to check out the magnificent Twin Cities area.

Minneapolis and St. Paul were ranked in America’s 50 Best Cities by Business Week last year — the top 15, to be specific.

The SEC gets enough love, and Fargo already got some attention this year. Why not Minneapolis?

I’ve outlined several reasons why the GameDay crew should come to the Twin Cities, and I hope this letter prompts serious consideration.

You have favored rivalry and tradition in the past. On Nov. 23, the Gophers will play host to one of the most historic rivalries in college football.

And it’s happening against all odds.

Ya feel me?



Sam Gordon