We will spare you the lament (this time) about how all this is coming to an end when the Gophers join the Big Ten hockey league starting in the 2013-14 season. Instead, we will simply say this:
When it comes to rivalries involving major Minnesota sports teams, nothing tops Vikings-Packers. We can't imagine anything ever will, considering how widespread and vitriolic it is. The contenders for the No. 2 spot have to be Gophers/Badgers football, Gophers/Badgers men's basketball, Twins/White Sox and Gophers/UND hockey. As noted before, the Wolves and Wild lack any real rivals who would vault into that mix. Iowa? They've always been a "meh" to us.
And maybe this is just because things are so fresh after witnessing the clashing of these two teams and fan bases for back to back weekends in high-stakes games, but we would argue that Gophers/UND hockey could very well be the second-biggest rivalry in all of major Minnesota sports -- yes, bigger than Gophers-Wisconsin anything and better than Twins/White Sox. At the very least, we would say the hockey rivalry is right there on par with the rest. If you need any convincing, there were 160 comments as of 9 a.m. on the Gophers/UND game story on Startribune.com. Very few of them were polite.
Agree, disagree, thoughts in the comments.