Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
It's still a half-hour before kickoff, and already the Gophers should be upbeat about their bowl chances. If they can't win two weeks from now in Champaign, where Indiana is embarrassing the Illini at the moment, they don't deserve a postseason game.
But getting there may depend upon winning today, since bowl eligibility requires six wins, and the 4-3 Gophers are warming up now in hopes of doing so. Of course, Purdue, at 3-4 but with an easier schedule ahead, is just as desperate for a win. The Gophers are in their all-maroon uniforms, same look they wore in beating Syracuse last month, except for the pink towels several players have attached to their pants. Purdue is in black pants and white jerseys.
The tailgate lots outside, and the Oak Street pregame carnival, all seem more full than the past few games, a side effect of the later kickoff. It's chilly but sunny, about 45 degrees, and I'll be interested in seeing how full the stadium gets. It's a nice day for football, but a pair of 0-3 teams might not be enough to convince all the ticket-holders to turn out.
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