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.
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It's 16 degrees at TCF Bank Stadium, and with that northwest wind, today's game against Wisconsin is shaping up to be one of the coldest home games in Gophers football history.
Update: The Wisconsin scribes told me that the Gophers and Badgers played on an 11-degree day in Madison on Nov. 21, 1964, so at least it won't be THAT cold.
The coldest kickoff in five years at TCF Bank Stadium was 23 degrees for the 2010 Iowa game. My colleague at the Star Tribune, Joel Rippel, compiled this research on other cold home games in Gophers history.
(A note from Rippel about the wind chills: For the games since 2009, they are approximate, using a NOAA wind-chill index chart. And for the earlier games, wind chill was figured slightly different than it is now (the formula was updated in 2001, and wind chills since then aren’t quite as cold. But the figures for those games were reported in the paper.)
Nov. 24: vs. Michigan St., 25 with wind of 10 mph. Wind chill of 15
Nov. 27: vs. Iowa, 23 with wind of 8 mph. Wind chill of 15.
MEMORIAL STADIUM ERA
Sept. 30, 1961: vs. Missouri, 42 at kickoff. Got colder as game went on. Snow showers.
Oct. 29, 1955: vs. USC. 33 at kickoff with 20 mph wind. Wind chill of 21.
Nov. 8, 1947: vs. Purdue, 28 at kickoff with 20-30 mph winds. Wind chill of 10.
Nov. 25, 1933: vs. Wisconsin, 40 at kickoff. Temps dropped during game to low 30s. Snowing/blizzard conditions by fourth quarter
No. 19, 1932: vs. Michigan, 12 at kickoff. Winds of 16 mph. Wind chill of -4.
A note about 1975: A two-day blizzard hit Minnesota and the Twin Cities – ending on the day before the game. Parts of Minnesota got 24 inches of snow with 15-30 mph winds. The Twin Cities got 7-9 inches. On Saturday, Nov. 22, the day of the game, it was clear, dry and little wind. At kickoff (1 p.m.), there was snow piled on the sidelines and the end zone of Memorial Stadium. But it was 27 degrees at kickoff with light, variable winds.
Update: Michigan State has a 24-point lead at Northwestern late in the fourth quarter, so it looks like the Spartans will wrap up the Legends Division race with that win.
Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib
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