This is temporary. Well, everything is temporary. But the way the stars aligned in the pattern of a football over the Minnesota sky this past weekend? We'd best believe that is certainly temporary, which is all the more reason to enjoy it while it lasts.
You, dear Minnesota football fan, woke up Monday morning with the knowledge that the Gophers AND the Vikings had both won their games. Considering they were a combined 6-22 last season, this is cause enough for celebration and good moods all around.
Then you factor in this: the Hawkeyes (vs. Iowa State), Badgers (vs. Oregon State) and Packers (vs. San Francisco) were all favored to win their games. And all three of them lost. Say what you will about schadenfreude -- the delightful German concept best described as gaining pleasure from the bad luck of others -- but it is a very real thing.
It all combines to create a unique pigskin euphoria not felt since, well ... 2008? A little research shows it was Oct. 4-6 of that year the last time this happened. The Gophers defeated Indiana, Wisconsin lost to Ohio State and Iowa lost to Michigan State on Saturday; the Packers lost to Atlanta on Sunday; and the Vikings beat New Orleans on "Monday Night Football."
If that's not enough, consider this:
• Christian Ponder, the least heralded of the NFC North quarterbacks going into the season (and it wasn't really close), had the highest Week 1 passer rating of the bunch. Ponder ranked eighth overall for Week 1 through Sunday's games with a 105.5 rating; Jay Cutler (11th, 98.9), Aaron Rodgers (15th, 93.3) and Matthew Stafford (21st, 69.4) followed.
• Gophers QB MarQueis Gray, by the way, is No. 15 in the nation among eligible Division I-A passers. He has a 171.6 rating under the college formula, the best mark among Big Ten QBs.
• Part of the Packers' undoing came at the hands of their old pal, Randy Moss. The ex-Viking, trying to resurrect his career (again) with San Francisco, had four catches for 47 yards and a TD in the 30-22 victory at Lambeau Field. Moss now has 1,320 receiving yards and 14 TDs all-time against Green Bay, more than he has against any other team.
• The Badgers have struggled enough that they fired offensive line coach Mike Markuson after just two games. Markuson, who played college football at Hamline, was hired in the offseason. "[We] decided to move on," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It was really something that wasn't a knee-jerk thing by me."