Rand: Don't plan a winter of our discontent

  • Updated: November 5, 2013 - 1:41 PM

The Vikings are in full-fledged tire fire mode. The Twins won’t play for several months, and it remains to be seen how they will attempt to fix a team that has lost at least 96 games three years in a row.

But forget about them. Those two teams might draw the most water in Minnesota, but they aren’t the whole show. Early signs indicate this could be a pretty good and possibly special fall and winter with these other teams in town:

Gophers football

Minnesota breezed into bowl eligibility with three consecutive victories over squads favored by more than a touchdown — only the third time that’s happened in college football since 1980, according to R.J. Bell of Pregame.com. The realistic expectation: Minnesota at least goes back to the Texas Bowl (formerly Meineke Bowl). Big dreamers might consider: a New Year’s Day Bowl and a possible berth in the Big Ten title game if everything breaks right.

Wild

Minnesota has five victories in its past six games and has at least four goals in three of its last four. The offense is starting to find its rhythm. The realistic expectation: A return trip to the playoffs and a more competitive showing than last season. Big dreamers might consider: Winning a playoff series and seeing if momentum builds from there for a deeper run.

Timberwolves

A well-timed victory at New York on Sunday made the Wolves top-five darlings in a lot of power rankings released Monday. They are probably not a top-five team long-term, but they are showing signs of turning the corner. The realistic expectation: At least a .500 record and a playoff berth. Big dreamers might consider: If everyone stays healthy, why not think big and go for just the second season in franchise history with a playoff series victory?

Gophers hockey

This goes for both the men and women, of course. Neither has lost a game. It will be exceedingly hard to keep that up, but both are unanimous No. 1 teams in the USCHO.com poll released Monday. The realistic expectation: A Frozen Four berth for both. Big dreamers might consider: This isn’t even that farfetched, but both programs could take home NCAA championships this season.

Michael Rand

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Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
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Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
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Delaware State 85
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McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
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Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
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NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
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Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
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Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
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Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
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Oklahoma 66 FINAL
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