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.


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.


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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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 86 4th Qtr 1:45
Phoenix 95
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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