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Continued: Souhan: Gophers' football success now gets truest test in Badgers

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 20, 2013 - 11:19 AM

Likewise, the Gophers’ 24-10 victory over Penn State should be considered more important than impressive.

Penn State is 3-3 in the Big Ten. Like Nebraska, its only supposedly impressive victory came against a now-suspect Michigan team in four overtimes.

Beat Wisconsin, and Kill can replace the Nebraska win with a true signature victory over an undeniably good team and power program.

Gophers fans hate to admit it, but Wisconsin is their role model, a formerly laughable football program that hired one power coach, Barry Alvarez, and became forever transformed.

That’s why even a victory on Saturday isn’t necessary. If Kill’s players can handle the pressure of playing well after having raised expectations for the program and look like a well-run squad against a superior team in Kill’s third year, they will have served notice to their rivals and the nation that better days are ahead.

Here’s how much the standards have changed for the Gophers football program, thanks to the inane tenure of Tim Brewster:

When a punter dropped a snap and the Gophers lost in shocking fashion to Wisconsin in 2005, fans judged that play to be an indictment of Glen Mason’s program.

If the Gophers lose on Saturday because of a dropped snap, they will be praised for making so much progress.

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. jsouhan@startribune.com

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