2Day's Two Cents: Lynx rank among best in state history

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 10, 2011 - 1:42 PM

How do the WNBA champions stack up with Minnesota's other top teams?

view larger photos

  

The bouquets and platitudes for the WNBA champion Lynx have been numerous and well-earned. Now, though, it's time to raise things up another level and ask this question:

Are the 2011 Lynx the most dominant team in Minnesota sports history? It's one of those questions that has no perfect answer. Comparing different sports, leagues and eras is nearly impossible because of all the variables at play. Yet we try.

Dominance is subjective, but you won't see any Twins team on this list even though they won two World Series. Here, then, are the contenders. In order to be considered, a team had to play in the top-level U.S. pro league or the top college division in their sport.

2011 LYNX

The case for: The Lynx compiled the best regular-season record in the WNBA (27-7) by six full games, then went 7-1 in the playoffs en route to their first championship. Four of their five starters were named to the All-Star team. Their average margin of victory in sweeping the conference finals and WNBA Finals was 14.2 points.

The case against: The only stumble was a rough first round against San Antonio that went the full three games and included a one-point victory in Game 1 at home.

1949-50 MINNEAPOLIS LAKERS

The case for: Went an impressive 51-17 (.750) during the regular season, the best winning percentage the franchise posted in any of its seasons in Minneapolis. The squad then went 11-2 in the postseason (including a victory in a division tiebreaker) and swept all three series leading up to the finals. George Mikan led the league in scoring at 27.4 ppg and almost certainly would have been MVP if the award existed at the time.

The case against: While dominant, the team didn't even have the best record in the NBA that year (Syracuse, playing four fewer games, was 51-13).

1998 VIKINGS

The case for: A high-powered machine that racked up a then-league record 556 points on the way to a 15-1 regular-season record. The Vikings scored at least 24 points in every game and topped 30 on 11 different occasions. The team had 10 players named to the Pro Bowl.

The case against: We all know what happened.

2001-02 GOPHERS MEN'S HOCKEY

The case for: Team finished 32-8-4, culminating with an NCAA championship -- the first for the program since 1979 -- at Xcel Energy Center. Defenseman Jordan Leopold won the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player in the country.

The case against: As good as the Gophers were, they finished just third in the WCHA that year behind Denver and St. Cloud State. They won their three NCAA tourney games by a combined four goals, including the championship over Maine in overtime.

1941 GOPHERS FOOTBALL

The case for: Went undefeated (8-0) en route to a national championship, while Bruce Smith won the only Heisman Trophy in school history.

The case against: The season included plenty of nail- biters, including a one-point victory over Northwestern.

HONORABLE MENTION

1956 national champion Gophers baseball team; 2001 and 2002 NCAA champion Gophers wrestling teams.

THE CONCLUSION

It's hard to argue with the credentials of any of these teams. At the very least, the Lynx clearly belong in the conversation.

  • related content

  • Lynx parade is set for Tuesday on Nicollet Mall

    Saturday October 8, 2011

    The Lynx began the season with high expectations and met them all.

  • Lynx players have every reason to smile: They brought Minnesota its first pro sports title since the Twins did it in 1991.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden State 21 1st Qtr 4:05
Cleveland 20
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Vancouver 2 2nd Prd 2:52
Buffalo 2
Arizona 3 2nd Prd 4:48
NY Rangers 2
Montreal 3 2nd Prd 1:14
Columbus 1
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd
Toronto 1
Chicago 1 2nd Prd 19:18
Florida 0
St. Louis 0 1st Prd 3:50
Winnipeg 0
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Nashville
Ottawa 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Detroit 9:30 PM
San Jose
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 73 FINAL
Citadel 74
Winthrop 38 2nd Half 5:07
Campbell 54
Delaware 58 2nd Half 4:00
Drexel 40
Jacksonville St 54 2nd Half 2:09
Eastern Ky 55
Northeastern 58 2nd Half 1:53
Elon 63
Sacred Heart 81 2nd Half 5:00
Fair-Dickinson 74
Western Carolina 37 2nd Half 6:54
Furman 38
Char Southern 60 2nd Half 9:09
Gardner-Webb 71
Western Ill 41 2nd Half 8:01
IUPUI 56
Nebraska Omaha 52 2nd Half 9:45
IUPU-Ft Wayne 51
Radford 52 2nd Half 8:57
Liberty 57
St Francis-NY 42 2nd Half 11:57
Long Island 40
Wofford 54 2nd Half 6:39
Mercer 55
Minnesota 59 2nd Half 9:17
Michigan State 61
High Point 61 2nd Half 7:40
UNC-Asheville 55
Samford 45 2nd Half 9:31
UNC Greensboro 61
Nebraska 43 2nd Half 6:17
Ohio State 63
Wagner 46 2nd Half 7:50
Robert Morris 79
Mount St Marys 46 2nd Half 7:00
St Francis-PA 52
Houston 45 2nd Half 7:55
Temple 52
Vanderbilt 51 2nd Half 7:20
Tennessee 50
Chattanooga 56 2nd Half 7:06
Va Military 53
Milwaukee 47 2nd Half 9:28
Wright State 46
Coastal Carolina 43 2nd Half 8:30
Presbyterian 54
Central Conn St 62 2nd Half 5:00
Bryant 59
Ga Southern 39 2nd Half 18:50
Appalachian St 20
SIU Edwardsville 10 1st Half 12:09
Austin Peay 14
Green Bay 25 1st Half 5:56
Ill-Chicago 18
Texas-El Paso 16 1st Half 6:29
Louisiana Tech 23
FIU 15 1st Half 7:58
Marshall 21
Rider 17 1st Half 5:28
Monmouth 15
Eastern Ill 5 1st Half 9:35
Murray State 18
Charlotte 16 1st Half 6:15
North Texas 30
North Dakota St 16 1st Half 4:44
Oral Roberts 29
Old Dominion 22 1st Half 7:20
Rice 16
TX-San Antonio 21 1st Half 4:09
Southern Miss 31
UT Martin 18 1st Half 7:08
Tennessee St 20
Fla Atlantic 25 1st Half 6:32
Western Ky 21
Northern Ariz 27 1st Half 7:16
North Dakota 20
Grand Canyon 19 1st Half 7:00
Chicago State 27
Utah Valley U 13 1st Half 7:00
UMKC 19
ULM 0 1st Half 20:00
South Alabama 0
Texas-Arlington 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Troy 7:30 PM
Texas State
Georgia State 7:45 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Arizona 8:00 PM
Colorado
SMU 8:00 PM
Memphis
Tenn Tech 8:00 PM
Morehead State
Rutgers 8:00 PM
Purdue
Southern Utah 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Montana State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Montana 9:00 PM
Idaho
BYU 9:00 PM
Portland
Pacific 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
Arizona State 9:30 PM
Utah
San Diego 10:00 PM
Gonzaga
St Marys-CA 10:00 PM
San Francisco
Oregon State 10:00 PM
Stanford
Long Beach State 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Manhattan 67 FINAL
Monmouth 84
Georgia Southern 39 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Marshall 74 FINAL
FIU 50
TX-Arlington 62 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
ULM 45 FINAL
South Alabama 38
Troy 75 FINAL
Texas State 59
Georgia State 39 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 56
William & Mary 77 2nd Half 4:42
Coll of Charleston 42
Delaware 57 2nd Half 5:34
UNC-Wilmington 53
UMBC 17 2nd Half 17:12
Maine 37
UMass Lowell 63 2nd Half 3:32
Vermont 49
Albany 50 2nd Half 6:52
Hartford 42
Stony Brook 51 2nd Half 8:07
Binghamton 35
Boston College 50 2nd Half 7:30
(8) Louisville 70
(23) Syracuse 50 2nd Half 9:29
Clemson 41
(16) Duke 40 2nd Half 10:50
Georgia Tech 50
Florida 31 2nd Half 10:37
Alabama 37
NC State 36 2nd Half 11:49
(9) Florida State 55
Miami-Florida 53 2nd Half 5:39
Wake Forest 54
LSU 44 2nd Half 7:26
Ole Miss 50
(11) Miss State 35 2nd Half 11:43
(2) South Carolina 49
Fairfield 66 2nd Half 2:25
Iona 56
Marist 49 2nd Half 5:54
Saint Peters 52
Quinnipiac 78 2nd Half 10:38
Rider 28
Virginia 51 2nd Half 9:45
(15) North Carolina 61
Pittsburgh 42 2nd Half 9:27
(4) Notre Dame 71
Ohio State 69 2nd Half 7:37
Penn State 56
Massachusetts 50 2nd Half 8:30
Dayton 56
(22) George Washington 51 2nd Half 10:43
Richmond 46
Saint Louis 30 2nd Half 16:19
Rhode Island 41
Wright State 69 2nd Half 3:41
Detroit 50
Green Bay 56 2nd Half 8:00
Oakland 44
Western Ky 67 2nd Half 8:30
Florida Atlantic 51
Indiana 58 2nd Half 8:06
(5) Maryland 64
North Texas 36 2nd Half 11:31
Charlotte 55
Central Arkansas 33 2nd Half 19:22
Sam Houston St 22
SE Louisiana 36 2nd Half 20:00
Northwestern St 28
Nicholls 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Incarnate Word 13 1st Half 3:34
Stephen F Austin 20
Denver 25 1st Half 6:15
No Dakota State 29
IUPU-Ft Wayne 11 1st Half 3:52
Nebraska Omaha 26
IUPUI 13 1st Half 8:52
South Dakota 20
Lamar 23 1st Half 7:32
McNeese State 41
Western Ill 16 1st Half 5:47
South Dakota St 27
Missouri 22 1st Half 7:12
(12) Texas A&M 19
(13) Kentucky 24 1st Half 6:50
Arkansas 7
(20) Rutgers 18 1st Half 3:21
(25) Northwestern 27
Southern Miss 10 1st Half 11:24
TX-San Antonio 5
Wisconsin 17 1st Half 8:00
(17) Iowa 25
North Dakota 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
Eastern Washington 8:00 PM
Montana State
Idaho 8:00 PM
Montana
Auburn 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
(6) Tennessee 8:00 PM
Georgia
Gonzaga 8:00 PM
San Diego
USC 8:00 PM
Washington
Portland 8:00 PM
BYU
(24) California 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Stanford 8:00 PM
(7) Oregon State
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UMKC 8:00 PM
Utah Valley U
San Francisco 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
UCLA 9:00 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
Pacific
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
Cal-Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close