Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Posts about Gopher road games

Gophers going for biggest win

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 30, 2013 - 10:52 AM

Awaiting the start of the Gophers game at Michigan State's Spartan Stadium.

This would be the Gophers' biggest win of the season, if they could pull it off.

I believe their performance last week, in a loss against Wisonsin, was their most impressive performance of the season. Beating a very good Michigan State team on the road would be more impressive.

In fact, beating Michigan State would give the Gophers their most impressive six-game stretch in the modern era.

Glen Mason's best seasons did not include a six-game stretch in the Big Ten schedule this impressive. The 2003 loss to Michigan interrupted an impressive stretch. If the Gophers win today, they will have gone 5-1 in a key six-game stretch with their only loss coming against a very good Wisconsin team.

I'd argue the Gophers' loss to Wisconsin marked their best performance this season, given the quality of the opponent.

A victory today would trump that.

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I'll be in studio Sunday morning for Sunday Sports Talk, 10-noon on 1500ESPN before heading to the Metrodome for Vikings-Bears. Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

My Gophers pick

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: October 19, 2013 - 10:21 AM

My friend and colleague Joe Christensen is picking the Gophers to lose to Northwestern in a close game today in Evanston.

I'm here covering the game with Joe, and I don't see it being that close.

Factor in Northwestern's blowout loss at Wisconsin last week and analyze their weaknesses, and Joe's pick makes perfect sense.

Here's why I don't see it being that close:

The Gophers went into the Big Ten season with a great deal of optimism. That has since been crushed. They got physically whipped by a mediocre Iowa team, then got physically whipped by a mediocre Michigan team.

Now their coach is convalescing, and they're on the road against a good team desperate to right itself. Northwestern can throw the ball and figures to play with a great deal of emotion today.

If you're the Gophers, where do you find the positive emotion? Do you really around defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who's filling in for Jerry Kill? Is the Gophers' coaching staff really as capable when the head coach isn't at the stadium?

My pick: Northwestern 41, Gophers 18. I like Mitch Leidner as a quarterback, and I like the fact that the staff didn't play any games before naming him the starter this week, but I don't think he has a whole lot of help.

For the Gophers to keep it close, I think Marcus Jones will have to have a big day in the return game, and tight end Maxx Williams will have to make big plays in the passing game, and Leidner will have to run wild.

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I'll be running Sunday Sports Talk on 1500ESPN from 10-noon tomorrow, with Chris Reuvers in the Twin Cities. Korzo has the weekend off.

My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib. Thanks for reading.

What a strange sports weekend

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 31, 2011 - 11:51 AM

It was a great weekend for sports, if you like sleeping on your couch.

Couldn’t bring myself to watch the Pro Bowl, although the game did leave me with this thought: How’d you like to be an AFC defensive player, relaxing in Hawaii, trying to get through the game without getting hurt, and then you look up and Adrian Peterson or Stephen Jackson are bearing down on you at full-speed?

Is it any wonder so many players bail out on this game? How’d you like to get hurt during what is essentially a Luau?

As for the NHL All-Star game, well....

Sorry, nodded off there.

TwinsFest went well. We did Sunday Sports Talk from the Sports Hall in Blaine. I’m always stunned by how many Twins players show up for the Caravan, TwinsFest and the Diamond Awards, and how gracious they are. Even Delmon Young, who isn’t exactly a big fan of mine, came on the radio with me the other night and was extremely classy.

While I think the Twins’ ability to bring their players in from all over the country to ride across the tundra in vans and buses is pretty unique, I do have to say all four major sports teams in town have become better and better at getting their athletes to do good works. Our guy Denny Green helped usher in a new era with his ``Community Tuesdays’’ in the ‘90s.

-I start thinking about spring when I see the first good golf tournament in the States. The Farmers Insurance tourney at Torrey Pines (where I saw Tiger Woods win the US Open on one leg) proved that, despite what I often say, golf can be interesting and relevant without Tiger.

Bubba Watson could be one to watch. He routinely hits it 350 with a swing that looks worse than mine, he’s goofy, he’s emotional, and he’s fun. Phil Mickelson is must-see TV, and Jhonny Vegas (not making that name up) has a classic swing and a lot of fire. Good stuff.

Sunday, we saw Phil Mickelson lay up on the 18th, then try to win the tournament by holing a 72-yard wedge shot while his caddy tended the flag. Again, not making that up.

Perhaps Phil could have won more majors with a more thoughtful approach over the years. But could he have been any more entertaining? I doubt it.

-I leave for spring training on Feb. 19, so I’m going to try to get my Winter Sports fix in before I head out of town. I’ll be at the Wild on Tuesday and the Wolves on Wednesday.

-Saw the Jayhawks twice this weekend at First Avenue, one night with my son, the next with my daughter.

Is there a better marriage of quintessential Minneapolis band and quintessential Minneapolis venue?

The band sounded wonderful - sharp and understated on Saturday, loose, fun and emotional on Sunday. Here’s hoping they remain a going concern for years to come.-

-I don't think losing at Purdue, for the Gophers basketball team, is any concern. But the way they lost - with Blake Hoffarber being taken out of the offense while trying to play point guard, and Rodney Williams disappearing - is.

-Gophers hockey loses at home to a team from Alaska? As the kids say, ``Really?’’ ``Seriously?’’

-Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn at 2:40 p.m. each day this week, then will run a Super Bowl Sunday version of Sunday Sports Talk, 10-noon. We'll soon be making a big announcement - and I mean big - about the show. I know you won't be able to sleep now.

I'll also be on 1500espn with Joe Anderson tonight in the 6 o'clock hour.

As Tom Linnemann would say, ``Cheers.''

 

 

 

      

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