Rand: Vikings' surprising 2012 season has company

  • Updated: January 9, 2013 - 7:49 AM

2DAY'S 2 CENTS Shocking seasons

It didn't end well, but there's still no denying this: the Vikings' 2012 season was an unexpected treat -- a success that came completely out of the blue. Such seasons must be treasured -- they are rare, though not completely unheard of around here. As such, here are five other Minnesota seasons since 2000 that reminded us a little of the Vikings' vault from three to 10 victories:

• 2002-03 Wild: Even before the magical postseason run, this was a season to remember. The third-year franchise jumped from 68 points in its first year to 73 in its second all the way up to 95. The stingy bunch allowed just 178 goals, stunning the locals not only by making the playoffs but then advancing to the Western Conference finals with playoff series comeback victories over Colorado and Vancouver.

• 2001 Twins: From 1993-2000, the Twins did not have a winning season. And from 1997-2000, they lost at least 90 games every year. Even more to the point, they did so with a constantly rotating group of newcomers and castoffs who didn't seem destined to gain much traction. Then, all the sudden, the 2001 Twins came blasting out at the start of the season. They were 55-32 at the All-Star break. They still had a division lead in August. While they ultimately faltered down the stretch, the year was about as fun as it gets -- and it laid the groundwork for six division titles in the next nine seasons.

• 2011 Lynx: Prior to 2011, the Lynx had played 12 WNBA seasons and won exactly one playoff game. They had only qualified for the playoffs twice, in their only two winning seasons (both 18-16). In 2010, their victory total had dipped for a third consecutive season as they finished 13-21. And then just like that, everything turned around in a fun and unexpected ride that didn't end until the franchise had captured its first WNBA title.

• 2004-05 Gophers men's basketball: In the seasons surrounding this one (2003-04, 05-06 and 06-07), the Gophers won 11 Big Ten games combined. But for one year, Vincent Grier put them on his back and willed them into the NCAA tournament for the only time during Dan Monson's tenure.

• 2001-02 Gophers women's basketball: Before the Gophers could run (the Final Four season came two years later), they had to at least walk. In the six seasons preceding the 2001-02 campaign, Minnesota was a combined 8-88 in Big Ten play. That is not a misprint. But thanks to a new coach (Brenda Oldfield) as well as the talent of Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville, the Gophers vaulted to a 22-8 overall record, an 11-5 Big Ten mark and an NCAA tournament berth.

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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