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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Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Washington 0
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 Suspended
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - D. Holmberg
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker 6:10 PM
Boston - R. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
San Diego - T. Ross 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
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Atlanta
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Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
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Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
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San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
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Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
Indiana
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Minnesota
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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