In sports, the bar for success is always changing. A few weeks back, Gophers fans were fixated on beating Penn State and earning a signature victory. With that win in hand, fans wanted more. The Axe. Rose Bowl. Maybe even a trip to the College Football Playoff?
The charmed season and eventual comedown Saturday against Wisconsin reminded me so much of the Vikings' 2017 season and eventual loss to the Eagles in the NFC title game. I would write hundreds of words about it, but I don't want to depress anyone. Suffice to say, the favorable schedule, the big dreams, the early 7-0 lead and the eventual lopsided defeat to a very good team — it was all quite familiar.
And now the Gophers won't play again for a month, probably not until New Year's Day somewhere in Florida. The Vikings will play five times — a span that started Monday in Seattle — before the Gophers take the field again.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.