This season’s Minnesota team had been compared to the 2015 Iowa football team all season, but they fell just short of that special season.
Minnesota had a great year this football season. I will freely admit that I expected them to go no better than 9-3 (they went 10-2), with a loss to the Iowa football team of course.
Their hot start yielded a comparison that many Hawkeye fans didn’t buy.
Throughout their season, this team was likened constantly to the Iowa football team that went 12-0 and won the Big Ten West in 2015. With the regular season in the rearview mirror, it is clear that the Golden Gophers fall short of this comparison.
The 2015 Iowa Hawkeyes, admittedly had a fortuitous schedule, only having played two ranked teams during the regular season. Iowa football defeated what turned out to be a 9-3 Wisconsin Badger team and demolished a 10-2 Northwestern team.
Minnesota actually played three ranked teams this season – Iowa (9-3), Wisconsin (10-2), and Penn State (10-2). The results for Minnesota were not as good, however.
The Golden Gophers pulled off an upset win over Penn State but fell to Iowa in a close game in Iowa City. Minnesota was then blasted back to reality by Wisconsin in a game that ultimately decided the division.
2019 Minnesota is not the 2015 Iowa football team. It is actually a slightly worse version of the 2019 Iowa football team.
Minnesota was a win away from claiming the Big Ten West this season. Despite the game not occurring at the very end of the season, so was Iowa.
If Iowa football had beaten Wisconsin, they would have been in a three-team tie for the Big Ten West. With wins over the other two contenders, Iowa would have won the tiebreaker and earned the right to play Ohio State in Indianapolis.
While the failed 2-point conversion in Madison may haunt Iowa football for a while, it still reflects a team that is much closer to being at the top of the division than one that got pummeled at home.
Congratulations to Minnesota for having their second 10-win season since 1905. It is absolutely an achievement to celebrate.