NCAAF Minnesota Golden Gophers

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Minnesota Golden Gophers

General Information

Big Ten

Division 1

East Lansing

Huntington Bank Stadium

Championships

  • National Championships: 9 (7 claimed, 2 unclaimed) 
  • Conference Titles:18
  • Divisional Championships: 1

 

Minnesota Golden Gophers Stats & Analysis

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Scores

Standings​

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Injuries

All-Time Minnesota Golden Gophers Stats & Records

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Minnesota Golden Gophers - NCAAF History

Team History

The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team’s inaugural NCAAF season was in 1882, and they became a member of the Big Ten in 1896. Dr. Henry Williams was the school’s first real head coach in 1900. Under Williams, the Gophers had winning seasons from 1900-1919.

Additionally, the Gophers went on a massive 35-game win streak under Coach Williams from 1903-1905. The Gophers dominated with Williams at the helm, and they won eight Big Ten Championships and a National Championship in 1904. 

The 30s and 40s were good to the Gophers. They won five championships during that span. Bernie Bierman was named head coach in 1932. Bierman was successful almost immediately. Bierman led the Gophers to three straight National Championships from 1934-1936.

The Gophers and Bierman went on to win two more back-to-back National Championships in 1940 and 1941. Bierman finished his career with five national championships and seven Big Ten titles. 

The 50s were rather quiet for the University of Minnesota football team. However, in 1960, the Gophers returned to championship form after being named champions by the AP poll and UPI. The Gophers went to two straight Rose Bowls in 1960 and 1961.

They lost to Washington in their first one in 1960. They went on to beat UCLA in the 1961 Rose Bowl. The win against UCLA was the teams first and only Rose Bowl win. 

The 70s, 80s, and 90s were below average for the University of Minnesota football team. The Gophers had only ten winning seasons between the three decades. 

The Best Season in a Long Time

The year 2003 was one of the team’s best seasons in a very long time; they went 10-3 overall and finished fifth in the Big Ten. Additionally, the Gophers finished 20th in the final AP poll under coach Glen Mason.

The Gophers did have two more winning seasons under Mason in 2004 and 2005. Mason coached from 1997 to 2006 and led the team to seven college football bowl games. The NCAAF team won three straight bowl games from 2002-2004 and lost the other four bowl games. 

Currently the Gophers have coach PJ Fleck at the helm. The Gophers had a very inspiring 2019 NCAAF season under coach Fleck. In 2019, the Gophers finished with an 11-3 record.

The Gophers played in the Outback Bowl and came out victorious against Auburn. Additionally, they beat Penn State, who was ranked #4. It was their first time beating a top-five team in the last two decades. 

What is the highest win total in program history?

The 2019 Gophers finished with a 11-2 overall record. The Gophers had one of the best offenses in the country. They averaged over 250 pass yards and nearly 180 rush yards per game. 

What was the worst season in program history?

The 2007 Gophers finished with a 1-11 overall record and an 0-8 conference record. The Gopher defense was historically bad. They surrendered more than 500 total yards per game. 

How many bowl games have the Gophers made?

The Gophers have made 22 bowl games and currently have a 10-12 bowl record. Their most recent bowl game win came in 2021 against West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

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