The season has been over for a few weeks and after a lot of analysis I would give the season a B-.
Many factors go into this grade, here are the most important ones:
1. .500 conference record
The Gophers were projected to be at the bottom of the Big 10 this season record wise and this was quite the shock. Beating a team like Nebraska certainly gives this conference record for the Gophers a B. Yes, it could have been better, but it certainly could have been a lot worse like analysts projected it to be.
2. Bowl game
While many remain unhappy about the outcome of the Texas Bowl, people need to realize that the Gophers in many experts minds were the surprise story of the Big 10 this season. The team hung in there until the end and were only a few wins away from reaching a BCS bowl. They were only blown out in one game in the conference this season and that was at Michigan. If a few more things went right for the Gophers, they could have been in a pretty big time bowl. This is an A for Minnesota on the season.
3. David Cobb
I have to give this running back some final love. without Cobb, the Gophers would have been doomed offensively in many games. While the quarterback play was at least decent, Cobb was able to tear opposing teams apart, coming from the bench to incumbent starter for next season. I expect Cobb to be one of the best RB’s in the Big 10 next season and possibly one of the best in the country when it’s all said and done. Cobb’s performance this season deserves an A.
4. Loss to Syracuse in Texas Bowl
Many thought the Gophers would win their bowl game handily, instead, Syracuse came out the victor in a game in which the Gophers played like they partied too hard the night before. This loss was inexcusable and ultimately put a dark mark on the program because it was the Gopher’s sixth bowl game loss in a row. If Minnesota were able to replay the Texas bowl game against Syracuse I’d say they’d win, but it’s forever chalked up as a bad loss. This performance warrants the Gophers a D in this part of my grading scale.
Overall, this leaves the Gophers with about a B- mark on the season. I’d love to hear your opinions, however.