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ESPN says Gopher football fans are distraught

Not everyone is on the P.J. Fleck bandwagon.
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Are Gopher fans rowing the boat? Or are they simply treading water? 

Despite the excitement surrounding new head coach P.J. Fleck, ESPN's Fan Happiness Index shows the Gophers fan base is one of the most "distraught" programs in the country, ranking 107th out of 128 teams.

What's their reasoning?

The index used the following criteria: program power, rivalry dominance, coaching stability, recruiting trends, revenue growth and Twitter buzz.

Although the Gophers excel in coaching stability and revenue growth, they have mediocre numbers in program power and Twitter growth. 

But it's their play against conference rivals and their past recruiting trends that's really dragged the Gophers down.

Minnesota hasn't beaten Wisconsin in 13 years, as Paul Bunyan's Axe has been in Madison since 2004.

They've also lost 12 of their last 16 meetings to the Iowa Hawkeyes, and they have just two victories over the University of Michigan since 1986. Yikes.

Can it get better?

The program's recruitment has been on the uptick with a new sheriff in town. 

It's not as dominant as juggernauts Ohio State or Michigan, but their 2018 class ranks sixth-best in the Big Ten and 34th overall in the country, according to 247 Sports.

Fleck also has a reputation of recruiting players within the state's perimeters. 

When he was at the helm at Western Michigan, he led the Broncos to a MAC conference championship, which featured a roster that was led by midwest talent

The next era of Gopher football begins at the end of the month when the University of Minnesota hosts Buffalo University on Aug. 31 at TCF Bank Stadium. 

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