Skip to main content

ESPN says Gopher football fans are distraught

Not everyone is on the P.J. Fleck bandwagon.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

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. 

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.


Fleck says he took a 'major pay cut' to join the Gophers

Fleck makes a base salary of $3.5 million.

P.J. Fleck is the new Gophers football coach

P.J. Fleck took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl and appears to be the new head coach of the Gophers.

P.J. Fleck is the new Gophers football coach

P.J. Fleck took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl and appears to be the new head coach of the Gophers.

Watch: P.J. Fleck reads mean tweets

"PJ Fleck looks like an utterly ridiculous raging maniac in that tie under a windbreaker' was easily the best one.

24 and Single: The Gophers' epic loss to the Michigan Wolverines in 2003

Sports producer Declan Goff reveals his latest 24 and Single column.