Minnesota Golden Gophers
Fans of college football today probably don’t realize the rich history of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football program. Founded in 1882, the Gophers have been a member of the Big Ten Conference since its inception in 1896 as the Western Conference.
Minnesota has been named a national champion nine times by selectors endorsed by the NCAA. The school claims seven of those titles. The catch is that all but one of those titles came before the end of World War II, the last coming in 1960.
Minnesota has eighteen Big Ten titles. The catch is that all but two of them came before the end of World War II, the last two coming in 1960 and 1967.
In the past half-century, Minnesota has rarely challenged for any major accomplishments, so it is a bit of a surprise that they are undefeated against Clemson.
I know what you’re thinking: before World War II ended, right?
Nope. Clemson lost their lone contest against the Golden Gophers in 1985, just a few years after they won their first national championship. It wasn’t the Tigers’ best campaign – they finished the regular season 6-5 – but they still got the bid to the Independence Bowl.
When they got there, they were beaten 22-13 by a quarterback named Rickie Foggie and a head coach named….checks notes….Lou Holtz.
So if you have been a fan since the 1980s and you forgot this game happened, it might be because you have blocked it from your memory.