Wisconsin Badgers have built blueprint for success for Minnesota Golden Gophers football team

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Wide receiver George Rushing (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Wide receiver George Rushing (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

It is an odd feeling cheering for the Wisconsin Badgers, but their success is a blueprint the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team should follow.

It might be against Minnesota law to cheer for the Wisconsin Badgers in any circumstance, but it really would have been nice if the Badgers football team would have defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday night. Not for the sake of the Badgers and the joy of Wisconsinites, but for the potential future of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football program.

Let’s face it: Wisconsin is the team that the Gophers should aim to be. The Badgers are consistently a bowl team and every so often pop up with a really good top 10-like team. That’s what the Gophers should aim for. Both Wisconsin and Minnesota are never going to be year in and year out National Championship contenders, but they both could be Top 25 teams every year.

So why would have a Wisconsin win on Saturday been good for the Gophers? It would have painted the picture of the path the team would have to take to the College Football Playoff. It was more than likely that Wisconsin would have made the field of four if they would have defeated Ohio State, with the loss the Badgers are not going to make that four team field. They showed it is possible though.

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This season, the Badgers proved that if you win the West Division of the Big Ten with an undefeated record and would win the Big Ten Championship game, that you can make the College Football Playoff. It is a hard thing to accomplish, but, simply, the Badgers have shown the blueprint for a non-football power to get to the big dance in college football.

Granted, and this is a big granted, the Gophers are a long way from getting to the Wisconsin level nonetheless a College Football Playoff level team, but the path forward is clear. Head coach P.J. Fleck can now walk into a kid’s living room and legitimately say there is a real path to a national championship at Minnesota.

Will Minnesota ever win another national championship in football? That’s anyone’s guess. There is no doubt that there is a path to the big game, though.

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The Minnesota Golden Gophers fans will be mainly focused now on Gopher basketball. The Gopher basketball team takes on Rutgers in Big Ten action on Sunday.