Minnesota has not lost fewer than 3 Big Ten conference games since 1967.
Now, some people are telling you with a straight face that THIS is the year that streak changes.
Today in the Potluck, we’ve got fusion foods—including the one time it’s OK to mix fish and cheese—easy non-conference schedules, and lots of 7-5 predictions. It must be Minnesota Week!
A reminder: Think the Gophers have gotten too uppity? Want to remind Minnesota that the Axe will be returning to Madison? Caressing Floyd—or any pig, it’s Iowa, after all—and laughing at the idea that Minnesota could have two rivalry trophies at once? If you would like to write Minnesota Hate, drop a Fanpost tomorrow! We’ll front-page any appropriate work.
Question #1: Walleye Quesadillas?
Minnesota, like Libya, is a land of many contrasts.
Home to the Iron Range, vast pine forests, and rolling farmland, the state has a long heritage of in-state/out-state, up-state/down-state alliances and conflicts. As new populations have changed the demography and face of the state, though, this has even further complicated local dynamics and led to what historians like Annette Atkins have called “Walleye Quesadillas and the New Minnesota” in her 2008 work Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out.
So we ask: (1) Wouldja, and (2) What’s the “fusion food” that explains your home state’s changes?
Boilerman31: The combination of fish in a quesadilla brings up a couple of questions. Is the fish precooked before it’s placed into the quesadilla? How does it maintain it’s form while being sandwiched by a tortilla? That said, I would definitely give it a shot.
Fusion? In Indiana? The closest you might get is a restaurant that multiple culinary cultures represented.
BRT: Sure I’d try it. Fish tacos are good, right? Then again, this kind of assumes the walleye is nice and spicy, and this being Minnesota, it probably isn’t, so my hopes would be low. I’m not sure Nebraska has a real “fusion” cuisine that works as well as “Walleye Quesadilla” as an illustrative point, but you can get very good Vietnamese food (in Lincoln) and good Mexican food throughout the state thanks to the changing demographics that scare the Olds.
DJ: Sure, I’d try it. I don’t have high hopes though. Like BRT, I need some spice in that and everything I’ve heard of Minnesota cuisine tells me that isn’t happening. I’m not really sure if there is anything that really encompasses fusion well in Maryland. Maryland’s food, obviously, is crabs and they’re best served steamed and the bushel poured out over some butcher paper on a picnic table so you can go to town. Otherwise we use them in crabcakes, and I’m sure there are crab quesadillas but outside of the first two methods there isn’t something frequently used across the state for fusion food.
Jesse: I think it’s fairly established that I’d eat most anything, and so sure, Walleye Quesadillas can’t be all that bad. Still, I am a little leery of cheese and fish together.
As for fusion, in Nebraska, I find myself surprised by how good the Indian and Thai food in Omaha is, although that’s not necessarily embracing local Nebraska flare. The local Mexican restaurants are fascinating in that they are very ground-beef forward due to the propensity for midwesterners to love the hell out of a good ground-beef taco. That isn’t really a thing other places, I don’t think.
BrianB2: It is generally sacrilegious in Maryland to combine seafood and cheese, but I have definitely had a few variations on the ‘seafood quesadilla’ in my time, and I see no reason why I wouldn’t give this a shot.
As DJ eluded to, there is no ‘fusion food’ that I can really reference that encompasses the state of Maryland as a whole. However, Maryland is a pretty diverse place, I suppose, so finding twists on culinary classics is not necessarily a difficult thing to do. There is a place down the street from my place that puts all sorts of crazy shit in tacos, and they’re all delicious.
Creighton: I’m culinarily adventerous so I’d absolutely try walleye quesadillas, but I do not have high hopes about the mixture of cheese and fish. Just make fish tacos like civilized people, Minnesota.
I don’t know what Iowa fusion food would even be, but I came up with a few ideas that I would try:
- Loose meat sandwich, but with chorizo
- Teriyaki pork tenderloin sandwich
- Some bullshit with sweet corn. IDK, spring rolls?
[Edit: as soon as I wrote this I remembered we invented the Happy Joe’s Taco Pizza, a dish I absolutely hate, but it still counts.]
MNW: The closest I came when I thought of this—and shut up, I don’t owe you anything—was the various kinds of Blucys available at Blue Door Pub, specifically “The Islander”, a jucy lucy with Jamaican pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, and pineapple mango salsa. But those are kind of generic crossovers!
When one of the Blue Doors does a “Papaya Salad Blucy” with fatty Hmong sausage for the patties and topped with a papaya salad slaw...oh man, that Blue Door will have earned my money.
WSR: Yup! And let me tell you, the opportunities for fusion due to cultural crossover in Minnesota is incredible. At some point we’re going to combine Hmong cuisine and spices with Scandanavian bland utilitarian “food” and it’s going to be really really really good.
This poll is closed
Tell me more about this Hmong Blucy idea...
Question #2: How will the Gophers finish in 2019?
Dear God, what a gift of a schedule.
Nary a Power-5 school on the schedule, in true Masonian fashion, and a nice slow start to Big Ten play, with conference games at Purdue and home against Illinois before one test against Nebraska, then back-to-back East cupcakes (yes, I am aware Minnesota is 0 for their last two against Maryland). Could Minnesota enter November around 7-1 setting around #23? Feels like it’s 2002 all over again. I’m sure that run-in will end well, then.
So tell us: How do the Gophers do in 2019?
Bonus: What’s the toughest non-conference schedule without a P5 your team has played?
Thumpasaurus: First off, I’d just like to say...PIN. (Boilerman note: DAMN YOU, THUMP!)
I have them finishing at 7-5, but with five conference losses. I have them beating Illinois and The ‘Gers before beating Maryland to go 3-1 in October, at which point they’ll be 7-2 with a loss to Purdue. Can’t remember how I had them losing 3 of their last 4. Wisconsin might have been the win.
We usually have a non-con P5 team on the docket, but we’ve also had a run of scheduling G5 teams only for them to suddenly have very good seasons. Our 2016 game against the NY6 Western Michigan Broncos was scheduled over ten years in advance. USF had bottomed out at 3-9/2-10 when we scheduled them; Willie Taggart built a top-25 team there just in time for us to get them (albeit slightly diminished due to Charlie Strong taking it over). I don’t think we foresaw Cincinnati getting to #5 in the AP poll for our 2009 game against them. We played Louisiana Tech in their two winningest seasons since moving up to FBS competition. Thank God we missed Jordan Lynch by one year.
BRT: I think they’ll finish 7-5. They should win their entire non-con (though those Jackrabbits can be tricky…) and I think they’ll beat Illinois, Rutgers, Maryland, and one of the other West teams. That really is a pretty favorable schedule though, so 7-5 might feel a little disappointing. It also means that I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up with something like 9-3. As long as we keep The Chair though, I don’t really mind Minnesota doing well. Peej is obnoxious, but on the whole, Minny is definitely the least hateable Quadrangle team aside from mine. :)
I’m often baffled by the depth of knowledge of sports history the questions on here require, because I have basically no memory for that kind of thing. I remember the experience of certain games, but I don’t understand (and am frankly a little afraid of) the type of people who can just rattle off stuff like “Oh, 2003? Yeah, they went 8-4 and lost to _____, _______, and _______. And in the loss to _____, Mediocre QB was out for half the game with Random Reason, and his backup Worse QB came in.” Like, how do you remember all of that? Boggles the mind.
Anyway, last year’s OOC featured Colorado, who is ostensibly a P5 team, but otherwise, it seemed like it ended up being a pretty challenging slate. ;)
DJ: Wow that is quite the soft non-conference schedule. While everyone seems to be on the 7-5 train here, I think otherwise. Just as likely is Minnesota rolling into the Maryland game 5-2 to go 0-5 over their last five games. They’ve not showed up the last two games against Maryland and I don’t really have any reasons to think they start doing so.
They finally got the Axe back last year but I also don’t think they keep it unless Wisconsin starts doing very dumb things. We can only hope. I suppose they could beat Northwestern but Northwestern seems to lose stupid games early on and then go on to do things like beat Wisconsin and Iowa to win the West.
Jesse: So you’re going to Fresno State for a night game in a fucking semidesert to a Jeff Tedford team that has gone 22-6 in two seasons and who very much could have beaten you at your stadium last season. Let’s just not go ahead and chalk this up as a win yet, you know? That said, yes, this schedule is setup for a potentially clean slate unless you believe that Purdue is also ready to make noise in the West because everybody in the West thinks they are ready to make noise.
Bottom line, I’m on team 7-5 with two losses between @Fresno State, @Purdue, Nebraska and three between PSU, @Iowa, @NW, and Wisconsin. Forced to pick those five specific losses, I’m going @Fresno, Nebraska, PSU, @Iowa, and Wisconsin. They’re now going 9-3 and will beat the hell out of Nebraska. This is my punishment and I’m fine with it.
Creighton: This schedule is a gift, but I’m also not sure we know how good/bad the Fightin’ Flecks are going to be. They could head into November at 7-1, but they could also be 4-4. I figure Purdue, Nebraska, and Maryland are all coin flips. They might both be ugly games, but I think Minny beats both the Jackrabbits and the Bulldogs.
As easy as the start to the season is, the last 4 games of the schedule are pretty brutal and I think a 7-5 finish is about where I have this team.
MNW: First, I just want to mention how excited I am to watch that Fresno State game at 9pm on CBSSN. That is where Minnesota football ought to be, and I love it.
Minnesota is yet to lose a non-conference game under PJ Fleck, and I can’t see that starting this year, even though Jeff Tedford might have his shit together in Fresno and Chad Lunsford’s Georgia Southern is always something to behold. I promised that I would pick the Gophers to beat Georgia Southern if they beat Georgia Tech, and I am a man of my word. So 3-0 in the non-conference.
From there? It’s a backloaded schedule, and even that is being kind to Northwestern and Iowa. In the random number generator that is the Big Ten West, Minnesota surely could manage 9-3 (6-3) without really telling us much about them, or they could go 5-7 (2-7) and I wouldn’t bat an eye. But this is a team that should go bowling somewhere warm, very minimum, and probably somewhere in Florida around New Year’s Day.
The problem? I don’t buy that Minnesota’s got it figured out at quarterback. Maybe Tanner Morgan has really progressed in the last year and Zach Annexstad will be announcing his transfer to South Dakota before long (at least you’ll have a CFL career, Zach!), but a talented WR trio of Tyler Johnson & Co. can only do so much unless there’s a QB I trust to get the ball there. I think Peejus will bust out some wrinkles and set Morgan loose on the ground a little more, and the Gophers’ rush attack terrifies me. But facing that back half of the schedule, with Big Ten West tape-eaters itching for the chance to show up Peejus...gimme a three-game losing streak to close it out, and a 7-5 (4-5) record overall.
BrianB2: If the Jackrabbits can beat Kansas, than they can beat Minnesota! Fresno State did go 12-2 last year, butttttt looks like they lost their entire offense to graduation, so the Gophers probably shouldn’t be too worried about that. Purdue, Nebraska and Maryland are no gimmes either.
Minnesota seems pretty confident going into this year, and I am not exactly sure why, but as a Maryland grad, I am unable to feel confident about a college football team. This is definitely a 5 to 7 win football team, and I don’t see them being much better than that. Is this what a hot take is?
WSR: The non-conf won’t be as daunting as it kinda feels like it could be (BECAUSE MINNESOTA HURR DURR) since we’ve already shown that triple option isn’t an issue, Fresno completely reloads, and somehow we never lose the Thursday night curtain jerker. The Purdue game in year 0 for Brohm and Fleck was close until the last minute in West Lafayette, and then last year happened.
Illinois is absolutely circled on the calendar by Peejus for vengeance, the Nebraska game will be amazingly fun for the neutrals, Rutgers is Rutgers, Maryland would concern me more if they had a coaching staff, Rossi vs. the genius that is Brian Ferentz will be awesome, Northwestern worries me because you should never wrestle with a pig since they enjoy it, and wisconsin is trash with a RB.
Anything worse than 8-4 should be very concerning, even though some stupid things will happen over the course of the year. Enjoy the chaos, enjoy the crazy, enjoy the stupid. See you in Indy, B1G East champs. Let’s go with 10-2, with a loss to PSU and ????.
And quite honestly, I think this could be the toughest non-conf we’ve played without a P5 opponent. Mason’s routine would be to schedule Fun Belt, MACTION, CUSA, and some other dreck. At least there’s some actual reason to recognize that everyone here is good for their level.
How will the Gophers finish in the B1G in 2019?
This poll is closed
2-7 or worse, meaning they lose to two of Rutgers, Illinois, and Maryland
7-2, a conference loss total which Minnesota has not achieved or bettered since 1967.
Sure, I’ve ignored all logic and reason: 8-1 or better!