If what Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is telling us is true. . .and, hey, we have no reason to believe that it's not. . .for the first time in seventy-eight seasons, the Minnesota Golden Gophers will end their season with a game that will not be played for a trophy.
And we have the new Big Ten realignment to thank for it.
The Golden Gophers have four trophy games on their schedule. . .the Governor's Victory Bell that is contested with Penn State, Paul Bunyan's Axe with Wisconsin, the Little Brown Jug against Michigan, and Floyd of Rosedale against Iowa. Since 1932, every Gophers' season has ended with Goldy taking on either Wisconsin or Iowa.
According to Miller, however, the Gophers' finale for this season will be a home game against the Illinois Fighting Illini. In the three years following that, starting in 2012, the Gophers will finish the season against the Michigan State Spartans.
Also, in another strange scheduling wrinkle. . .and much to the chagrin of our own Ted Glover, I'm sure. . .the Gophers won't play the Ohio State Buckeyes again until 2015. As Miller points out, considering that the Gophers have lost 36 of the last 38 meetings against the Buckeyes, that might be for the best.