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HTS 2018: The Last One

Throwback to teams we have never played, we’re up to four. Seems like Louisville was a long, long time ago now.

Georgia v Georgia Tech
Gonna miss the big boss.
Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Welcome to From the Rumble Seat’s weekly historical matchup lecture. Throughout the season, each unit in this class will examine the head-to-head matchups of our opponents in the 2018 season. With one last game to play, that means one last look at the team across the field. For the fourth time this season, we will square off against a team we have never faced before, the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Opponent Background:

  • Conference: Big Ten Conference (1896 - present)
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • All-time Record: 678–513–42 (.567)
  • Home Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium (Capacity: 50,805)
  • National Championships: 7 — 1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1960
  • College Football Playoff Appearances: N/A
  • New Year’s Six Bowl Games: 2 — (Rose: 2 - 1960, 1961)
  • Conference Championships: 18 — (IAAN: 1892, 1893 Big Ten: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1915, 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1960, 1967)
  • Division Championships: N/A
  • 2017 Season Record: 5 - 7 (2 - 7 Big Ten)

Past Results:

  • Team Head-to-Head Record: 0-0-0 (N/A)
  • Recent Meetings: N/A
  • Coach Head-to-Head Record: 0-0-0 (N/A)
  • Tech record against in this week’s venue: 0-0-0 (N/A)

2018 Football Schedule

Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
September 1 12:30 p.m. Alcorn State Southwestern Athletic 2-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 41 - 0 W FCS
September 8 12:00 p.m. @ South Florida American Athletic 0-1-0 Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL 38 - 49 L First Meeting, Group of Five
September 15 12:30 p.m. @ Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast 5-8-0 Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA 19 - 24 L
September 22 3:30 p.m. Clemson Atlantic Coast 50-31-2 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 21 - 49 L Rivalry, Hall of Fame Day
September 29 12:00 p.m. Bowling Green Mid-American 1-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 63 - 17 W First Meeting, Family Weekend, Group of Five
October 5 7:00 p.m. @ Louisville Atlantic Coast 1-0-0 Cardinal Stadium - Louisville, KY 66 - 31 W First Meeting
October 13 12:20 p.m. Duke Atlantic Coast 51-34-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 14 - 28 L Homecoming
October 25 7:30 p.m. @ VPISU Atlantic Coast 7-9-0 Lane Stadium - Blacksburg, VA 49 - 28 W Rivalry
November 3 12:15 p.m. @ North Carolina Atlantic Coast 30-21-3 Kenan Memorial Stadium - Chapel Hill, NC 38 - 28 W
November 10 7:00 p.m. Miami Atlantic Coast 12-12-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 27 - 21 W Whiteout
November 17 3:30 p.m. Virginia Atlantic Coast 21-19-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 30 - 27 W (OT) Senior Day
November 24 12:00 p.m. @ u[sic]ga Southeastern 44-67-5 Sanford Stadium - Athens, GA 45 - 21 L Rivalry
December 26 5:15 p.m. vs. Minnesota Big Ten 0-0-0 Ford Field - Detroit, MI - First Meeting

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

No, seriously, what has Minnesota done lately? Their first year of organized football was in 1882, but their first salaried head coach, signaling the birth of a true program. And what a program it was, rattling off a national championship, with two more unclaimed, and eight Big Ten titles in the first fifteen seasons of play. The golden age of Minnesota football, though, would come after the roaring twenties, when they built the red brick palace known as Memorial Stadium on campus. The Depression years were kind to the Gophers, with three more national titles joined by two more during World War II. Their streak of three straight titles in the thirties remains the last time any team in FBS football equalled such a feat. Their last season of legitimate national prominence came in 1960, when they were crowned champions despite later being upset in the Rose Bowl by Washington. Their first and only to-date win in a bowl of any major magnitude was in the Rose Bowl the next season, when they advanced to Pasadena thanks to Ohio State’s declination of the bid, allowing the second-place Gophers a trip to the granddaddy of them all. Their most recent conference title came in 1967, when they tied Purdue and Indiana atop the table. What a wild concept. Despite the Big Ten spending years not allowing teams to appear in a Rose Bowl in consecutive years, not even that could help Minnesota, and the “only one team to a bowl” policy did them no favors either. A mediocre football team was sloughed off to the Metrodome in 1981 and, despite ominous signs in their first three season there, the Lou Holtz premise that “athletes want to play in the dome!” kept them in the Metrodome until the completion of TCF Bank Stadium, restoring Minnesota’s on-campus stadium after the 2008 season. The reason behind the initial move was that the brand-new NFL venue was expected to be nicer and attndance was expected to be better with the increased protection from the elements in late-fall Minnesota. The gorgeous aquatic center was built into the open end of the horseshoe stadium, sealing its demise and the on-campus home of the Gophers was no more. The move to the Metrodome was, to borrow a phrase, a dismal failure in the long run, hurting fan support, student access, and revenue brought in to the team, which was mediocre at best. Their 10-3 season in 2003 was their first ten win season since 1905. Since the move back to campus, which was definitely a positive development, they have played slightly above average and yielded a return to bowl eligibility under second year head coach P.J. Fleck.

As far as Tech football history goes, From the Rumble Seat has been taking a biweekly look at football history since the beginning of the summer over at Rearview Mirror. And it hasn’t changed much since last week. The short version is that Tech football began ignominiously with a middling season in 1892. A game up in Athens in 1893, which Tech won, set the stage for one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport and also is one of the mythic origins of the Ramblin’ Wreck nickname, as well as how Tech got its colors. Tech was pitiful, to put it nicely, for quite some time until one man, Frank Turner, started an initiative to hire a bonafide legend as a football coach. That resulted in John Heisman. Heisman, innovator and champion, saw much success on the Flats until he dramatically left town as part of his divorce. The old man was replaced by William Alexander, who was known for his team’s strong academics and his own 1928 national championship. Coach Alex was, in turn, replaced by his own protege Bobby Dodd. By the end of Dodd’s tenure, Tech had amassed three national championships, twelve conference championships, including five in the Southeastern Conference, which just mean more, and had decided to go independent to make a stand not only for its football prominence, but its foundational academic principles as well. Dodd and Tech would not sacrifice student-athlete education and well-being. The independent years were lean for Tech and did not result in the dream of a “Notre Dame of the South” status. Eventually, Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in the beginning of the 1980s. By the end of the decade, coach Bobby Ross brought the Jackets seemingly from nowhere to win a national championship, Tech’s fourth. Since then, the Jackets have seen average-to-great years, the most recent excellent year being 2014, when Tech was a few plays from the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Jackets have an all-time record of 730-495-43.

Tech and Minnesota have, frankly, no history in this sport, but we did beat them in baseball 3-2 at Russ Chandler Stadium last year, so that’s fun.

The Jackets have been through a lot since they last took the field, losing to the polite and well-behaved Athenians on the gridiron, as well as losing Paul Johnson to retirement. But, in the same vein, they’ve also gained a mighty new leader in Geoff Collins, so not all bad. Toe meets leather this week against Minnesota (0-0-0 all time) tomorrow at 5:15 pm. The game will be aired on ESPN or over the radio at the usual suspects, 680 AM / 93.7 FM and the Georgia Tech IMG Football Radio Network.

With the appearance of the historical matchup preview, that means it’s Monday at 10:00 AM. Merry Christmas! Tune in early tomorrow for How to Watch continuing through the gameday thread and the postgame recap. Less than 36 hours until toe meets leather! As always, go Jackets!