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P.J. Fleck Named Minnesota Head Football Coach: 5 Provocative Musings

P.J. Fleck Named Minnesota Head Football Coach: 5 Provocative Musings


Minnesota was able to get P.J. Fleck away from Western Michigan. Here are five provocative musings on one of the biggest hires on the coaching carousel.


Now the Big Ten West has the new IT head coach

Jim Harbaugh is so 2016.

Now the Gophers have the freshest, most energetic head coach in thr Big Ten, getting a guy in Fleck who could’ve and should’ve been offered the Purdue gig before Jeff Brohm took over, and is a far better prospect than D.J. Durkin was when Maryland got him last year, or Chris Ash when he took over at Rutgers.

More than that, Minnesota has the hottest coach in the West – he’s going to be the big story every week this season, which is exactly what the program needs. It needs a buzz that Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys – as good as they were – never generated. He also brings a …

Breath of fresh air

Minnesota isn’t Baylor in terms of its scandal, and it sure isn’t dealing with a Penn State situation, but in the day and age of universities being sharper when it comes to heading off scandals at the pass, it quickly moved on as a school and a football program.

Minnesota needed this after things quickly spiraled out of control, needing to get past a bad situation that was misguided at generous best, and even though no charges were filed, potentiallly criminally icky at worst.

Had Claeys handled the boycott situation better, and had he not erroneously backed the players like he did, he’d still be the head coach after a strong nine-win season. But the program just upgraded. Again, it got the hot coach.

Minnesota is going to have a real, live passing game

But Minnesota doesn’t get potential NFL star WR Corey Davis from Western Michigan, along with Fleck.

The Cotton Bowl against Wisconsin is what Minnesota is going to want in the Big Ten – a mix of power and toughness on the ground, along with a dangerous and fearless passing attack to add more to the offensife equation than Kill/Claeys showed over the last several years.

Kill/Claeys got the Gophers as far as they could. Fleck has the upside to actually win the Wesr with the right pieces. But, he’ll have to …

Recruit, recruit, recruit

And he can’t do it with Minnesota players.

No one will be more tireless and feisty on the recruiting trail, and he’ll have to do it on a national scale to get the passers and talents he’ll need to make Minnesota a real player. He won’t get the five-star talents Michigan and Ohio State go after, but he’ll be able to offer a unique situation with the big city atmosphere and potential to make an immediate impact.

Want to play for a fun New Year’s Six coach? Here you go. Again, Minnesota can sell the fresh new coach angle, because it was able to …

Get the guy who’s on the way up, but …

How interesting would Les Miles have been?

Miles might be older and be seen as a retread, but if Fleck isn’t fantastic, and next year at this time we’re taking about Miles at a high-profile gig with a top 15 recruiting class on the way, this is going to look like a major misfire.

But again, it’s a good, fun, splashy move getting the young superstar prospect who appears to be on the way up as the next superstar from the MAC – think Urban, not Beckman.

Miles would’ve been safe, but Fleck is the shot for the stars.

Row the boat … and Ski-U-Mah