Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.Find Chip on Facebook.
Pick any superlative and it applies to the performance put forth by a unit that became so overwhelmed and deflated that P.J. Fleck had no choice but to fire defensive coordinator Robb Smith this week.
Unless there were personality clashes behind the scenes that we're not privy to, this move doesn't make sense, other than Derek Falvey and Thad Levine wanted their own hand-picked manager.
The Vikings looked totally and utterly unprepared to play in a 27-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Listed as 16½-point favorites, the Vikings played as poorly as any team could possibly look in digging a crater in the first half.
There are a lot of subplots to the Gophers' season opener against Buffalo. Here are a half-dozen players to keep an eye on during the game.
Jonathan Donath, a New Yorker who grew up in St. Louis Park, can rattle off the six most memorable days of his life in a matter of seconds.
Among other things, Gophers running back Rodney Smith talked about how things have changed under coach P.J. Fleck away from the football field.
It's unclear how long his stay will last, but Jason Wheeler savored his first opportunity in the big leagues after being in the minors since 2012.
Former Gophers football captain and coach will be honored for overcoming dire medical problems.
Nate Mason had a nightmarish outing as the Gophers looked disjointed for all but a brief spurt late in the second half Thursday.
Gophers defense should help them advance in the NCAA Tournament. Reggie Lynch must stay out of foul trouble and Nate Mason needs to play like a first-team All-Big Ten selection.
Mike Sherels said Saturday morning that new Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck has informed him that he won't be part of his coaching staff. But Sherels remains hopeful that he will find a spot on Fleck's staff eventually.
Linebacker coach Mike Sherels embodies everything about Gophers football. He loves this program, this school and this state.
Fleck's Row The Boat mantra and quirky motivational tactics will draw a lot of attention, but we shoudn't lose sight of something else.
The Big Ten should review all targeting penalties before imposing discipline. The Gophers will be without senior linebacker Nick Rallis for Saturday's first half at Nebraska because of a questionable call.
Les Miles fired at LSU four games into season.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson has emerged as a Heisman frontrunner and the talk of college football in leading Louisville to No. 3 in the AP poll this week.
The decision that changed the Vikings opener didn't come Sunday, but when the organization drafted Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter in back-to-back rounds
Season openers always bring extra intrigue because it's our first look at new players, new schemes and whether returning veterans made any discernible improvement.
Jody Adams played point guard for Pat Summitt on the 1991 national championship team and was a Gophers assistant from 1997-2000. She's now the women's coach at Wichita State and wrote a tribute to her mentor.
Lakeville North senior has participated in nine consecutive state tournaments in three different sports