Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bulldogs win Div. II Championship!

Congratulations to my alma mater, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, champions of Division II college football in 2008!

The Bulldogs bested the SW Missouri State Bearcats, 21-14, in today's championship game, but the game wasn't nearly as close as it might have appeared. I only watched the second half, but based on the commentary and highlights from the first half, the Bulldogs dominated the Bearcats defensively, forcing four turnovers and notching six sacks. One of SWMS's touchdowns came on an interception return, and the other on a late desperation drive. SWMS actually outgained the Bulldogs, 301 yards to 272, but you wouldn't have known it by watching the game.

In winning the championship, the Bulldogs capped off a perfect 15-0 season (and remember, those big, tough, BCS schools can't possibly have a playoff because 14 or 15 games would just be too hard on them!). Their smallest margin of victory in the regular season was 17 points, but it was a lot closer in the playoffs, with victories of 20-10, 19-13 (in OT), and today's 21-14 win (along with a 45-7 blowout). All this came after just a four-win season in 2007. Meanwhile, SW Missouri State becomes the Buffalo Bills of college football, losing their fourth straight Div II championship game.

For those who don't know, the University of Minnesota-Duluth (or "UMD," and that's not the University of Maryland!) is a nearly entirely enclosed campus, meaning that most of the dorms and buildings of the campus are connected by tunnels. You can see it on this map; the gray area in the middle is the bulk of the campus, and it's entirely interconnected, and, unless they've changed things in the 12 years since I was last there, those dorms to the left (just below J2) are connected as well.

That's a big help in a town where the average low temperature in January is 1 degree above zero -- and it's usually below average, with plentiful snow. My freshman year, we had about 40 inches of snow on Halloween. That was a Thursday. Classes were cancelled on Friday but picked up as usual next week. Except to grab a delivered pizza, I didn't go outside until the next weekend, and I didn't have to in order to eat in the dinner hall of go to classes.

I can also remember winter days with regular temps of -30 wind chills of -60 to -70. The heat went out in my apartment one night around midnight. I called the office because this definitely qualified as an "emergency." I went to bed as the workers arrived to fix the problem. I wore sweats, jeans, a sweatshirt, jacket, hat, and gloves, and an extra blanket. Not a good night.

Then there's the story about picking vomit out of someone's car at 1 a.m. in -20 weather. But I won't go into that one. You're probably already cold.


Anonymous said...

nice post! you're the 2nd viking blog i've seen that was nice enough to mention the dogs' romp. the kicked butt! see that you're an alum. my daughter did her first two years of college at UMD, then completed her teaching degree at st. cloud.
thought i was the only one who said the normal temp here was 20 degrees below normal. lol.
we're having a "lovely" day today - winter storm. supposed to have wind chills of -30 to -40 tomorrow. actual temp, right now, is -6. no idea what chill factor is, but es ist SEHR kald!
i really like your blog. nice to see it's from someone with northern mn connection.

Jason said...

I live in Charlotte now. It's cute how everyone panics when the temp drops below freezing.