What is P.J. Fleck’s Big Ten Record?

    One of the most enigmatic and successful serving college football coaches, what is PJ Fleck's Big Ten record as the head coach of Minnesota?

    During his time at Western Michigan and with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, P.J. Fleck has established himself as one of the most enigmatic and highly-regarded coaches in college football.

    Early in the 2023 season, his seventh at the helm of the Golden Gophers, he has compiled a winning record as a head coach, but what is Fleck’s Big Ten record?

    What is P.J. Fleck’s Big Ten Record?

    After beating Nebraska in the 2023 college football season-opener, Fleck has a 27-26 winning record in the Big Ten as the Minnesota head coach.

    Now into his 11th season as a head coach across stints with Western Michigan and Minnesota, his overall record is an impressive 76-49 (.608).

    Fleck’s overall record as the Minnesota head coach is 46-30, while he’s 4-0 in bowl games with the Gophers. That record is currently good enough for fifth amongst current head coaches — a list led by Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, followed by Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.

    Below is Fleck’s season-by-season Big Ten record as the head coach at Minnesota.

    2017 Big Ten Record: 2-7

    In his first season at the Minnesota helm, Fleck opened the campaign 3-0 with out-of-conference wins over Buffalo, Oregon State, and Middle Tennessee State. However, when it came to Big Ten play, he mustered just two wins — over Nebraska and Illinois — as he compiled a 2-7 Big Ten record.

    2018 Big Ten Record: 3-6

    In a similar story to his debut season as Minnesota head coach, Fleck guided the Golden Gophers to an unbeaten out-of-conference record to start 2018. The program then went 0-4 in Big Ten play before picking up two wins — Indiana and Purdue — in three games. A win at Wisconsin earned Fleck a 3-6 Big Ten record but crucially secured bowl eligibility for the Gophers.

    2019 Big Ten Record: 7-2

    2019 was the season that earned Fleck his reputation as one of the top coaches in college football. Engineering one of the most successful seasons in program history, Minnesota was ranked as high as seventh by the AP and eighth by the CFB Playoff committee. The Gophers won their first six Big Ten games, with just two losses — Iowa and Wisconsin — in conference play.

    2020 Big Ten Record: 3-4

    Minnesota played a Big Ten-only schedule in the globally disrupted 2020 college football season, losing to Michigan on opening day. Further losses to Maryland, Iowa, and Wisconsin outstripped wins over Illinois, Purdue, and Nebraska, plunging Fleck’s Big Ten record at Minnesota further below .500.

    2021 Big Ten Record: 6-3

    After the setback of 2020, Fleck rebounded by delivering a 5-3 Big Ten record as part of a 9-4 season for Minnesota. The Golden Gophers dropped a Big Ten game early, opening the season with a Thursday night defeat to Ohio State. A four-game win streak led them into November with a 4-1 Big Ten record. Losses to Illinois and Iowa proved costly, but the Gophers finished strong.

    2022 Big Ten Record: 5-4

    For the first time in his Minnesota tenure, Fleck led the Golden Gophers to a winning Big Ten record in consecutive seasons, winning five conference games during the 2022 season. His team had to rally in November, with defeats to Purdue, Illinois, and Penn State seeing them drop to 1-3. A win at Wisconsin in the last game of 2022 sealed the record and a Pinstripe Bowl berth.

    2023 Big Ten Record: 1-0

    Fleck and Minnesota opened their 2023 Big Ten campaign in much the same way they left it in 2022, with a win. Despite huge expectations for a Nebraska team led by new head coach Matt Rhule, the Gophers rallied late to deliver a crushing blow to the Cornhuskers and get the season off to a flying start. The rest of the story, and Fleck’s Big Ten record, is to be continued.

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