South Dakota pulls off major football upset

South Dakotans are giddy this week about the University of South Dakota’s 48-31 upset Saturday of the University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota is a long-established Division I institution that plays in the Big Ten Conference, one of the top leagues in the nation. The University of South Dakota is in just its third season of Division I play after moving up from Division II.

To help you further appreciate the gravity of this upset, here are some factoids:

  • If the nearly 50,000 people who attended the game Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis all moved to South Dakota and established a city, it would be the third-largest city in the state.
  • Minnesota’s population: 5,266,214. South Dakota’s population: 812,383.
  • Capacity of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium: 50,805. Capacity of USD’s Dakotadome: 10,000.
  • Minnesota Division I football national championships: six. South Dakota Division I football national championships: zero. 
  • Minnesota and USD have played 10 times, but this was their first game against each other since 1930, when Minnesota won 59-0.
  • Minnesota’s next opponent is the University of Southern California, which is one of the top football programs in the nation. USD’s next opponent is not a Division I or Division II school, but rather Northwest Oklahoma State of the NAIA.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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