It’s Monday in Minnesota, and it was another whirlwind weekend in Minnesota sports - certainly a weekend full of emotional roller coasters, for sports fans in the upper Midwest.

With this in mind, let’s rank who had the worst weekend in Minnesota sports, from “no this was actually a really good weekend” to “total garbage, let’s never speak of this again.”

10. Minnesota United FC

Teemu Pukki scored four goals, the first Loon to ever do so, and Minnesota hammered a bad version of the Los Angeles Galaxy 5-2. Dayne St. Clair might actually have been the second star of the game; he made three or four huge saves. Yours truly covered the game for the Pioneer Press, so please go read the gamer for all the details, and to make the editors think I did a good job and they should have me cover the games some more.

9. Gophers Women’s Hockey

It’s probably going to be a rebuilding year for the Gophers, who lost Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle from a pretty good team that came up a little short last year.

They started this season with a trip to RIT, for reasons I can’t quite understand; RIT is not a powerhouse. They do not play in a key recruiting area for the Gophers. I have no idea what Minnesota gets out of a season-opening trip to Rochester, New York, to play a team that was 4-26-2 last season, and finished last in the CHA, behind such powerhouse programs as Lindenwood and Syracuse.

Anyway the Gophers won 3-0 and 5-1, in front of packed crowds of 659 and 488. Minnesota out-shot RIT 41-17 and 45-19. And presumably they got the fun of visiting the Rochester metropolitan area.

8. Gophers Men’s Hockey

They beat Bemidji State 5-2 in an exhibition game, and if you can figure out why the Gophers are playing an in-state rival in an exhibition game, you’re a better person than I am.

Next week, they play St. Thomas in a game that is not an exhibition game, and is in fact at the Xcel Energy Center; it’s a doubleheader, with both the Gophers men and women taking on UST next weekend, although the men play the second game of the series at Mariucci Arena; the women have to play at St. Thomas. Who is scheduling the Gophers women’s hockey team, anyway?

Rhett Pitlick and Oliver Moore both scored twice for the Gophers. It’s good to see Moore get a fast start, given that he’s pretty much going to have to be a one-for-one replacement for Logan Cooley this season.

7. Pablo López and Derek Falvey and Thad Levine (and I guess, the rest of the Minnesota Twins)

The Twins lost game 1 of the ALDS, as Bailey Ober gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw and the Twins never recovered, including putting up a vintage 1-for-12 performance with runners in scoring position. It was a throwback to the first half of the season, when having a runner on second base was a weird voodoo thing that turned every Twins hitter into a pumpkin.

It’s safe to say there were alarms going off heading into Game 2, with people making jokes like “well, 17 more to go before we can win another one,” but Pablo López and Carlos Correa ended all that talk on Sunday night. López threw seven shutout innings and only appeared to be getting stronger as the game went on; the third time through the Astros order, all Houston got was a weird busted-bat bloop to left that fell in between the shortstop and the left fielder.

It was, frankly, one of the best post-season pitching performances in Twins history. The last Twin to throw seven shutout innings in a postseason game was Johan Santana, López’s childhood hero from Venezuela; now the two stand alongside each other in Twins history.

Correa, who has been entirely reborn in the postseason, was everywhere again for Minnesota. He walked and had three hits, including two doubles and a bases-loaded single; all three hits came with runners on base. He also made one of his best defensive plays of the year, diving to his right and somehow getting to his feet and firing to get Jeremy Peña at first base.

The Twins’ front office has a lot of strikes against them - Christian Vázquez, Joey Gallo, Tyler Mahle, et cetera. But trading for López, and signing Correa to a one-year contract in 2022 (which was the only reason they got him back in 2023, after New York and San Francisco punted on his medical exams), stood up on Sunday night as two of the better moves the Twins have ever made.

If Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan win games 3 and 4, possibly with Max Kepler hitting a home run or two, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are going to be strutting through the streets of Minneapolis.

6. Jared Spurgeon and the Minnesota Wild

Spurgeon, one of the best regular-season players in Wild history, got hurt and will miss the first three weeks of the year. Apart from anything else that happened during the Wild’s preseason, this is both big news, and trouble. Minnesota now rolls into the opening week of the season with Alex Goligoski and Jake Middleton on a defensive pairing, which is maybe not the ideal.

The Wild begin the season for real on Thursday. Their main pre-season activity was re-signing all of their veterans to longer-term contracts, including Marcus Foligno, Ryan Hartman, and Mats Zuccarello. It seems like Bill Guerin is betting that he has the right team in place already, to finally make that playoff run that Wild fans have been waiting two decades for; for the health of his career, he’d better be right.

5. The Abu Dhabi Timberwolves

The Wolves won both of their preseason games against Dallas in Abu Dhabi, but more importantly for them, didn’t seem to take a whole lot of flak for being part of a fairly obvious sportswashing trip. Maybe they’re hoping to get an investment from Manchester City?

4. Adrian Heath

He lost his job this week because, basically, his team could never finish its chances at home (please click and read that Star Tribune online-only article, which I wrote).

Then, on Saturday, his team went out at home and finished pretty much every scoring chance it got, beat the Galaxy, and stayed alive for a potential playoff berth.

If I was Heath, and I was watching that game, I would have broken my TV from throwing things.

3. Gophers Volleyball

They lost at Maryland and at Rutgers over the weekend. This is like, well, the Gophers football team losing back-to-back games against Maryland and Rutgers. The wheels are coming off for Keegan Cook in his first season, as Minnesota’s lost three in a row and four of its last five. Michigan (on the road) and Northwestern (at home) are next, and if the Gophers dump either one of those… hoo boy.

2. The Vikings

Two things can be true at once: the Vikings can be kind of embarrassing, and they can also get absolutely jobbed by the referee crew. It can be both! It doesn’t have to be one or the other!

The refs bailed out Kansas City with a borderline pass-interference call, then picked up a flag that would have bailed out the Vikings. They ruled Travis Kelce down when the ball bounced out of his hands and to a Vikings defender, even though by absolutely any interpretation, if the ball had hit the ground, the pass would have been ruled incomplete. (That they failed to overturn this on review was particularly galling, as was listening to the announcing crew say things like “you can see the ball doesn’t move at all when he hits the ground” over a replay that was currently showing the ball squirting out of his hands when he hit the ground.)

But that doesn’t excuse the Vikings burning a timeout early in the second half because they didn’t break the huddle quickly enough. Or burning another one because they didn’t call a defensive play for a fourth-down chance for Kansas City. Or by taking a delay-of-game penalty on fourth-and-seven at the end of the game, because they couldn’t get a play in to Kirk Cousins quickly enough to line up. Or fumbling - AGAIN! - on the first play of the game.

The Vikings might not be that talented, as a team (outside of the offensive skill positions). But some of this is on their coaches, who - now that we’re 23 games into their tenure in Minnesota - are not that impressive.

Minnesota is 1-4. They might lose to Chicago on Sunday. God help us all.

1. Gophers Football

The Gophers are not some up-and-coming program. This is the seventh year under PJ Fleck, with a program that’s gone 11-2, 9-4, and 9-4 in the last three non-Covid seasons.

The Gophers should not be losing 52-10 to anyone at home, no matter how good Michigan might be. They should not be giving up and running the ball the whole game, in the hopes of not losing 70-0. Put the blame wherever you like - on Fleck, on the new world of college football, wherever.

The Big Ten’s 18-team setup is patently unworkable, and suddenly it seems actually possible that they’d create a two-division conference with promotion and relegation. If so, the Gophers are clearly making an early push to volunteer to start in the second division.

This was a true embarrassment for Minnesota.