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  1. #1

    Default Early Big Ten Football Predictions for 2019 (Big Ten West: #5. Minnesota)

    per Athlon:

    5. Minnesota

    Minnesota enters coach P.J. Fleck’s third year as a program on the rise for 2019. The Golden Gophers closed out the 2018 campaign by winning three out of their last four games, including a rivalry matchup against Wisconsin and the bowl contest versus Georgia Tech. Fleck’s 2019 team features one of the Big Ten’s deepest backfields. Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith return from injury to team with a promising freshman tandem from ’18 in Bryce Williams and Mohamed Ibrahim. Receiver Tyler Johnson might be one of college football’s most underrated players after catching 78 passes for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He’s joined outside by a trio of talented receivers who saw major snaps as freshmen in 2018, including Rashod Bateman (51 catches). Quarterbacks Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad showed promise as freshmen and will compete for the job in spring practice. Left tackle Donnell Greene and center Jared Weyler leave big shoes to fill up front, but freshmen Daniel Faalele and Blaise Andries provide a foundation to build around in 2019. Minnesota’s defense played better after Joe Rossi assumed the play-calling duties in November and will have a chance to build off that finish next fall. Linebacker Blake Cashman is the biggest loss on this side of the ball, but Carter Coughlin (15 TFL) is back, and safety Antoine Winfield returns after missing nearly all of 2018 due to injury. Minnesota has a favorable crossover with home games against Penn State and Maryland, along with a road trip to Rutgers on tap. Road matchups at Purdue, Iowa and Northwestern are slated for next fall, but Wisconsin and Nebraska come to Minneapolis.

    https://athlonsports.com/college-foo...ons-early-2019

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post
    per Athlon:

    5. Minnesota

    Minnesota enters coach P.J. Fleck’s third year as a program on the rise for 2019. The Golden Gophers closed out the 2018 campaign by winning three out of their last four games, including a rivalry matchup against Wisconsin and the bowl contest versus Georgia Tech. Fleck’s 2019 team features one of the Big Ten’s deepest backfields. Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith return from injury to team with a promising freshman tandem from ’18 in Bryce Williams and Mohamed Ibrahim. Receiver Tyler Johnson might be one of college football’s most underrated players after catching 78 passes for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He’s joined outside by a trio of talented receivers who saw major snaps as freshmen in 2018, including Rashod Bateman (51 catches). Quarterbacks Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad showed promise as freshmen and will compete for the job in spring practice. Left tackle Donnell Greene and center Jared Weyler leave big shoes to fill up front, but freshmen Daniel Faalele and Blaise Andries provide a foundation to build around in 2019. Minnesota’s defense played better after Joe Rossi assumed the play-calling duties in November and will have a chance to build off that finish next fall. Linebacker Blake Cashman is the biggest loss on this side of the ball, but Carter Coughlin (15 TFL) is back, and safety Antoine Winfield returns after missing nearly all of 2018 due to injury. Minnesota has a favorable crossover with home games against Penn State and Maryland, along with a road trip to Rutgers on tap. Road matchups at Purdue, Iowa and Northwestern are slated for next fall, but Wisconsin and Nebraska come to Minneapolis.

    https://athlonsports.com/college-foo...ons-early-2019

    Go Gophers!!
    I read the Minnesota capsule at #5 and then I read the Iowa capsule at #1, and they hadn't ranked them that way I would have sworn that based on what they wrote they would have had the rankings reversed.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbandale View Post
    I read the Minnesota capsule at #5 and then I read the Iowa capsule at #1, and they hadn't ranked them that way I would have sworn that based on what they wrote they would have had the rankings reversed.
    Yeah, I think the first part of Iowa's sums it up, not a lot of difference #1 through #5.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Minnesota
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    4,192

    Default

    Definitely a program on the rise, to use their description. Athlon predicts the Gophers will rise from fifth place in 2018 all the way to fifth place in 2019. If their prediction turns out to be correct, is that enough to get Fleck the B1G coach of the year?

  5. #5

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    Athlon is always worth a snicker. You’ve got to hand them one thing - they are consistent.

  6. #6

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    Behind Nebraska in Frosts's year 2? I dont think so.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    7,469
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    The average Big ten West Finish between 2010 and 2017 for the Gophers is 5th Place. That is if you extrapolate the data for all the teams in B1GW for the years they were in the Legends and Leaders Division.

    With the ascendancy of Nebraska and Purdue, it will be one heck of a dog fight. PJ Fleck has to elevate the recruiting so that the Gophers at least try get to the top 25-30 class. You are talking about one or two extra players that are game changers per class.

    They have to start winning more games and get better recruits.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post
    The average Big ten West Finish between 2010 and 2017 for the Gophers is 5th Place. That is if you extrapolate the data for all the teams in B1GW for the years they were in the Legends and Leaders Division.

    With the ascendancy of Nebraska and Purdue, it will be one heck of a dog fight. PJ Fleck has to elevate the recruiting so that the Gophers at least try get to the top 25-30 class. You are talking about one or two extra players that are game changers per class.

    They have to start winning a lot more games to get better recruits.
    FIFY. Recruiting classes ranked inside of 30 would be welcomed no doubt, Fleck and Co ability to develop and coach up players will be the difference in Gophs level of success in the B1G West.

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