Iowa football: Are the Gophers actually a legitimate B1G West contender?

hungan1

Well-known member
What they are saying downwind.

Iowa football: Are the Gophers actually a legitimate B1G West contender?
FanSided "Dear Old Gold" Column - Andrew Wade, 10/22/2019

With Minnesota undefeated seven games into the season, we need to ask the question. Should Iowa football fans actually be worried about the Gophers?

If you’re a Minnesota Gophers fan, you’re not going to like what I am about to say so maybe just stop reading? Theoretically, the Gophers are a team the Iowa football team should be worried about as they attempt to win the Big Ten West, but talent-wise, they are not.

Minnesota has arguably the best schedule of all Big Ten West teams, and until this point, they have had zero competition.

Let me rattle off the wins that Minnesota has:

South Dakota State 28-21
Fresno State 38-35 2OT
Georgia Southern 35-32
Illinois 40-17
Purdue 38-31
Nebraska 34-7
Rutgers 42-7
That’s seven wins against teams that are a combined 22-25 and six of those wins are coming from FCS program South Dakota State. Two of Illinois’ wins were against Akron and Connecticut who have one win combined between them. Yes, the Wisconsin win was nice, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

Rutgers is garbage and Nebraska looks at least another year away from actually competing for a Big Ten West title. Purdue is probably the best team on this list and they are 2-5 after dropping a close game to the Iowa football team this past week.

Now to be fair to Minnesota, being undefeated at this point is quite an accomplishment. The rigorous college football season is always good for one or two crazy upsets and any team, except for Alabama, is susceptible to that. The gophers currently have the nation’s 22nd-best offense led by Sophomore Tanner Morgan who has thrown 16 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions and their defense has been solid as of late and is currently allowing 21.4 points per game, which is 35th in the nation.


https://dearoldgold.com/2019/10/22/iowa-football-gophers-actually-legitimate-big-ten-west-contender/
 
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RememberMurray

Well-known member
Is Minnesota a "legitimate" B1G West contender? Let's check the objective facts.

FACT ONE: Conference Record — Minnesota 4-0, Iowa 2-2.

Therefore, if Minnesota finishes 3-2 in the final 5 conference games, Iowa would have to go 5-0 to tie.

FACT TWO: Posted elsewhere, by another poster; quoted by me. B1G record, last nine games — Minnesota 7-2, Iowa 4-5.

----------------

So, is Minnesota a "legitimate" B1G West contender? Maybe the better question might be: Is Iowa?
 

Face The Facts

Fleck Superfan
What they are saying downwind. Bulletin Board Material.

Iowa football: Are the Gophers actually a legitimate B1G West contender?
FanSided "Dear Old Gold" Column - Andrew Wade, 10/22/2019

With Minnesota undefeated seven games into the season, we need to ask the question. Should Iowa football fans actually be worried about the Gophers?

If you’re a Minnesota Gophers fan, you’re not going to like what I am about to say so maybe just stop reading? Theoretically, the Gophers are a team the Iowa football team should be worried about as they attempt to win the Big Ten West, but talent-wise, they are not.

Minnesota has arguably the best schedule of all Big Ten West teams, and until this point, they have had zero competition.

Let me rattle off the wins that Minnesota has:

South Dakota State 28-21
Fresno State 38-35 2OT
Georgia Southern 35-32
Illinois 40-17
Purdue 38-31
Nebraska 34-7
Rutgers 42-7
That’s seven wins against teams that are a combined 22-25 and six of those wins are coming from FCS program South Dakota State. Two of Illinois’ wins were against Akron and Connecticut who have one win combined between them. Yes, the Wisconsin win was nice, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

Rutgers is garbage and Nebraska looks at least another year away from actually competing for a Big Ten West title. Purdue is probably the best team on this list and they are 2-5 after dropping a close game to the Iowa football team this past week.

Now to be fair to Minnesota, being undefeated at this point is quite an accomplishment. The rigorous college football season is always good for one or two crazy upsets and any team, except for Alabama, is susceptible to that. The gophers currently have the nation’s 22nd-best offense led by Sophomore Tanner Morgan who has thrown 16 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions and their defense has been solid as of late and is currently allowing 21.4 points per game, which is 35th in the nation.


https://dearoldgold.com/2019/10/22/iowa-football-gophers-actually-legitimate-big-ten-west-contender/

Iowa has 5 wins against teams who are a collective 12-22.
Is that better than 22-25?
 
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MplsGopher

Well-known member
What I take from this: good, let people continue to dismiss and underestimate this team.

As was already said in this thread and others, once we play Penn St we'll know a lot more about how the season is going to finish.
 

Face The Facts

Fleck Superfan
What I take from this: good, let people continue to dismiss and underestimate this team.

As was already said in this thread and others, once we play Penn St we'll know a lot more about how the season is going to finish.
All fan bases will doubt until proven otherwise in a convincing fashion.
 

MGGopher

Well-known member
I get the reasons for the narrative, but objectively speaking MN has a blowout win over Rutgers (just like Iowa) and a close-ish but comfortable win over Purdue (like Iowa...although MN controlled the game much more easily than Iowa...and did it on the road). Not even bringing up the blowouts over two other B1G teams, I don't get how an Iowa fan wouldn't consider MN to be a legitimate contender. I mean, if they were squeaking past ALL these teams, then sure...they're the best of the worst. But they're not -- they're blowing inferior teams off the field.
 

SKOOKM

Member
Iowa has 5 wins against teams who are a collective 12-22.
Is that better than 22-25?
Ha, nice. Another thing, I find it somewhat misleading when people say things like "That's seven wins against teams that are a combined 22-25." Those teams are 22-18 against teams that are not Minnesota.
 

mnsportsgeek

Well-known member
Of course. We only need to beat Northwestern, Maryland and Wisconsin. To say we’re not a contender is foolish. It would be pretty improbable for us to be eliminated before the last week of the season.
 
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Great Plains Gopher

Well-known member
South Dakota State is 6-1 and their game with ND State is College Game Day this week. They are regularly a national power in their division. Nebraska will beat Iowa, but Minnesota may not. The Gophers will have the most trouble with Penn St, Iowa and Wisconsin. Northwestern will not be a pushover, either - at home. But I expect the Gophers to win at least one of those games, plus Maryland, for an amazing 9-win season that can go to 10-3 with a bowl victory. No one expected that. If they beat Penn State or Wisconsin they will be the big story in football this year and PJ will be up for B10 and national coach-of-the-year honors.
 

Gold Rush

Well-known member
Bulletin board material.
Actually, if I were an Iowa fan I would be VERY concerned about what is going on at Minnesota. PJ Fleck has this team on the rise and they are indeed a contender for the Big Ten West title. In fact, if they can get past Maryland as a 17 point favorite they will be in the driver's seat with only 4 games left on the schedule. Minnesota is no longer the easy game on the schedule you pencil in the W for before the season even starts, it's going to be a tough one all the way.

I don't think we are the new Wisconsin or new Iowa if anything I liken us to Northwestern in the early 1990's who EVERYONE took for granted and thought it would be an easy win and ended up with a loss. I mean this as a compliment to both schools. Northwestern's kids weren't as highly recruited as many of the other teams but came into the game well coached and played their system to perfection. I thought the poise this team has shown is also similar to what those Northwestern teams had.

What makes Minnesota very tough to play against defensively is 3 very good RB's, 3 very good WR's and a QB that specializes in finding a way to win. I think he is a good cold weather QB, too. You mix in a huge offensive line that has been playing better and better with a couple improving TE's and you have a team that can score points. Defensively, this will miss LB Martin if he can't go but they do have playmakers and have improved off the charts since DC Robb Smith was fired. At the very worst, they are an extremely dangerous team and barring injuries they can beat anyone -including Iowa- on their schedule.

What I would caution that author is always respect your opponents and realize that any can and will beat you on a given day. Except Rutgers, maybe. I don't think you need to run down your future opponents to build up your own team, either. And I tell you what - that Iowa-Minnesota game will be a tough one and they will be fortunate to come out of it with a win. (And the Gophers can say the same thing!)
 
The question right now should be whether or not we are the favorites to win the West. It's probably Wisconsin but Iowa is clearly in third.

Iowa pretty much needs to win against both us and Wisconsin or win 1 and have just about everything else go perfect. They have much less of a shot than us.

Wisconsin has an easier path. Assuming Iowa is not in the mix, our game will determine the winner unless either team has 2 more losses/wins than the other. Even if they lose to Ohio State, if they win the rest and we lose even 1, we will need to beat Wisconsin to win the west. Wisconsin would need to win their next 4 and have us lose 3 of our next 4 or win 3 of their next 4 and have us lose our next 4 to go into the game with it locked up.

More likely than not, our game against Wisconsin will the the Big 10 West title game. We won't be favored but it would be a winnable game.

But I love it when the media acts like the Gophers have no chance because it only seems to motivate them.
 

hungan1

Well-known member
This Minnesota team is special in that they have improved each game with a legitimate multidimensional scoring threat and a decent defense. A team that is playing disciplined football. I see the Offensive Line improving game by game.

While they cannot take any of the five remaining opponents lightly, they are capable of upsetting any ranked team and just as well as they can be upset themselves.

They play an entertaining brand of football.

These five remaining games will reveal how far the Gophers can go this year. I am looking forward to the conclusion of the 2019 campaign.
 

die hard gopher

Well-known member
I don't think there is any question gophers are "contenders" in the West. If you lead the division 4 games into the year then you absolutely are a contender.

The real question is are they the favorite? I would still say Wisconsin is the favorite, if we played them at TCF today, Wisconsin would be favored and they would be favored to beat Iowa. So I don't think we are the favorites but simply contenders? Absolutely.
 

short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
My boss and one of my co-workers are avid Nebraska fans. every week I hear the same thing - Gophers haven't played anybody yet. Followed quickly by both of them stating that "Nebraska is the best team the Gophers have played this year."

It's like if you give another team any credit, it gets taken away from "your" team.
 

Spoofin

Well-known member
Bulletin board material.
Really? Maybe if an Iowa player or coach said this, but who is going to be motivated by what this random dude says? That would be like the Iowa team being motivated by what we post about them on GH.


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PitinoFan

Well-known member
I don't think there is any question gophers are "contenders" in the West. If you lead the division 4 games into the year then you absolutely are a contender.

The real question is are they the favorite? I would still say Wisconsin is the favorite, if we played them at TCF today, Wisconsin would be favored and they would be favored to beat Iowa. So I don't think we are the favorites but simply contenders? Absolutely.
I’m not so sure about that. At TCF, I think it’s close to a pick ‘em. Massey matchup has it 26-24 Wisconsin, and they’re usually pretty close.


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cjbfbp

Active member
Iowa has 5 wins against teams who are a collective 12-22.
Is that better than 22-25?
Wow! I guess the author of that post should have looked that up before making a big deal about our opponents' weaknesses.

Of course, if you add in the records of the two opponents who beat Iowa, their opponents' record would look much better. We just had a backloaded schedule. I also think Fresno and GA Southern should look a bit better at the end of the season.
 

cjbfbp

Active member
Going from memory here, but didn't Iowa win the west 5 or 6 years ago ago by playing a horseschit schedule?
Yes, and they recovered a Wisconsin fumble near the goal line to avoid losing that game so they've had their scheduling gifts and luck as well. Let's just make the most of this rare opportunity.
 

Jeshurun

King of the Too's
Really? Maybe if an Iowa player or coach said this, but who is going to be motivated by what this random dude says? That would be like the Iowa team being motivated by what we post about them on GH.


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Sarcasm
 
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