The most remarkable thing about the Gophers #10 finish in the polls

Gold Rush

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
1,165
Reaction score
129
Points
63
Did the Gophers deserve this #10 finish in the polls? Absolutely! Their 11-2 record and big wins vs. Penn St. and Auburn in the Outback Bowl puts them as a top ten team. The team can be very happy with this accomplishment and you have to go back 57 years for the Gophers to have had this successful of a season. Great year, no doubt about it.

However, when you watch the NFL draft in a few months you will see a lot of schools placing athletes ahead of where the Gophers are going to go. I am sure Winfield and Johnson will be taken in the mid rounds and a couple might get taken late but you will see schools placing much higher, maybe several players in the first couple rounds. The Auburn team that the Gophers beat could have 10 players taken in the draft with two of those taken in the first round. Their team is loaded with underclassmen who will be taken high in the draft in upcoming years. The Gophers have underclassmen who will most likely go in the draft but probably not nearly as highly as the blue chip Auburn players. A preseason poll showed the Gophers as having the 32nd best team on paper before the season started.

But that does not make Auburn the better team. On paper, the Gophers might have had the 9th best recruiting class in the Big Ten and on paper not rated as highly as 31 other schools but continually beating teams with higher rated players is extremely remarkable. You have to give a lot of credit to the coaching staff in building the team, improving each player to play their very best, and play hard the entire game. The sum of the total was far better than their individual skills. We could very well recruit higher rated players in the future and still not have as good of a team as what we had this year.

This does give me a lot of hope for the future and right now it does look bright. I think we will miss all the seniors that are leaving, but I think that Fleck will find solid replacements to plug in next year and beyond. These kids really played their asses off and they may not have been as talented as a lot of other teams, but they found ways to win. They truly deserved to be one of the top ten teams this year.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
12,820
Reaction score
508
Points
113
They earned it. The Auburn win really made it solid. No question, that certainly makes it special.

I'm very hopeful.

I think we still have to be prepared for some of this:

 
Last edited:

highwayman

Knows Less Than Coaching Staff
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
6,232
Reaction score
113
Points
63
I think we still have to be prepared for some of this:

I agree. We might take a small step backward on defense in 2020. But as someone said in another thread “how can we be so bullish on new recruits and then turn around and say next years’ defense will be a disaster?” The only irreplaceable player was Winfield, but even that might be wrong. Someone always surprises.

Next man up. Fleck and Co. have done a good job filling holes in recruiting and balancing the positions and classes. By the time the 2020 recruits start to meaningfully contribute, this program will be in full swing.
 

WhoFellDownTheGopherHole?

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
81
Points
48
In the thread with PJ Fleck's AFCA speech he mentioned that the Gophers beat an Auburn team with 58 recruits who were 4*. How many for MN? 5. Assuming those numbers are anywhere near accurate, that's insane.

I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet how big this thing might be on it's way to becoming, but it's a lot of fun finally having something to believe in after having watched through 30+ years of mostly struggles. :)
 

Lakeville Goldy

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
21
Points
38
I agree. We might take a small step backward on defense in 2020. But as someone said in another thread “how can we be so bullish on new recruits and then turn around and say next years’ defense will be a disaster?” The only irreplaceable player was Winfield, but even that might be wrong. Someone always surprises.

Next man up. Fleck and Co. have done a good job filling holes in recruiting and balancing the positions and classes. By the time the 2020 recruits start to meaningfully contribute, this program will be in full swing.
I'm not sure who said it's going to be a disaster. It did pretty well the end of 2018 without Winfield and a few other starters. But the guys who left were pretty special, so it's going to be tough to get new guys to come in and play at that level. Replacing seven defensive starters is challenging for any team.
 

TeeBee

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
38
Reaction score
19
Points
8
Any day we are ranked above Becky and the Iowiegans is a good day. #10 sounds pretty damn good to end an amazing season.
 

Gophergrandpa

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
61
Reaction score
29
Points
18
In the thread with PJ Fleck's AFCA speech he mentioned that the Gophers beat an Auburn team with 58 recruits who were 4*. How many for MN? 5. Assuming those numbers are anywhere near accurate, that's insane.

I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet how big this thing might be on it's way to becoming, but it's a lot of fun finally having something to believe in after having watched through 30+ years of mostly struggles. :)
Those 4* comparison numbers are true (and were pretty much the same for Penn State's roster, too). PJ has improved recruiting: we've moved from a point where we now get higher rated 3 stars, and our floor (at mid-level 3 stars) has also been raised. The Gophers, however, are still a few years away from classes loaded with 4* players. So, here's the deal, whether you like PJ or not: He has taken a team of well-selected 3* star players, augmented by a few key 4* (Coughlin, Bateman, Faalale and Dunlap) and molded them into a well-coached, synchronous team that easily stays with and/or beats the teams comprised of 4* (and 5*) players. He is an inspirational coach who gets the absolute most out of his players. You don't have to like PJ, but I find it really hard to understand how folks can't respect him for the results he has already achieved. He is great at finding undervalued talent and at "coaching up" talent--just like Auburn is plagued by "coaching down" talent.
 

PitinoFan

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3,456
Reaction score
622
Points
113
Of course, Auburn can’t play all of their 4 star players at once. We can! One of ours was injured, though. Even with all of those 4 star recruits, they still had 3 star guys on the field. Too much is made of those rankings. Nix is a 5 star. Is there anyone here who would take him over Morgan?
 

The prez sez

New member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
peering out from my bunker on the Big Lake, I say: The difference this season was Tanner Morgan. How many big plays did he make this year? He engineered game-winning drives in the first three games, and capped the season off w an 8-minute march to close off the outback bowlgame against Auburn (hitting Johnson and witham with exquisite passes). He's coming back and I am happy.
retreating to my underground bunker
 

gophernut1

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
14
Points
3
My gopherhole dream: To just once have a conversation that brings up recruiting and to not have someone say the star rating is pointless or not that meaningful. It is the equivalent of saying the world is flat. Sure you can show we spots where it appears you would be right but you take a high level view and you are dead wrong.
 

CoMn

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
841
Reaction score
22
Points
18
My gopherhole dream: To just once have a conversation that brings up recruiting and to not have someone say the star rating is pointless or not that meaningful. It is the equivalent of saying the world is flat. Sure you can show we spots where it appears you would be right but you take a high level view and you are dead wrong.
I agree. Considering our four star recruits are Coughlin, Dunlap, Faalale, Bateman and St. Juste I think is evidence that as a group...certainly at Minnesota...our average 4-star is better than our average 3-star or 2-star.
 

Word

Eats difficult conversations
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
5,499
Reaction score
238
Points
63
They earned it. The Auburn win really made it solid. No question, that certainly makes it special.

I'm very hopeful.

I think we still have to be prepared for some of this:

Is that a new pass route?
 

HoustonTXGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,631
Reaction score
94
Points
48
The NFL combine is a great opportunity for both Johnson and Winfield to improve their draft status. I think Winfield will climb the board pretty well. I bet he ends up being a late second to third round pick.
 

MGGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
215
Points
63
Can't measure their "how"
Just kept gRowing
Team mahtured as the season went on
 
Top Bottom