The wet blanket

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I am in no ways officially predicting what I am about to type. I remain very bullish on the Gophers and I do not fail to appreciate all the wonderful things that were accomplished this season, even for a second. As I appreciate that stuff, I can't help but think about how many things went the Gophers' way this season and how good luck rose up many times.

first, there were those three incredible non-con games where the Gophers managed spectacular plays to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat. What if the non-conference schedule next season goes the other way? What if the Gophers head into the conference schedule with a couple losses on their record after all the off season buildup (which promises to be considerable)?

Next, the biggie: I do not recall a previous Gopher season where the injuries were kept to a similar minimum. The Gophers weren't particularly deep but even well into the season looked like a deep team because there just weren't those big injuries hitting that required a lot of backup to play rolls they otherwise might not have. Can this happen again? What if it is a "normal" season of injuries, or worse? With a defense that is already replacing a LOT of starters - this could be a major problem for our team. Morgan has been very healthy. It would be awful to see him lose playing time to injury when a heavier load will be expected of him next season.

If the mojo from this season continues, and the row the boat culture matures yet another year to the point even a higher percentage of players are playing at a high level - the schedule sets up for yet another special year. But, if the injuries hit and a few bad bounces go against the Gophers, I could see next season being the type of year that loses some of our fragile fan base to the "same old Gophers" bs. My official prediction for next year will be 9-3 and like this year, I am hoping the Gophers top my prediction. But, I can't help but worry about this other stuff and be a bit concerned about a step back season.

How about you? What other areas concern you or what areas do you see where people perhaps have false positive assumptions?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Injuries.

Life after Tanner?

Can the OL actually improve?

Defense is on and off ... i worry there is a gap in talent there?
 

Sparlimb

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I think we did get very lucky with the injury bug this year. But I also think that we had almost no experienced depth either. So it would have hurt us more this year. I think next year we will have more players see the field and less reliance on just the starters. Which allows you to absorb injuries better.

I will not be surprised at all by an 8 or 9 win affair next year, but I hope to see us do better. Remember PJs chart of success. There are downturns too. It is not easy to win 10 games every year.
 

Halsey Hall

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I am in no ways officially predicting what I am about to type. I remain very bullish on the Gophers and I do not fail to appreciate all the wonderful things that were accomplished this season, even for a second. As I appreciate that stuff, I can't help but think about how many things went the Gophers' way this season and how good luck rose up many times.

first, there were those three incredible non-con games where the Gophers managed spectacular plays to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat. What if the non-conference schedule next season goes the other way? What if the Gophers head into the conference schedule with a couple losses on their record after all the off season buildup (which promises to be considerable)?

Next, the biggie: I do not recall a previous Gopher season where the injuries were kept to a similar minimum. The Gophers weren't particularly deep but even well into the season looked like a deep team because there just weren't those big injuries hitting that required a lot of backup to play rolls they otherwise might not have. Can this happen again? What if it is a "normal" season of injuries, or worse? With a defense that is already replacing a LOT of starters - this could be a major problem for our team. Morgan has been very healthy. It would be awful to see him lose playing time to injury when a heavier load will be expected of him next season.

If the mojo from this season continues, and the row the boat culture matures yet another year to the point even a higher percentage of players are playing at a high level - the schedule sets up for yet another special year. But, if the injuries hit and a few bad bounces go against the Gophers, I could see next season being the type of year that loses some of our fragile fan base to the "same old Gophers" bs. My official prediction for next year will be 9-3 and like this year, I am hoping the Gophers top my prediction. But, I can't help but worry about this other stuff and be a bit concerned about a step back season.

How about you? What other areas concern you or what areas do you see where people perhaps have false positive assumptions?
First off we lost our starting qb before the season started and we lost Jason Williamson. Coughlin was injured in fall and never seemed 100%. At the end we lost our RT and TE. Sassack was injured and couldn't play. Mo missed some time and Brooks was done for. SO we did have some pretty troubling injuries but I agree not as many as some years past
 

PitinoFan

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First off we lost our starting qb before the season started and we lost Jason Williamson. Coughlin was injured in fall and never seemed 100%. At the end we lost our RT and TE. Sassack was injured and couldn't play. Mo missed some time and Brooks was done for. SO we did have some pretty troubling injuries but I agree not as many as some years past
+Kamal Martin.

Our 4th string TE came up huge in the bowl game.
 

Veritas

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😏 My, my, the realities of next season are beginning to set in to some of those who could only see next year as being at least as successful as was this season. Instant recreation of what was done with one set of players can not be assured until we actually see the guys go out onto the field against other Big Ten teams without the guys who actually did it this year may, may not be assured? Thanks for the post, without it I would never have thought of those things myself. I would have just blamed the coach.
 

#2Gopher

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I agree with the assessment as to the first four games of the year. We were extremely lucky to the extreme to come out of it 4-0. We're not going to have all those breaks from year to year.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Hard to replicate this season. Team's depth wasn't really tested (despite injuries listed above). We didn't have a "Purdue" injury season--Tanner and Bateman go down on same play. Big test of next year, assuming we get past a tough FAU team in the opener, is early Iowa game (game 3, at home). Wisconsin is game 6 (Madison). Game 7 is Michigan (TCF). We'll know all we need to know about Gophers 2020 by the end of that mid-season stretch.
 

salzie

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😏 My, my, the realities of next season are beginning to set in to some of those who could only see next year as being at least as successful as was this season. Instant recreation of what was done with one set of players can not be assured until we actually see the guys go out onto the field against other Big Ten teams without the guys who actually did it this year may, may not be assured? Thanks for the post, without it I would never have thought of those things myself. I would have just blamed the coach.
Get over yourself
 

Bad Gopher

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Weirdly, the Gophers played some great defense last year without Winfield and this year with Martin out of the lineup. I'm honestly not sure what to expect next season.
 

WinLoseOrTy

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is with 9 conference games, how the schedule flips to 4 home games in even years. Our road games were a piece of cake with Rutgers, Purdue and Northwestern. The 4th was Iowa and we obviously lost.

This year we get to travel to Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Nebraska. What if 3-1 turns into 2-3? Or worse?

Then 10-2 regular season becomes 7-5 or 8-4 range.
 

Some guy

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is with 9 conference games, how the schedule flips to 4 home games in even years. Our road games were a piece of cake with Rutgers, Purdue and Northwestern. The 4th was Iowa and we obviously lost.

This year we get to travel to Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Nebraska. What if 3-1 turns into 2-3? Or worse?

Then 10-2 regular season becomes 7-5 or 8-4 range.
Michigan state and Illinois are going to be bad next year IMO
 

MNVCGUY

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😏 My, my, the realities of next season are beginning to set in to some of those who could only see next year as being at least as successful as was this season. Instant recreation of what was done with one set of players can not be assured until we actually see the guys go out onto the field against other Big Ten teams without the guys who actually did it this year may, may not be assured? Thanks for the post, without it I would never have thought of those things myself. I would have just blamed the coach.
Really trying hard to figure you out. Sometimes you make thoughtful and rational posts and then at other times it feels like you are actively hoping the team fails so that you can thump your chest and shout "I told you so" to all of us that choose to be optimistic about where this program is headed.

First off, anyone that goes into next season with a double digit wins or bust expectation is setting themselves up for disappointment. As has been discussed in many threads, 10+ win seasons are special and fairly rare for all but the best of the best in college football.

It took some great comebacks and relatively good health for us to accomplish what we did this year with a young but fairly experienced team. Heading to next year there will be new faces (there always are, on every team) but there will also be more experience and depth on the roster then we have had in a long time.

If things go right, there is the potential there for 2020 to be a very special season and one where we realistically could find ourselves as a contender for the CFP. Of course there are no guarantees and we could also end up taking a step back in the win column.

If the defense struggles at all next year we know you will be right there to proclaim your brilliance. Will give you something to look forward to over the next few months.
 

restovich

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The thing that gets me about all of the prognostications every year is how much things can change through spring practice and especially when we get a handle on if there are any impact freshmen. I remember one year where I was real concerned about the offensive line and then Greg Eslinger and Mark Setterstrom seized starting positions basically on the firs tor second day of practice.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Biggest worry? QBs that get older but not better. we have seen this one play out
 

MNVCGUY

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I expect a little of this:



With the caveat that .... I sure as hell didn't expect this season .... so who knows.
Some mock that graph but it is reality for most programs. If we go 9-3 next year there will be some like Veritas that will complain to high heaven and consider the season a failure because we failed to get to 11 wins again.

But a 9-3 or 8-4 record next year could still be a good year. It all depends on how things play out over the course of the season. So many get hung up on the number and can't understand how there are degrees to everything.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Some mock that graph but it is reality for most programs. If we go 9-3 next year there will be some like Veritas that will complain to high heaven and consider the season a failure because we failed to get to 11 wins again.

But a 9-3 or 8-4 record next year could still be a good year. It all depends on how things play out over the course of the season. So many get hung up on the number and can't understand how there are degrees to everything.
The graph jives with what Kill said ages ago about improving (I'll get the quote wrong here but it's the thought that counts):

Once you start getting better than "one week you kick someone's ass, the next you get your ass kicked".

Gotta fail a lot to improve.
 

MaxyJR1

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This team and program should go 8-4 at worst with the coaching and talent coming back. I just don't see us dropping below that record at this point in the program. I agree with the original post that in hindsight everything that needed to go the teams way did this year. We should celebrate it because every season from here on out will be compared to it. However, every year is it's own season and should be judged that way.

We have a tough schedule to start the season, but I feel that our offense should be able to carry over and the team through that stretch. We will again likely be in the National Spotlight and how will we respond to that spotlight for a whole season.

I agree that an 8-4 year or 9-3 can still be a success. Depends on how you play and who you lose those games to.
 

MaxyJR1

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Weirdly, the Gophers played some great defense last year without Winfield and this year with Martin out of the lineup. I'm honestly not sure what to expect next season.
Our program is pretty balanced on both sides of the ball. We gave up the fewest yds per game since the 70's this year, but many don't realize that. I didn't until last week.
 

Ope3

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No team has ever gone to the B1G title game with more than 2 losses in the conference. Someone always rises to the top.
Actually Wisconsin went in 2012 as the Leaders Division rep with a 4-4 record, but that was because Ohio St (8-0) and Penn St (6-2) were on probation.
 

Veritas

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Really trying hard to figure you out. Sometimes you make thoughtful and rational posts and then at other times it feels like you are actively hoping the team fails so that you can thump your chest and shout "I told you so" to all of us that choose to be optimistic about where this program is headed.

First off, anyone that goes into next season with a double digit wins or bust expectation is setting themselves up for disappointment. As has been discussed in many threads, 10+ win seasons are special and fairly rare for all but the best of the best in college football.

It took some great comebacks and relatively good health for us to accomplish what we did this year with a young but fairly experienced team. Heading to next year there will be new faces (there always are, on every team) but there will also be more experience and depth on the roster then we have had in a long time.

If things go right, there is the potential there for 2020 to be a very special season and one where we realistically could find ourselves as a contender for the CFP. Of course there are no guarantees and we could also end up taking a step back in the win column.

If the defense struggles at all next year we know you will be right there to proclaim your brilliance. Will give you something to look forward to over the next few months.
If the D gets off to a badish start in September, you are right, I will very graciously post on this site that I and all the other wiser heads where right to be concerned by the loss of seven starters on D. It will be my duty to continue the education of youth, even the pinheads. 🧙‍♂️ :banghead:
 

hungan1

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Anything can happen. The key is who will replace the team leaders that graduate?

The team learned through failures in 2018 and became better because of it. They have confidence and faith in the system. Furthermore, the gads of football were smiling at them this last season. They snatched a few victories in the last moments which made for a heart attack season for me.

2019-2020 is truly special. I'll cherish it forever.
 

gopherjay

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Some mock that graph but it is reality for most programs. If we go 9-3 next year there will be some like Veritas that will complain to high heaven and consider the season a failure because we failed to get to 11 wins again.

But a 9-3 or 8-4 record next year could still be a good year. It all depends on how things play out over the course of the season. So many get hung up on the number and can't understand how there are degrees to everything.
We go 9-3 every year, hit a Rose bowl every 4 years, NY day 6 here and there and the 2 teir bowls every year other than those mentioned, we will be like our rivals!! We were 1 or two plays from Pasadena.
 

GSUsTALON

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(1) first, there were those three incredible non-con games where the Gophers managed spectacular plays to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat. What if the non-conference schedule next season goes the other way? What if the Gophers head into the conference schedule with a couple losses on their record after all the off season buildup (which promises to be considerable)?

You had 3 varying offenses and defenses to start your season off last year. That to me was good because the gophers offense and defense get to see different looks before starting your conference season. "DONT "WHAT IF YOURSELF"!

SCHN - "What if the non-conference schedule next season goes the other way?"

TALON- What if it does? If you play to your potential, win or lose, that the way it is. Based on tour games after the first 3 OOC games, you should be in good shape.
 

John Galt

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😏 My, my, the realities of next season are beginning to set in to some of those who could only see next year as being at least as successful as was this season. Instant recreation of what was done with one set of players can not be assured until we actually see the guys go out onto the field against other Big Ten teams without the guys who actually did it this year may, may not be assured? Thanks for the post, without it I would never have thought of those things myself. I would have just blamed the coach.
You’re stilling going with this? Let me guess, you were panicking last year because we were losing Weyler and Greene on the offensive line? You were terrified about our safety play because Jacob Huff was graduating? And you knew we would be gashed by teams running the ball because Cashman wasn’t here to stop them? Did you predict 5 wins for this year based on all of that attrition?
 
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