Minnesota Football 2013 Season Recap: Reviewing 5 Bold Predictions

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, there is one more game to be played, but at this point I think we'll be able to see where I was right and where I was wrong in my bold predictions.

Who remembers my 5 Bold Predictions piece that I wrote before the season?

I thought I'd take a stab at 5 bold outcomes that are unlikely, but at least somewhat plausible if the right set of circumstances fall into place. Do I think all/most of these are going to happen? No. Are all of these super bold? No, but each represents a big enough step over the previous year's performance that they go beyond what I'd consider a reasonable expectation. And when I put on my super maroon tinted optimist glasses, I can convince myself that any of these are possible if all the right pieces fall into place.

Well, it's time to take a look at whether or not I was right on any of my scientifically tested* bold predictions. Yes, the bowl counts in the final stats, but as you will see it really won't matter much when it comes to me being right or wrong. *where "scientifically tested" meant "pulled from my hindparts on short notice"

Prediction #1 - Phil Nelson Comes Into His Own

1) Philip Nelson will be better than solid, completing 60% of his passes for 2250 yards while also limiting his INTs to 6. While not a 1st Team All-B1G performance by any means, Mankato Jesus goes into the offseason with some buzz as one of the better returning QB's in the B1G for 2014.

What actually happened: 51.4% competions, 1288 yards passing, 6 INT's. If you run Phil's numbers over the 4 game win streak they start to look a lot more like what I predicted (61.6%, 748 yards passing, 0 INT's). While it's nice to know that my prediction was doable had Phil played a full season like he did when the Gophers were rolling, the fact remains that he didn't play like that all season. Actually, in retrospect given just how run heavy the team was (more than I expected at least) a performance like I predicted probably has the Gophers sitting at 10-2. Y U NO MAKE MY PREDICTION COME TRUE JOBU?

Grading The Prediction: I got the INT part right, which gets me to a D+.

Prediction #2 - Kirkwood Leads The Way

2) Donnell Kirkwood finishes the year with over 1250 yards and 12 TD's. Gopher fans breathe a sigh of relief as the 1,000 yard rusher streak is broken.

What actually happened: Injuries limited Donnell to just 129 yards on 48 carries (zero TD's). Which is ok because while I wrote Donnell Kirkwood in my prediction, I clearly meant David Cobb (1149 yards on 219 carries, 7 TD's). Even if that were the case, Cobb won't make my optimistic 12 TD tally this season (though I fully expect him to run past 1250 yards on the season).

Grading The Prediction: I get a C+, solely because I clearly understood the potential of the Gopher running game.



3) Derrick Wells finishes the season with 6 picks, one of which is returned for a TD. This is good enough to earn him a spot on the B1G 2nd team at the end of the year.

What actually happened: Much like Kirkwood, injury issues derailed Wells' season and my prediction (Derrick had 1 pick). No defensive player came close to my INT prediction (Aaron Hill led the team with two). Given Brock Vereen's recognition as a 1st Team B1G award winner, I also underestimated what my predicted performance would earn (no faith in the voters).

Grading The Prediction: F. Nothing about this prediction was correct.

Prediction #4 - Gophers Win 8, Grab Axe

4) The Gophers win 8 games, with their 4 conference W's coming over Iowa, Indiana, Penn State, and Wisconsin. The team takes a ton of momentum and fan excitement into the bowl game, as the Axe stays in Minneapolis and the Gophers win 3 November games for the first time in...well...ever?

What actually happened: 8 wins.


What's that? You want to know what happened in the Iowa and Wisconsin games? LOOK OVER THERE AT THAT SHINY THING! /pulls a Brewster on the record book.

Ok, so I got the number of wins right but not who from the B1G (though I am batting .500). The whole Axe thing is the prediction I'm saddest about.

Grading The Prediction: B+, because the use of the shoulder brush GIF above requires a B+ or better grade.

Prediction #5 - Hageman Creates Waterboy Safety

5) RaShede Hageman forces a safety by scaring a quarterback so much that he runs backwards 50 yards out the back of the end zone. That's right, just like in the Waterboy. Don't scoff, it's totally going to happen. My money is on the Western Illinois game.

What actually happened: Hageman ate a bunch of guys. Seriously. He won an award with a really long name for doing it and everything!

The OH-MY-GAWD-HE-JUST-ATE-A-GUY! award goes to Ra'Shede Hageman, who simply gobbled up more players this season then any Gopher player in recent memory.

That's pretty Waterboy-esque if you ask me.

Grading The Prediction: A+. SHEDE ATE A GUY WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

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