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Minnesota Football: 2016 predictions from the TDG staff

We don't all go full homer, but spirits are high on the Gophers!

Mitch Leidner is the key to a successful Gopher season
Mitch Leidner is the key to a successful Gopher season
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of the 2016 Gopher Football season just a few days away, it is time to reveal the TDG Staff Predictions for the Gophers 2016 season.  Now if you have read past TDG Staff Predictions, you know we are generally a fairly optimistic bunch.  So, take that into account when you rip us in the comments.  We don't all go full homer, but lets just say none of us are pessimistic either.

UPDATE: We know some folks are seeing issues with the table formating. If you're one of those people have no fear! Scroll to the bottom of the post where we've embedded an image of the predictions table.

TDG Staff Member OSU ISU CSU @ PSU Iowa @Mary Rut @ILL Pur @Neb NW @Wisc Final Record
Gopherguy05 W W W L W L W W W L W L 8-4
GoAUpher W W W L W L W W W L W W 9-3
Gopher Nation W W W L L W W W W L W
L 8-4
UStreet W W W W W W W W W W W W 12-0
mowe0018 W W W L W W W W W L W L 9-3
DarkKnight5 W W W L W W W L W L W L 8-4
IowaGopher W W W L W W W W W L W L 9-3
White Speed Receiver W W W W W W W W W L L W 10-2
dvits14 W W W L W W W W W L W W 10-2
Nate (Insertname) W W W L W W W W W L W W 10-2
Hipster Gopher
Wildcat00 W W W W W W W W W L W L 10-2
Final Game Predictions 12-0 12-0 12-0 4-8 11-1 10-2 12-0 11-1 12-0 2-10 11-1 6-6 9.6 avg

Lets take a game by game look with a few comments:

Week 1: Oregon State

All twelve of the TDG pickers see the Gophers winning their opener.

Week 2: Indiana State

A second 12-0 sweep.  if the Gophers lose this week, we are in deep, deep trouble.

Week 3: Bye

An early bye which may be painful later in the season, but should allow everyone to get healthy for the start of the Big Ten

Week 4: Colorado State

Another 12-0 sweep.  As GoAupher puts it,

"I've seen people say Minnesota is going to lose this game. Those people are dumb."

Week 5: @ Penn State

Here is where things start to get interesting.  Only four of the twelve pickers see the Gophers going into Happy Valley and coming back with a win.  Its a tough task to open the Big Ten in Beaver Stadium. Mowe0018 sees it being close: "Lose in excruciating fashion with the fan bases hopes all very high."

Week 6: Iowa

The Kool-aid is back and flowing in the TDG cafeteria for this one.  Only one of us sees the Hawkeyes keeping Floyd.  With Iowa the early pick for the west champ, it's a ballsy pick.  But we all abide by the law of Who Hates Iowa?  Well all except GN.  He's just bitter Adam Weber isn't remembered as the QB who won Floyd in 2010. But as GoAUpher puts it, "Your #specialseason is over so hand back the pig."

Week 7: @ Maryland

Ten TDG writers see the Gophers going into College Park and winning.  But GoAUpher and I seem to think this is the Gophers stupid trap game.  There always seems to be one road game every year they should win but come out flat.  We both unfortunately think this is it. Mowe0018 thinks the Gophers will ride Brooks and Smith to a close road win.

Week 8: Rutgers

All 12 of us see a homecoming win over Rutgers.

Week 9: @ Illinois

Only DarkKnight sees a repeat of 2014.  The rest of us all think (hope) that the Gophers figure it out this time

Week 10: Purdue

We all think the harbor stays moored solidly in West Lafayette. GoAUpher wonders who Purdue's interim coach will be at this point...

Week 11: @ Nebraska

This one looks a bit tougher.  Only the two FULLHOMER picks have Minnesota bringing the chair back to Minneapolis. Lincoln plus night just seems overwhelming, but maybe by this point in the season the Gophers will have kicked that feeling out of our systems.

Week 12: Northwestern

Just the opposite, only WSR sees the Gophers dropping this one.  After the whooping Northwestern put on the Gophers last season we may all be being a bit optimistic, but on Senior Day with the home field advantage, the Gophers hopefully pull it out. Mowe0018 sees a last second field goal sealing it.

Week 13: @ Wisconsin

Ahh yes, this game.  We are evenly split 6-6 on whether this is finally the year Minnesota reclaims the Axe.  I really hope it is, but I just cant wrap my head around it until it actually occurs.  I've thought this is the year so many times when it hasn't been.  Mowe0018 is on the same page as me, "As much as I would love to be wrong, don't see this squad winning in Madison unless Badgers have had catastrophic injury luck."

But GoAupher puts it how we all really feel.

For the love of god please win.

Ain't that the truth.

Prediction Recap:

So it seems we are split between a 12-0 #Specialseason (which I think while in heart and spirit the contributes don't actually think will happen), four people predicting 10-2 (which should net us a Big Ten West Title), three with 9-3 and three of us semi-realists with 8-4.  We all are much more optimistic than pretty much any of the "objective" critics out there, which is not surprising.  While some may argue the end stretch with games at Nebraska, Northwestern and at Wisconsin is the key stretch to the season, I argue its the start of the Big Ten.  If you can go 2-1 or 3-0 to start with two road games split around the Battle for Floyd, then these predictions look better and better.  But go 1-2 or let's not even imagine 0-3 and these predictions just look foolish, and just trying to make a bowl game is back in play.  Lets hope that doesn't happen.

For once let the optimists be right. We deserve it.