What should you do when optimism no longer seems completely foreign? How should you react when you see a wide open division, a soft cross-over schedule, and a manageable non-conference lineup? Should you temper expectations? Protect your feelings? Or should you let yourself dream and embrace the best of what you saw from the Minnesota Gophers last season?
I don’t know what to tell you folks. You gotta go with your gut. But when it comes to the TDG staff, we’ve pretty much gone full optimism. It’s gotta happen sometime, right?
Things to note:
- WHOO BOY. The optimism about this year is pretty staggering and I’m sorta worried because I’m from Minnesota and how can I not be? When 8-4 is the floor in the predictions post, you know we’re all feeling good.
- The TDG staff over/under for the season is at 9.5 and I would not blame anyone for taking the under if they saw that line in Vegas. (please be right, please be right, please be right)
- I always (ALWAYS) try to make sure I’m not predicting the 2nd best season behind UStreet. Oops.
- The staff thinnks Penn State is Minnesota’s toughest opponent (70% predict a loss). The most concerning opponent in the Big Ten West is Iowa (60% predict a loss).
- Purdue and Northwestern may not be feared by the blog, but they have our attention, with 4 of 10 staff members picking a loss on the road in either West Lafayette or Evanston this fall.
- Blake was the only one to buy into the Nebraska hype. Boo Blake. Maryland PTSD might have contributed to wildcat00 picking a loss at home to the Terrapins.
- Zips was the only staff member to pick a loss in the non-con but it was to Fresno State so we’ll let that slide.
The part where we explain ourselves
Blake Ruane: With this schedule, every game is winnable. It all depends on what toss-up games break their way. It could be a special season or a season of missed opportunities.
GoAUpher: I’m going to regret this optimism, I just know it. I’ll note that I can easily see Minnesota losing at Purdue or at home against Nebraska. But those are the only losses I would consider changing my opinion on. I can see Minnesota winning against Iowa or Penn State but I need to put some losses in somewhere and optimistic me already had the Gophers winning 8 in a row and there’s only so much the logical side of my brain can allow ya know?
Gopher Nation: Pudue is always such a weird game, as is Northwestern. Both will be on the road and losses. I was very tempted to swap PSU to a loss and Iowa to a win, those games will both be tight ones. Ultimately though I believe that the Gophers will enter the final week of the season controlling their own destiny to win the Big Ten West. Beat Wisconsin again and this team is going to Indy, probably Pasadena after that.
mowe0018: This was my attempt to curb my optimistic enthusiasm for this schedule. I have failed as badly as Larry David does at fitting into society.
UStreet: Same every year.***
WhiteSpeedReceiver: On Day 0 of the season, the Gophers have fewer flaws and weaknesses than anyone else competing in the West. Whether or not we can stay healthy will have a huge impact on the season and the perception of Fleck’s tenure at Minnesota.
Iowa and Northwestern are our competitors for the West, and they both have issues coming into the year. Nebraska needs to show they have a defense, Purdue is missing a QB, RB, OL, and we need to see what the defense has, wisconsin has the best player and a bunch of trash. We need to take advantage of the 2016 schedule because we have much better coaching and talent than the 9-4 team.
zipsofakron: We all know the Gophers will both win and lose a game they shouldn’t. Fresno State feels like one of those, but I also think it’s entirely possible they dump the opportunity against Maryland. My maroon-colored glasses have them winning against Bucky, but this is sure to be an ulcer-inducing season. But will the ulcer be worth it?
***(GoAUpher note: In case you’re new here, this is a bit.)
Tell us your predictions in the poll below and in the comments!
How many regular season games will Minnesota win in 2019?
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