The return of Minnesota Golden Gopher football is almost upon us! But I have to admit... It hasn’t quite hit me yet. That said, I’m sure it won’t take me long before I’m cursing P.J. Fleck’s conservative decision-making during Thursday’s season opener. That’s when I’ll know football season is officially back. For now, all we here at The Daily Gopher have to offer are our predictions for this season. As per usual, I would not expect perfection here. You should not use this to post to make betting, legal, or medical decisions. You are free to point and laugh, though.
Blake: Since 2019, the Gophers are 13-6 on the road under P.J. Fleck, and two of those losses have come against Iowa. So I have a strange sort of confidence — though I’m not sure “confidence” is the right word — about their trip to Chapel Hill to the face a preseason Top 25 Tar Heels team (this is where I’ll remind you that preseason rankings are garbage). Yes, I’m also picking them to win in Iowa City, because I hate the Hawkeyes. Ohio State and Michigan are games you where you hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Minnesota always drops a dumb game under Fleck, so I’m conceding that to the loathsome Bret Bielema. I have to acknowledge this season could go a number of different ways, though.
gopherguy05: I can see anywhere from 6-6 to 9-3. The North Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin games are all the swing games. We always have one slow non-con game, and if that’s UNC, they will out score us. But I can easily see us winning that, too. Until we prove we can win at Iowa, it is what it is. Same with against Bret Bielema. But I can see us winning all three of those if the defense comes together and Athan Kaliakmanis lives us to the hype. But I still have way too much Minnesotan in me to predict it.
Gopher Nation: The big swing games for me are the road games at North Carolina and Iowa. I’m tired of losing to Iowa and picked a win over the Hawkeyes since we have two weeks to prepare for that one after hosting Michigan. I see us going into the last two weeks of the season feeling really good before losing to OSU and then dropping the Wisconsin game.
GoAUpher: In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a non-writing intern now which means I don’t pay attention to anything and all my predictions should be considered hot stinky garbage. Unless I’m right, in which case you can worship me as a football savant. Where was I? Ah yes, my trash bin inferno of predictions. I’m taking the safe, easy way out and predicting 8-4. That’s losses to the powerhouses, a non-con loss, and a rivalry loss. Pretty much like every other pretty good to great Gophers season in the Fleck era.
Hipster Gopher: One loss but it’s a doozy! Wild card!
mowe0018: More wishful thinking than anything but can’t bring myself to pick us to lose key rivalry games. Would have been fun to see what the ‘19 team could do with this schedule.
Ustreet: The bit never changes.
WhiteSpeedReceiver: There really isn’t a better time than now to prove to me that we actually can beat Iowa. Everyone except tOSU and Michigan can lose to us on this schedule.
zipsofakron: Gophers fall flat in the opener in a trap game against a Husker team with nothing to lose. Four straight wins, including a road win in Chapel Hill, gets people feeling good before a midseason swoon brings us back to reality and gets the birds chirping. Three wins out of four down the stretch ends on a high note and a Gator Bowl invite placates us for another year.
Trends & Takeaways
- Based on our predictions, there are seven games that could be considered consensus wins: Nebraska (8 of 9), Eastern Michigan (8 of 9), Northwestern (9 of 9), Louisiana-Lafayette (9 of 9), Michigan State (8 of 9), Purdue (9 of 9), and Wisconsin (8 of 9).
- Less certainty among the other five games: North Carolina (5 of 9), Michigan (3 of 9), Iowa (5 of 9), Illinois (6 of 9), and Ohio State (2 of 9).
- I’ve tried to imagine how I’d feel if Hipster Gopher’s predictions were to come true and something about an 11-1 season with a loss to Eastern Michigan seems... on brand?
- Only Gopher Nation is predicting a loss to new Wisconsin head football coach Luke Fickell in his first shot at wielding Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Shun the non-believer!
What do you think?
Vote in the poll below or put your predictions into the comments!
How many regular season games will Minnesota win in 2023?
This poll is closed
4 or fewer