Media Prediction Thread: Outback Bowl Edition - Minnesota vs Auburn

BleedGopher

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Athlon is first out of the gate with an early prediction:

per Athlon:

7. Outback Bowl – Auburn (9-3) vs. Minnesota (10-2)

Jan. 1 – 1 p.m. ET – ESPN


Row the Boat versus War Eagle in Tampa is a nice way to ring in the new year. The emergence of quarterback Tanner Morgan and a talented trio of receivers helped the Golden Gophers make a run at the Big Ten West Division title this fall. However, Minnesota’s offensive line gave up 30 sacks and figures to have its hands full against Auburn’s standout front, which features likely first-team All-American Derrick Brown. The Tigers finished out the regular season on a high note by beating Alabama 48-45 in dramatic fashion. The extra bowl practices should help quarterback Bo Nix continue to develop under Gus Malzahn, while the ground game will test a Minnesota defense that ranked seventh in the Big Ten against the run.

Early Pick: Auburn 31, Minnesota 24


Go Gophers!!
 

ESPN chimes in:

Outback Bowl: Minnesota vs. Auburn

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(1 p.m. on ESPN at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida)

I picked a Big Ten West team over Auburn last year and paid the price in humiliation. The availability of Derrick Brown and Auburn's defensive linemen is a question, and Minnesota could neutralize them with its RPO-based offense. But Auburn has played a much tougher schedule and boasts key talent advantages. Minnesota leads early behind big plays from Rashod Bateman, but Bo Nix and Auburn take control in the second half.

Prediction: Auburn 31, Minnesota 20


Go Gophers!!
 


Will be surprised if many picks end up going our way for this one. Just another factor in what makes this one a no lose situation for the Gophers. If we get beat everyone expected it anyway.
 

Would fall clean out of the canoe if anyone picks the Gophers. 90% of people are going to call for us to lose by 7-14 points. These bowl "predictions" are typically just the mechanical output of SP+ or Sagarin mixed with some thin, scanning-the-schedule level analysis.

Super rare for anyone to call an upset or a blowout in these, yet they of course both happen often.
 


Will be surprised if many picks end up going our way for this one. Just another factor in what makes this one a no lose situation for the Gophers. If we get beat everyone expected it anyway.

Winning games is good, losing games is not good.:cautious:
 


Winning games is good, losing games is not good.:cautious:

There is way more too it then just the final score. Sure we could play some crap team in a bad bowl game to drastically improve our odds of winning.

If we lose to a team like Auburn in a New Year's Day bowl game it isn't the result we want but it also isn't a horrible thing either. They are #9 in the AP poll and ranked ahead of us in all the polls. There is no shame in losing to a team like that, if that ends up happening.

I would rather go 10-3 with a loss in a high profile bowl game to a National brand as opposed to getting to 11-2 by winning some much lower profile game against a low level power 5 team or high level group of 5 team.

And while I understand that you are in the group that thinks we have no shot at all in this game....a win against Auburn would turn a lot of heads and be an awesome springboard into 2020.
 

There is way more too it then just the final score. Sure we could play some crap team in a bad bowl game to drastically improve our odds of winning.

If we lose to a team like Auburn in a New Year's Day bowl game it isn't the result we want but it also isn't a horrible thing either. They are #9 in the AP poll and ranked ahead of us in all the polls. There is no shame in losing to a team like that, if that ends up happening.

I would rather go 10-3 with a loss in a high profile bowl game to a National brand as opposed to getting to 11-2 by winning some much lower profile game against a low level power 5 team or high level group of 5 team.

And while I understand that you are in the group that thinks we have no shot at all in this game....a win against Auburn would turn a lot of heads and be an awesome springboard into 2020.

Where did I say anything of the sort? All I have said is that 11-2 will stand the test of time over 10-3. I will not accept your thesis that a good loss is better than a fair win. A bad loss is just a bad loss. But, neither of us gets to pick who we play and I will be there cheering on the lads as always. Go Gophers!!
 



There is way more too it then just the final score. Sure we could play some crap team in a bad bowl game to drastically improve our odds of winning.

If we lose to a team like Auburn in a New Year's Day bowl game it isn't the result we want but it also isn't a horrible thing either. They are #9 in the AP poll and ranked ahead of us in all the polls. There is no shame in losing to a team like that, if that ends up happening.

I would rather go 10-3 with a loss in a high profile bowl game to a National brand as opposed to getting to 11-2 by winning some much lower profile game against a low level power 5 team or high level group of 5 team.

And while I understand that you are in the group that thinks we have no shot at all in this game....a win against Auburn would turn a lot of heads and be an awesome springboard into 2020.
An 11 win season with wins over Penn State and Auburn would be just about the best season the Gophers could hope for when we lose to Iowa and Wisconsin.
 


NY Post chimes in:

Outback: Auburn (-7½) over Minnesota: P.J. Fleck can only perform so many miracles. The dream season will end with a third loss in four games, with the Gophers’ pass protection issues setting up Auburn’s dynamic defensive front for a huge game.


Go Gophers!!
 

Powell Cobb chimes in:

The Outback Bowl – Minnesota vs. Auburn, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1 p.m.

New Year’s Day is loaded from top to bottom with outstanding matchups, and aside from the first round of the playoffs, Jan. 1 is the best day for great football this bowl season. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck has overhauled the program into a conference contender. Auburn’s season hasn’t been the best by any stretch, but beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl has the program looking ahead with bright and starry eyes.

Quarterback Bo Nix has had a decent first season with flashes of brilliance throughout. He will improve even more through bowl practice, and with Gus Malzahn drawing up the plays, you never know what kind of trickery the Tigers will bring. I see Auburn running away with this one in the fourth quarter and demoralizing Minnesota the same way Wisconsin did.

Both of these teams will be back next year with an axe to grind in their divisions. The tone will be set in this bowl game.


Go Gophers!!
 





I would say since they are from the only real conference, they beat us by 45 to 50 points. Not sure why we did not lose a few games so we could play a MAC team in Detroit and guarantee win. It is almost "why play"? They are so good and they lost a couple extra games so they could play us and crush.
 

Will there be any Gopher RS Freshmen that will come in and surprise? Fa'alele being out is huge.
 

Other than the
Will there be any Gopher RS Freshmen that will come in and surprise? Fa'alele being out is huge.

There're red shirts because they are not better than the starters.
 

Other than the


There're red shirts because they are not better than the starters.
That's not necessarily true. Fleck has said over and over the last few years there are redshirts that absolutely could contribute but he isn't willing to give up the future to win now. With the new redshirt rules I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some contributions from freshman.
 

All coaches say those sorts of things and still play freshmen if they can help the team now. Tyler Nubin is a good example. If we had a true freshman who could have helped our D this year by being a starter, he would have played. Heck, we could have been going to the Rose Bowl this year if we had even the smallest additional help against Iowa!
 

All coaches say those sorts of things and still play freshmen if they can help the team now. Tyler Nubin is a good example. If we had a true freshman who could have helped our D this year by being a starter, he would have played. Heck, we could have been going to the Rose Bowl this year if we had even the smallest additional help against Iowa!
So you don't think Tanner Morgan would have helped the team his redshirt year?
 

So you don't think Tanner Morgan would have helped the team his redshirt year?

Morgan probably could have outplayed Rhoda and Croft (really really really really really low bar) but he wouldn't have been anything like the player he is right now.

Has Faalele officially been ruled out for the bowl game? I know that is the speculation but I don't recall seeing anything official to this point.
 

Morgan probably could have outplayed Rhoda and Croft (really really really really really low bar) but he wouldn't have been anything like the player he is right now.

So you agree with me then.
 

Morgan probably could have outplayed Rhoda and Croft (really really really really really low bar) but he wouldn't have been anything like the player he is right now.

Has Faalele officially been ruled out for the bowl game? I know that is the speculation but I don't recall seeing anything official to this point.

I think this photo is from their awards banquet on 12/15. There’s nothing definitive from this view, but I don’t see any crutches! I’m sure PJ would like his status for the game to to be a secret, so I doubt we’ll even get a hint before game time.

rx0vgs4.png
 

Looks like Daniel needs some help finding a store with suits large enough for him!!
 

I don't think a close loss hurts the Gophers in terms of national perception and image.

But, a bad loss definitely hurts the program. A bad loss reinforces the idea that the Gophers don't belong with the big boys.

So, given the choice, I would take a win over a lesser opponent instead of a bad loss to a better opponent. a few years from now, all most people will see is a W or an L. W's are better than L's.
 

So you agree with me then.
The difference is you're sacrificing a year for Morgan when the team was below average. This year's team wasn't below average. If there was a freshman that would've been a big time producer on a 10-2 team then you play him. Not on a 5-7 team though.
 

The difference is you're sacrificing a year for Morgan when the team was below average. This year's team wasn't below average. If there was a freshman that would've been a big time producer on a 10-2 team then you play him. Not on a 5-7 team though.
Maybe with Morgan they win 3 more games that year? He is the perfect example of what Fleck has said over and over. I have no doubt we some some freshman that could have contributed. I also wouldn't be surprised to see them play in the bowl game since it won't count as burning their redshirt.
 

Maybe. There were some close games that year. Still, we wouldn't have been seeing the Morgan of 2019, we would've been seeing a true freshman. Croft and Rhoda weren't anything special, so it's an interesting thought experiment to consider how Morgan would've compared with them at that point.
 

Maybe with Morgan they win 3 more games that year? He is the perfect example of what Fleck has said over and over. I have no doubt we some some freshman that could have contributed. I also wouldn't be surprised to see them play in the bowl game since it won't count as burning their redshirt.
I think we need to weigh the size of the contribution as well. Are we talking difference maker or simply as good/ maybe a hair better than someone else? Difference maker = I'm all for it; same as/slightly better = I'll keep them around for an extra year so they can be a difference maker in the future.
 




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