Why is 2022 a "tough rebuild year"?

WriterGoph

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I saw this mentioned on another thread and I know a few weeks ago, some were chalking 2022 up to a rebuilding year. But I'd like to lay out the position groups and what we KNOW we have back but also what we THINK we may have back too.

QB - We know what we have and Tanner is at the very very least a guy capable of winning more Big Ten games than he loses. Has won 7 and 6 conference games in two of his last three seasons.

RB - Mo is back and we already have two young guys who proved themselves well this year - not even factoring in Potts or Williams.

WR - I still think it's more likely CAB comes back (TBD). Jackson was hurt this year, but has shown upside. MBS had a bit of a breakout year. (EDIT: Forgot about Wright originally!) Boyd played, Brockington redshirted, Emilien may get healthy at some point. Hoskins coming in. Obviously CAB is the big swing piece here, but hard to think we won't see continued development from the young WRs.

TE - BSF is back. Geers has already been talked up PJ. Kallerup should take over the blocking role. Henderson could be a factor.

OL - I think this is where people are most concerned. But I think a lot of assumptions are being made. Sure, we lose Big Dan, Schlueter and Olson for sure. I'm nearly certain Ruschmeyer will be back for an extra year. I also think it's likely we get at least one of JMS or Andries back. Even without them, it's not like we'd be playing redshirt freshmen on the line. Karter Shaw, JJ Guedet, Nathan Boe and Ersery have all played games and have been waiting their turn. Martes Lewis has also been mentioned as a bright spot. That doesn't even factor in any moves PJ makes in the portal this offseason. While it *could* be a lot of turnover, these are not guys who haven't played meaningful snaps.

K - I think Trickett comes back for another year and we still have Kesich for kickoffs.

P - Crawford is only a sophomore next year (if he doesn't count 2020).

DL - We lose Mafe and Nyles, but I think Big O and/or Rush may come back for another year. Behind them, we have Joyner, Logan-Redding, Striggow and Booker coming up at DE. DT has been one of our best recruited positions in recent years. Carter will be back. Richter has played. Schuster has gotten a lot of good buzz. McCoy and Eastern coming up. Plus our two best recruits this year are on the DL. Again, doesn't factor in any moves we make in the portal.

LB - Oliver is back for sure. We lose Gibbens, but I'm calling it now and I think MSM returns too. All that said, still have Burns, Willis, Lindenberg, Finnessy developing. Also Devon Williams has been getting nice buzz for his work this year. Not seeing a huge dropoff at LB.

DB - Durr, Howard and Harris are gone. Smith will be an extra year decision. I think Howden comes back for an extra year. Nubin returns. Walley returns. Dixon returns. Ortiz redshirted. Jalen Glaze, Miles Fleming and Darius Green have also gotten a lot of good buzz from the staff.

So overall, yeah, there are some spots where we will have some potential turnover (OL and DL, maybe DB), but I think with Tanner and Mo returning, we are going to see more seniors (especially the guys who aren't sure NFL guys) taking their extra year. We also have to remember that we have been recruiting some young guys with lots of upside in recent years. Just cause they haven't played behind a very veteran team doesn't mean they aren't going to be good players.

The next week or two will be very interesting with extra year announcements and seeing how we do in the portal, but for people assuming that 2022 is a massive rebuild, I think you may be jumping to conclusions too quickly.

What are your thoughts? What players did I miss calling out on the roster?
 
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Marooned

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OL is the biggest concern by far. But IIRC the potential starting OL next year played together against NE last year and looked pretty decent. There's a chance there's not a big drop off from this year, but a lot will hinge on how well the OL plays.
Other than that, I think there's talent everywhere else on the team that I think we'll have a 7-9 win team next year - so not exactly a rebuild IMO.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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@ Penn State

@ Michigan State (who apparently is suddenly really good)

Schedule isn't easy either IMO.

But hey PJ's teams have suprised me plenty of times, I'm hopeful.
 

WriterGoph

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@ Penn State

@ Michigan State (who apparently is suddenly really good)

Schedule isn't easy either IMO.

But hey PJ's teams have suprised me plenty of times, I'm hopeful.

Those will be tougher games, but let's remember, Michigan State had a pretty awful defense this year - they needed OT to beat Nebraska and were losing to Indiana at home. Their big non-con win that got them ranked so high came against what turned out to be a pretty bad Miami team. And that was with 20 transfers. I guess I'll be interested to see if Tucker crushes it in the portal again, but I'd much rather have Mich St than Michigan or OSU on the schedule. It always seems like we play Penn St pretty close.

As far as teams in the West, if Wisconsin in still starting Mertz, that's a positive and I have to assume they are losing some of those LBs, DL and OL to the NFL and graduation. We get Iowa at home and I wouldn't say that either Petras or Padilla appear to be world-beaters (yes, I know Iowa has owned us lately). We get Purdue at home, which is a big positive and I expect they lose David Bell to the NFL. Illinois on the road will be tough for sure, but hopefully we have payback on our mind. Nebraska....well, Scott Frost. Northwestern is the wild card as Fitz always seems to follow a crap year up with a very good one.
 


Ogee Oglethorpe

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OL is the biggest concern by far. But IIRC the potential starting OL next year played together against NE last year and looked pretty decent. There's a chance there's not a big drop off from this year, but a lot will hinge on how well the OL plays.
Other than that, I think there's talent everywhere else on the team that I think we'll have a 7-9 win team next year - so not exactly a rebuild IMO.
There will be holes to fill on the OL, for sure, but I gotta hope that the Gophers are at the point where guys like Boe, Beier, Ersery, Guedet, Shaw, et al are ready to step into primary roles, along with underclassmen like Lewis, Lawrence and Cooper. Some of these guys have to step up, third year or more in the program.
 

MplsGopher

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All depends on who comes back and/or who we claim off the portal.

That's going to be a running theme for a lot of teams, most likely.
 

MNVCGUY

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@ Penn State

@ Michigan State (who apparently is suddenly really good)

Schedule isn't easy either IMO.

But hey PJ's teams have suprised me plenty of times, I'm hopeful.
Schedule is never easy, it is the Big Ten.

To the OP, good breakdown. You forgot about Wright in the WR section. I also agree that the O-Line is going to look different but doesn't mean we are in for a big dropoff there.

Transfers could be the big X-Factor the way they were in 2021. Fleck has proven very good at identifying guys in the portal that can come in and help us. He has found some real gems in the portal and hasn't missed often on those guys.
 

RogueGopher

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I saw this mentioned on another thread and I know a few weeks ago, some were chalking 2022 up to a rebuilding year. But I'd like to lay out the position groups and what we KNOW we have back but also what we THINK we may have back too.

QB - We know what we have and Tanner is at the very very least a guy capable of winning more Big Ten games than he loses. Has won 7 and 6 conference games in two of his last three seasons.

RB - Mo is back and we already have two young guys who proved themselves well this year - not even factoring in Potts or Williams.

WR - I still think it's more likely CAB comes back (TBD). Jackson was hurt this year, but has shown upside. MBS had a bit of a breakout year. Boyd played, Brockington redshirted, Emilien may get healthy at some point. Hoskins coming in. Obviously CAB is the big swing piece here, but hard to think we won't see continued development from the young WRs.

TE - BSF is back. Geers has already been talked up PJ. Kallerup should take over the blocking role. Henderson could be a factor.

OL - I think this is where people are most concerned. But I think a lot of assumptions are being made. Sure, we lose Big Dan, Schlueter and Olson for sure. I'm nearly certain Ruschmeyer will be back for an extra year. I also think it's likely we get at least one of JMS or Andries back. Even without them, it's not like we'd be playing redshirt freshmen on the line. Karter Shaw, JJ Guedet, Nathan Boe and Ersery have all played games and have been waiting their turn. Martes Lewis has also been mentioned as a bright spot. That doesn't even factor in any moves PJ makes in the portal this offseason. While it *could* be a lot of turnover, these are not guys who haven't played meaningful snaps.

K - I think Trickett comes back for another year and we still have Kesich for kickoffs.

P - Crawford is only a sophomore next year (if he doesn't count 2020).

DL - We lose Mafe and Nyles, but I think Big O and/or Rush may come back for another year. Behind them, we have Joyner, Logan-Redding, Striggow and Booker coming up at DE. DT has been one of our best recruited positions in recent years. Carter will be back. Richter has played. Schuster has gotten a lot of good buzz. McCoy and Eastern coming up. Plus our two best recruits this year are on the DL. Again, doesn't factor in any moves we make in the portal.

LB - Oliver is back for sure. We lose Gibbens, but I'm calling it now and I think MSM returns too. All that said, still have Burns, Willis, Lindenberg, Finnessy developing. Also Devon Williams has been getting nice buzz for his work this year. Not seeing a huge dropoff at LB.

DB - Durr, Howard and Harris are gone. Smith will be an extra year decision. I think Howden comes back for an extra year. Nubin returns. Walley returns. Dixon returns. Ortiz redshirted. Jalen Glaze, Miles Fleming and Darius Green have also gotten a lot of good buzz from the staff.

So overall, yeah, there are some spots where we will have some potential turnover (OL and DL, maybe DB), but I think with Tanner and Mo returning, we are going to see more seniors (especially the guys who aren't sure NFL guys) taking their extra year. We also have to remember that we have been recruiting some young guys with lots of upside in recent years. Just cause they haven't played behind a very veteran team doesn't mean they aren't going to be good players.

The next week or two will be very interesting with extra year announcements and seeing how we do in the portal, but for people assuming that 2022 is a massive rebuild, I think you may be jumping to conclusions too quickly.

What are your thoughts? What players did I miss calling out on the roster?
You are exactly right. Returning a Veteran QB and skill position players is massive. Next years team may actually have more talent, just don't know it yet.
Schedule is tough, so the record may end up looking as if it was a "rebuild".
 




RememberMurray

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I'd be surprised if the Gophers aren't contenders again in 2022.

The o-line will be the key. We're a run-first team. We have talent at running back, we just have to hope we have a new crop of road-graders coming up.

If the o-line play continues to be at a high level, that means our team philosophy of pounding the rock and dominating time of possession can be maintained. That style of play can really help the defense.

I know there are posters here who dislike the run, run, run offense, but I think it usually works in our favor. Hey, we just out-Wisconsin-ed the Badgers playing that style, and damn near upset Iowa.
 

MplsGopher

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WR - I still think it's more likely CAB comes back (TBD). Jackson was hurt this year, but has shown upside. MBS had a bit of a breakout year. Boyd played, Brockington redshirted, Emilien may get healthy at some point. Hoskins coming in. Obviously CAB is the big swing piece here, but hard to think we won't see continued development from the young WRs.
Don't forget Wright!

OL - I think this is where people are most concerned. But I think a lot of assumptions are being made. Sure, we lose Big Dan, Schlueter and Olson for sure. I'm nearly certain Ruschmeyer will be back for an extra year. I also think it's likely we get at least one of JMS or Andries back. Even without them, it's not like we'd be playing redshirt freshmen on the line. Karter Shaw, JJ Guedet, Nathan Boe and Ersery have all played games and have been waiting their turn. Martes Lewis has also been mentioned as a bright spot. That doesn't even factor in any moves PJ makes in the portal this offseason. While it *could* be a lot of turnover, these are not guys who haven't played meaningful snaps.
Axel Rusch is confirmed back. Probably starts at LG. Losing both Andries and JMS would be massive blows. The rest of the interior guys are just not proven and/or are not starting Big Ten level guys. May need one or two from the portal.

Tackle I think we'll be OK, because we have a decent set of recruits at that spot over the past couple years.

DL - We lose Mafe and Nyles, but I think Big O and/or Rush may come back for another year. Behind them, we have Joyner, Logan-Redding, Striggow and Booker coming up at DE. DT has been one of our best recruited positions in recent years. Carter will be back. Richter has played. Schuster has gotten a lot of good buzz. McCoy and Eastern coming up. Plus our two best recruits this year are on the DL. Again, doesn't factor in any moves we make in the portal.
Carter is the man at NT. Hoping that Eastern takes a big step forward and becomes a dominate 3tech.

What are your thoughts? What players did I miss calling out on the roster?
I think you nailed the rest of it.


The main concern is -- did they permanently fix whatever the blatant foul-ups that occurred against Illinois were? I don't even care about BG, forget that game. The Illinois one was the concerning one. Tanner 93 rating.
 

#2Gopher

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Personally, I'm not worried. That's college football losing players at one time either 4 or 5 years. Now with portal, this is where Fleck comes in and I have 100% faith in him to plug any holes we may have. We also have to remember that every time is going through this to a point.

I'd hate to be in Oklahoma right now. Looks to be a nuclear bomb exploding there as to players possibly leaving to USC.
 



Hates Monikers

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I saw this mentioned on another thread and I know a few weeks ago, some were chalking 2022 up to a rebuilding year. But I'd like to lay out the position groups and what we KNOW we have back but also what we THINK we may have back too.

QB - We know what we have and Tanner is at the very very least a guy capable of winning more Big Ten games than he loses. Has won 7 and 6 conference games in two of his last three seasons.

RB - Mo is back and we already have two young guys who proved themselves well this year - not even factoring in Potts or Williams.

WR - I still think it's more likely CAB comes back (TBD). Jackson was hurt this year, but has shown upside. MBS had a bit of a breakout year. Boyd played, Brockington redshirted, Emilien may get healthy at some point. Hoskins coming in. Obviously CAB is the big swing piece here, but hard to think we won't see continued development from the young WRs.

TE - BSF is back. Geers has already been talked up PJ. Kallerup should take over the blocking role. Henderson could be a factor.

OL - I think this is where people are most concerned. But I think a lot of assumptions are being made. Sure, we lose Big Dan, Schlueter and Olson for sure. I'm nearly certain Ruschmeyer will be back for an extra year. I also think it's likely we get at least one of JMS or Andries back. Even without them, it's not like we'd be playing redshirt freshmen on the line. Karter Shaw, JJ Guedet, Nathan Boe and Ersery have all played games and have been waiting their turn. Martes Lewis has also been mentioned as a bright spot. That doesn't even factor in any moves PJ makes in the portal this offseason. While it *could* be a lot of turnover, these are not guys who haven't played meaningful snaps.

K - I think Trickett comes back for another year and we still have Kesich for kickoffs.

P - Crawford is only a sophomore next year (if he doesn't count 2020).

DL - We lose Mafe and Nyles, but I think Big O and/or Rush may come back for another year. Behind them, we have Joyner, Logan-Redding, Striggow and Booker coming up at DE. DT has been one of our best recruited positions in recent years. Carter will be back. Richter has played. Schuster has gotten a lot of good buzz. McCoy and Eastern coming up. Plus our two best recruits this year are on the DL. Again, doesn't factor in any moves we make in the portal.

LB - Oliver is back for sure. We lose Gibbens, but I'm calling it now and I think MSM returns too. All that said, still have Burns, Willis, Lindenberg, Finnessy developing. Also Devon Williams has been getting nice buzz for his work this year. Not seeing a huge dropoff at LB.

DB - Durr, Howard and Harris are gone. Smith will be an extra year decision. I think Howden comes back for an extra year. Nubin returns. Walley returns. Dixon returns. Ortiz redshirted. Jalen Glaze, Miles Fleming and Darius Green have also gotten a lot of good buzz from the staff.

So overall, yeah, there are some spots where we will have some potential turnover (OL and DL, maybe DB), but I think with Tanner and Mo returning, we are going to see more seniors (especially the guys who aren't sure NFL guys) taking their extra year. We also have to remember that we have been recruiting some young guys with lots of upside in recent years. Just cause they haven't played behind a very veteran team doesn't mean they aren't going to be good players.

The next week or two will be very interesting with extra year announcements and seeing how we do in the portal, but for people assuming that 2022 is a massive rebuild, I think you may be jumping to conclusions too quickly.

What are your thoughts? What players did I miss calling out on the roster?
This is probably the most optimistic view one could have on this topic. Not that I disagree; we just don't know.

We don't know who's coming back, and this outlook has many or most of the question marks returning. We don't actually know how good the guys who haven't played are. We don't know how long it will take them to turn into veterans.

I'm concerned about the OL, for sure. The WRs need to be better. The defensive secondary could be a big concern. I think we're okay on the DL, but we lost a lot of depth.

You're doing a lot of guessing, and I hope you're right.
 

Bayfieldgopher

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OL is the biggest concern by far. But IIRC the potential starting OL next year played together against NE last year and looked pretty decent. There's a chance there's not a big drop off from this year, but a lot will hinge on how well the OL plays.
Other than that, I think there's talent everywhere else on the team that I think we'll have a 7-9 win team next year - so not exactly a rebuild IMO.
Nebraska
LT-Sam
LG-Blaise
C-Boe
RG-Olson
RT-Ersery
 

WriterGoph

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Don't forget Wright!


Axel Rusch is confirmed back. Probably starts at LG. Losing both Andries and JMS would be massive blows. The rest of the interior guys are just not proven and/or are not starting Big Ten level guys. May need one or two from the portal.

Tackle I think we'll be OK, because we have a decent set of recruits at that spot over the past couple years.


Carter is the man at NT. Hoping that Eastern takes a big step forward and becomes a dominate 3tech.


I think you nailed the rest of it.


The main concern is -- did they permanently fix whatever the blatant foul-ups that occurred against Illinois were? I don't even care about BG, forget that game. The Illinois one was the concerning one. Tanner 93 rating.

Yeah, being an optimist, I'm gonna hope PJ and Sanford never forget those two games and it helps them evolve this offseason as coaches. That's the best-case scenario.

Also, thanks to everyone for the Wright callout. Can't believe I forgot him. If CAB doesn't come back, Wright could be WR1 next year for sure!
 

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There is POTENTIAL to be 8-0 and coming off of a bye week when going to East Lansing. EVERY Big 10 game has the potential to be a tough win so not marking Iowa, Rutgers, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska as victories but they have the potential to beat them. First 5 at home may make it easier for new starters to grow as the season goes on.
 

WriterGoph

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There will be holes to fill on the OL, for sure, but I gotta hope that the Gophers are at the point where guys like Boe, Beier, Ersery, Guedet, Shaw, et al are ready to step into primary roles, along with underclassmen like Lewis, Lawrence and Cooper. Some of these guys have to step up, third year or more in the program.

I think Beier is moving on. Pretty sure he posted a farewell message on Gopher Football Twitter this past weekend along with the other guys who are leaving.
 

everybody knows my name

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Replacing a lot of starters every year is par for the course in college football. Every year we stress over it, and every year we get to learn a bunch of great new players.

If the Fleckster is the ace coach that we all think he is, then he'll have fresh talent coming in to improve the team year over year.
 

MaxyJR1

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I do not think 2022 is rebuilding at all. The schedule is very manageable and Fleck has shown this team can go on the road and compete.

Defensive replacements are my biggest concern as defense wins games. Need to Mafe, Gibbens, and Durr replacements are huge.

Transfers will be a big deal and there will be some surprises as there always is.

Will be interesting to see who leaves from teams we play next year. What will Iowa and WI lose?
 

MplsGopher

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I think Beier is moving on. Pretty sure he posted a farewell message on Gopher Football Twitter this past weekend along with the other guys who are leaving.
Beier is done. Never contributed on the field, best of luck to him.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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There is POTENTIAL to be 8-0 and coming off of a bye week when going to East Lansing. EVERY Big 10 game has the potential to be a tough win so not marking Iowa, Rutgers, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska as victories but they have the potential to beat them. First 5 at home may make it easier for new starters to grow as the season goes on.
I saw that also. Playing the first 5 at home is a great thing for any new blood in the starting lineup to gain some PT and confidence.
 

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Brutal last 5 games and lack of starters on OL and DL, and need to figure out the lack of talent at WR
 

Otis

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Didn’t we have a four star d-back who stayed?
Big question is line on offense and defensive backs.
Bowl game could answer a lot of these questions if guys opt to not play which I would look at as an advantage going into next year.
Would definitely like to see changes in coaching staff at OC, QB coach, and Special Teams. This is more important than who plays.
 

RememberMurray

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I do not think 2022 is rebuilding at all. The schedule is very manageable and Fleck has shown this team can go on the road and compete.

Defensive replacements are my biggest concern as defense wins games. Need to Mafe, Gibbens, and Durr replacements are huge.

Transfers will be a big deal and there will be some surprises as there always is.

Will be interesting to see who leaves from teams we play next year. What will Iowa and WI lose?

The bolded!

I watched highlights of Saturday. The reason Walley saw so much action had to have been that Wisconsin didn't want anything to do with Coney Durr.
 


WriterGoph

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This is probably the most optimistic view one could have on this topic. Not that I disagree; we just don't know.

We don't know who's coming back, and this outlook has many or most of the question marks returning. We don't actually know how good the guys who haven't played are. We don't know how long it will take them to turn into veterans.

I'm concerned about the OL, for sure. The WRs need to be better. The defensive secondary could be a big concern. I think we're okay on the DL, but we lost a lot of depth.

You're doing a lot of guessing, and I hope you're right.

Totally get what you're saying. While I don't expect all these older guys to come back, even if half of them do, we are in pretty solid shape. Someone already posted a different thread discussing these decision factors, but there are not too many guys who are going to get Round 1-4 feedback (probably Big Dan, Mafe and maaaaybe Andries or JMS). But if you're being told you may go in Round 5-7 or be an UDFA, it just comes down to how much they love the culture/program, how much of a shot they have to improve their draft standing with a better/healthy year and if they believe the team can do something special next year.

I just don't think Howden, MSM, Rush (for example) probably have serious NFL aspirations - not that they wouldn't go to tryouts/camps. But CAB could feel like a fully healthy year puts him in a better light with NFL teams.

As I said, gonna be an interesting couple weeks.
 

UpAndUnder43

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I'm not gonna go in depth until we have more clarity on who is coming in, who is leaving, etc. but I'll say I fully expect the Gophers to win 7-9 games. A bad year will be 6-6, a good year 10-2. That is what I expect every year going forward with PJ, unless we have the stars align and then I'll say 11-1/12-0 will be possible in the next few years.
 

cjbfbp

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What are your thoughts? What players did I miss calling out on the roster?

Well, we know that we have our QB and our #1 RB back but, to my knowledge, we don't know yet about others who might have been projected to leave. Also, we don't know if others might enter the transfer portal. Both Dunlap and Anderson would have had continuing roles on this team and likely bigger roles next year but they entered the transfer portal anyway.

The lineup next season probably will be more experienced than I expected so that is good. The year after we have a very, very tough schedule (almost as bad as Nebraska's this season) so I hope we have some serious development of underclassmen next year.
 

MplsGopher

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This year's Michigan St is last year's Indiana. They will win more than 2 games next year, but I expect them to regress quite a bit.
Wish this was true.

But there's a reason Mich St has an 80k stadium and fills it more often than not.

And can pay a coach $9.5M/year.
 




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