Your thoughts on the upcoming season

touchdownvikings

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I think we win the west this year. The OSU game will tell us a lot. If we win that game, dare I say we run the table and have a legitimate chance at a CFP appearance depending on the outcome of the B1G championship.
I like the way you think!
 

MGGopher

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TL;DR: TONS of reason for optimism that the season will be very special, but legitimate causes for concern. Wouldn't be surprised if the team starts slower than some expect, but is in the mix at the end a la 2019.​
Like many of us (I think), I was WAY too high on this team last year coming off the 11-2 season and promised myself I'd reign in my expectations for 2021 until I see some improvements on the field. I'm excited, but I'm doing my best to stay level-headed.​

WORRIES:
  • Can the WRs consistently create enough separation to win over the top and pull defenders out of the box?
  • Will the run defense improve at least to league average? How much will Gibbens, Oliver, and Pinckney help? Have MSM, Lindenberg, Carter, Otomewo and other returners improved enough?
  • Can the DL (outside of Mafe) generate a pass rush? Absolutely putrid last year, and given my worry just below this, could really hurt the pass defense.
  • Who are CBs 2 and 3 -- and are they good enough? Durr is a stud, but Smith, Walley, et al have a LOT to prove.
  • Can we get competent S play both in the passing and running game? Nubin and Howden were both very subpar last year. Have the adjusted to their new (in 2020) positions?
  • Are Tanner and Sanford on the same page? Will he look most like 2019 or 2020?
  • Will the STs take the huge step forward needed to win close games? Placekicking, punting, and return games were among the worst in the league last year.
OPTIMISM:
  • People who know what they're talking about (BTN crew, Burns, Fleck obviously) are VERY high on this team and think it's easily the deepest and most talented since Fleck arrived.
  • The transfers seem to be HRs and are making a big impact in camp.
  • The spring game was really encouraging. Tanner looked very sharp, the run D was much improved (Pinckney, Gibbens, and Lindenberg looked studly), Boyd flashed at WR, and Smith made a couple big plays at CB.
  • Trickett seems primed for the best placekicking season we've seen around here in a while.
  • You've got the best RB in the league returning.
  • OL is among the most experienced in the country and could have 3 or 4 NFL players.
Given the worries above, I wouldn't be surprised by any outcome from 6-6 to 12-0. I think 9-3 is reasonable. Like 2019, it's possible the team starts slowly (uncompetitive loss to OSU, closer than hoped for NC games) and improves steadily as the season progresses and the defense gels, Sanford and Morgan get comfortable, the young WRs improve and the coach finds rotations/roles they're comfortable with, etc.
 

MplsGopher

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No matter how much we may hate to admit it, LUCK will play a significant part in if we can have another season like 2019.

We need the ball to bounce our way sometimes. We need to avoid injuries. We need to avoid off-field incidents. We need to avoid covid taking people out of games!
 

Gophers1992

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No matter how much we may hate to admit it, LUCK will play a significant part in if we can have another season like 2019.

We need the ball to bounce our way sometimes. We need to avoid injuries. We need to avoid off-field incidents. We need to avoid covid taking people out of games!
Absolutely. Also could see a lot of one score games where a big play/mistake here or there will be all the difference.
 




8151

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I think this is going to be a very special season. 11-12+ wins
 

MNVCGUY

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MplsGopher

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I don't know much about them beyond Penix and Fryfogle being nice offensive players. Obviously two guys does not make a great team!
 



Schnauzer

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Some years I impress myself with how closely the season plays out compared to my opinion. Other years I remind myself there is a good reason why I am a fan and not a coach, by missing the mark pretty badly.

one thing I have noticed through being a regular on GH and other boards dating back over a decade: in general, the media and pundits used to be far more accurate than Gopher fans in predicting MN outcomes in the Brewster years, but that really changed in 2019. Now I feel most national media predictions are more lazy than Gopher fan predictions are delusional. This season feels a lot like 2019 to me.

I keep going back to the same thoughts:
1. How can a team that returns so many critical parts from 2019 (let alone 2020), not be a contender for the west?
2. Wisconsin and MN played to overtime last year and had similar records. MN returns more but some pundits have predicted 6th place and a .500 record. But Wisconsin is ranked and pretty much everyone has them winning the west.

2019 might have clouded my judgement and gave me too much confidence in Fleck. A lot of things went right that year. But, with clouded judgement or not - I feel like the team is headed for a 9-3 record and contention for the west. A win over Ohio State might be unlikely but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. If so, the final record could surpass 9-3. Anything less than 8-4 would be a disappointment to me given what is returning and what has been added.

If the defense is not greatly improved (at this point I think it is), 8-4 is the ceiling.
 

hungan1

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What we have now are paper tigers. There is relatively good news on the injury front. We are buoyed with early optimism.

Next week, we either row the boat successfully through a suicidal rapid, or we will humbly start fixing the leaks on the boat.

Hope springs eternal.


Let's Row The Boat!
 
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hungan1

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Some years I impress myself with how closely the season plays out compared to my opinion. Other years I remind myself there is a good reason why I am a fan and not a coach, by missing the mark pretty badly.

one thing I have noticed through being a regular on GH and other boards dating back over a decade: in general, the media and pundits used to be far more accurate than Gopher fans in predicting MN outcomes in the Brewster years, but that really changed in 2019. Now I feel most national media predictions are more lazy than Gopher fan predictions are delusional. This season feels a lot like 2019 to me.

I keep going back to the same thoughts:
1. How can a team that returns so many critical parts from 2019 (let alone 2020), not be a contender for the west?
2. Wisconsin and MN played to overtime last year and had similar records. MN returns more but some pundits have predicted 6th place and a .500 record. But Wisconsin is ranked and pretty much everyone has them winning the west.

2019 might have clouded my judgement and gave me too much confidence in Fleck. A lot of things went right that year. But, with clouded judgement or not - I feel like the team is headed for a 9-3 record and contention for the west. A win over Ohio State might be unlikely but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. If so, the final record could surpass 9-3. Anything less than 8-4 would be a disappointment to me given what is returning and what has been added.

If the defense is not greatly improved (at this point I think it is), 8-4 is the ceiling.
Some years I impress myself with how closely the season plays out compared to my opinion. Other years I remind myself there is a good reason why I am a fan and not a coach, by missing the mark pretty badly.

one thing I have noticed through being a regular on GH and other boards dating back over a decade: in general, the media and pundits used to be far more accurate than Gopher fans in predicting MN outcomes in the Brewster years, but that really changed in 2019. Now I feel most national media predictions are more lazy than Gopher fan predictions are delusional. This season feels a lot like 2019 to me.

I keep going back to the same thoughts:
1. How can a team that returns so many critical parts from 2019 (let alone 2020), not be a contender for the west?
2. Wisconsin and MN played to overtime last year and had similar records. MN returns more but some pundits have predicted 6th place and a .500 record. But Wisconsin is ranked and pretty much everyone has them winning the west.

2019 might have clouded my judgement and gave me too much confidence in Fleck. A lot of things went right that year. But, with clouded judgement or not - I feel like the team is headed for a 9-3 record and contention for the west. A win over Ohio State might be unlikely but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. If so, the final record could surpass 9-3. Anything less than 8-4 would be a disappointment to me given what is returning and what has been added.

If the defense is not greatly improved (at this point I think it is), 8-4 is the ceiling.
We have so many experts with so little expertise. This is what is wrong with our digitally connected world today. Lazy or incompetent. I think they are evil twins. 🤔

I agree that Gophers fans have a lot to be optimistic about. I like the Gopher chances of coming out ahead of the so-called experts.
 

Artemis Pyle

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I don’t share the optimism that some of you have:
OSU L
Miami W
Buffs L
BG W
Purdue W
Neb W
MD W
NW W
Illini W
Iowa, IN, Badgers L
7-5 not bad

p.s. winning in Boulder is tougher than it appears. Bigger is not better in this case.
 
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bleedsmaroonandgold

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I don’t share the optimism that some of you have:
OSU L
Miami W
Buffs L
BG W
Purdue W
Neb W
MD W
NW W
Illini W
Iowa, IN, Badgers L
7-5 not bad
7-5 we be pretty disappointing. We think we are in a new and more successful era. 7-5 doesn't feel like a season that would differentiate us much from Mason/Kill/Claeys (even Brewster hit 7-5 once). That to me would be a pretty big step backwards, especially given that we seem to have room for optimism with the stars aligning for a RS senior QB, RS senior RB, and an experienced offensive line.
 

Artemis Pyle

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7-5 we be pretty disappointing. We think we are in a new and more successful era. 7-5 doesn't feel like a season that would differentiate us much from Mason/Kill/Claeys (even Brewster hit 7-5 once). That to me would be a pretty big step backwards, especially given that we seem to have room for optimism with the stars aligning for a RS senior QB, RS senior RB, and an experienced offensive line.
Stars aligned maybe 8-4, very tough schedule and November is hell.
 

MplsGopher

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I don’t share the optimism that some of you have:
OSU L
Miami W
Buffs L
BG W
Purdue W
Neb W
MD W
NW W
Illini W
Iowa, IN, Badgers L
7-5 not bad

p.s. winning in Boulder is tougher than it appears. Bigger is not better in this case.
If Colorado and Indiana are both pretty good this year, well then that might just be the stink of it. Winning on the road is always tough. Ohio St, Iowa, and Wisc are what they are, regardless.

Would be nice to win the other 7 and get at least one out of those five, however.
 

Gophers7NatTitlesBadgers0

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This guy gets it!

No. 1 Minnesota

Once again I’m high on the Gophers. Minnesota starts with the unfortunate task of getting Ohio State, which for a defense that struggled mightily early last year, that’s rough. However this Buckeyes team has to figure out what it is whereas Minnesota largely knows what it wants to do on offense

Minnesota is going to run behind its big offensive line. Then it’s going to hammer the play action pass. Tanner Morgan is a better quarterback when Minnesota gets to play from out front and if the Gophers do that they’re a more challenging team. Probably not with Ohio State, but the rest of the division, it’s going to be a bear.

Minnesota could lose to Ohio State and then possibly be favored in its next five conference games leading up to Iowa. The Gophers have Purdue and Northwestern on the road in that stretch and Nebraska, Maryland and Northwestern all at home.

The season begins again in mid-November. Get two out of three against Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin — which sounds tougher than it actually is — and the Gophers are likely going to Indy and PJ Fleck will be the toast of the division.
He has NE third, which is a little modest for a writer in Husker nation. I'll say he half gets it!
 




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