As we inch ever closer to the start of the 2019 NCAA Football Season, it’s time to really start paying attention ton Gopher Football.
Minnesota has is considered one of the best ‘long-shots’ at online betting outlets and Vegas. At +8500 and one of the softest schedules in the Big 10, can the Gophers go Bowling? And do they have a legitimate shot of taking the Big 10 now that Urban Meyer is out of the picture?
The Gophers open up by hosting South Dakota State at TCF Bank Stadium. This should be only slightly tougher than a tune-up game. At first glance, their road trip to Fresno State might seem easy because it’s the Mountain West. However, they won the conference last season and are a legitimately tough team. The Gophers should get the win, but it won’t be a cakewalk to victory. Next up is the Georgia Southern, which is a slam-dunk of a game. Last season, the Gophers trounced the Boilermakers 41-10. This season, Minnesota will have to defeat the Boilermakers at Purdue. Next up will be the Illini at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers fell to the Illini last year, but with a refocused defense and home-field advantage, vengeance is coming.
Nebraska was another key loss last season. But the Gophers get back-to-back home games and will take on the Cornhuskers in Minnesota. And remember, Nebraska lost every road game they played last season. If they can snag wins against Illinois and Nebraska at home, it will take a little bit of pressure off the late season stretch, which shows Maryland, Penn State, Iowa, and Northwestern back-to-back in four consecutive weeks. At least they get Rutgers before that stretch and close the season against Wisconsin at home.
The West is wide open. And with Minnesota’s front schedule, there is a good chance they improve to a nine-win season. The toughest thing about this season is both Northwestern and Iowa come on the road. But if with a little help from the rest of the division, maybe the Gophers will be in the race for the top of the west.
Ohio State is favored to win the conference with Harbough and Michigan is right behind. We have to be honest with ourselves and admit that if the Gophers made it to the Big 10 Championship Game, they would be quite hardpressed against either of those teams. That said, I love the Gophers’ chance to go bowling in 2019. Some people were projecting the RedBox Bowl this spring, but I feel like the Gophers are going to put together at least 8 wins and get decent bowl this time around. They routed Georgia Tech in the QuickLane Bowl last season, so if they have a good season, we should expect that to be considered at least somewhat during bowl bids –committee should up the ante a bit and get a better Bowl.
If the Minnesota Gophers start hot and win their winnable games in the first half of the season, and don’t drop all of the tough games in the later part of the season, they’ll be bowl bound for sure.
Tag(s): Where Are They Now?