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The Gophers Have Playoff Potential

11/07/2019, 2:15pm CST
By Jon Firman

It’s all well and good watching the NFL, but it’s important to remember that some of the biggest players all started in college football. So now with that back in full swing, we’ve seen ups and downs, shock upsets and startling results and we’re not even that far into the season. It’s always fun to follow a college football team, not just because of the great betting odds or watching prospective superstars in the making, but also because it’s a game that brings communities together. And the community in Minnesota has come together in the current season as the Golden Gophers got off to a flying start.

 

Minnesota’s Main Act

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are the college sports teams for the University of Minnesota. And they’ve got a fair amount. They’ve got 23 teams, such as the NCAA women’s ice hockey champions and wrestling team, but this is the year of the football team. They’re one of the oldest college football teams, dating back to 1882 and since 1896 they’ve been part of the Big Ten Conference. Over the decades they’ve racked up seven national championships, but the latest was way back in 1960. After almost 60 years, perhaps now is the time for the Golden Gophers to make it to the playoffs again. Even better yet, is it time for them to get their eighth championship trophy?

 

A Victorious Path Ahead

At the time of writing, the Gophers have got off to a dream start. They’ve won their last six games, and if they keep their current form, they’re sure to steam ahead. The victories were not dramatic at the start, with their first match against the Jackrabbits having a winning margin of only seven points. The next two matches saw them emerge victorious by only three points each but looking at the most recent matches it shows that not only have the Gophers continued on their successful streak, but they’re improving their defensive line, too. For instance, they beat Fighting Illini 40-17 and stampeded to victory against the Huskers 34-7.

Senior linebacker Carter Coughlin said: “We’ve been full tackle almost every single practice, we’ve been practicing harder than I’ve ever been a part of in my college experience. It’s clearly paying off.” Words that we agree with as the Gophers’ defense is proving an obstacle for the opposition. The sentiment was backed up by Antoine Winfield Jr., who said: “We know that if we practice well, we get results. That’s just our mindset now that we’ve got to come in and practice extremely hard.” As simple as it might sound, practice does make perfect. And the Gophers are REALLY putting in the practice. Wouldn’t you if you hadn’t won a trophy for 60 years?!

 

Can We Trust the Odds?

This is where it gets interesting. The Gophers are topping the Big Ten league. They’ve had back-to-back successes since the 2019 season began. So it’d be understandable to think already that they’d take away the trophy at the end. Not according to the current odds. They’re still 100/1 rank outsiders for making the playoffs and becoming national champions. What could go wrong?

 

The Golden Year for the Gophers

Despite the odds against them, the Gophers have displayed their intention of winning the league. And if they keep up their defensive mentality and hone their practicing, there’s a huge chance that this could happen, whatever the odds. Of course, we’re only halfway through the season, so even if the Gophers top the leaderboard before the re-start of the next half, anything could happen. We’ve seen it before, as teams go from champions to mid-rank squads but this is something that the Gophers will strive to avoid.

 

As well as achieving victories, they’ve also been making massive milestones for their team. That includes 112 points scored in the first three Big Games, the most they’ve done since 1916. It’s not just their defense either; their offense has been at the top of its game. Recently, Wide Receiver Tyler Johnson made five out of five receptions, completed a 118.8 passer rating and the Gophers aren’t afraid to shout about it. Just check out their social media pages, and you’ll see all the latest stats. They’re impressive. The mentality is all about practicing, honing skills and winning. So despite the odds, this year the Gophers do have playoff potential. We hope to see them there.

 

 

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Tag(s): Gopher Football