2014 was another very good year for Minnesota Football as Jerry Kill continues to build the program Brick By Brick (Please note that this is a vast improvement over Richard Pitino's Basketball program building effort, which is also being done Brick By Brick). Finishing 8-5 (5-3) is nothing for Minnesota to sneeze at, even with the New Years Day clunker against SEC East runner-up Missouri. Physically dominating Iowa, Nebraska, and Michigan while giving Ohio State and Wisconsin all they could want in a game is a promising sign for the future. Gone are Maxx Williams, David Cobb, Cameron Botticelli, and Derrick Wells, along with their considerable contributions to the team, but there's plenty returning that Gopher fans can be optimistic about.
OBJECTION! SUSTAINED! OVERRULED! HUNG JURY!
I'm sorry, I'm not a lawyer. I'm confused and frightened by this format. Anyway, if Minnesota is to improve on last year's record, it will be because we're an improved football team. Unlike some teams in the B1G West with division title aspirations that play in former confederate prison grounds, Minnesota's schedule is unkind and will test the mettle of the team and the liver of the fans. Opening the slate with TCU is not an invitation to start off on the right foot, and almost everyone I know is hoping to escape with our health and some shred of dignity. The rest of the non-conference should be used to build momentum, get experienced depth, and occasionally complete a pass. If there is another loss, look for OTE to be your new home to my comparisons of Gopher Football to World War I poetry. The similarities between Owen's acceptance of death and Gopher Football under Tim Brewster are startling.
The B1G season breaks down nicely into 2 halves for our heroes. The first half starts with a pair of easily winnable games on the road at Northwestern and Purdue. The especially nice part about this is that the only crowd noise to overcome will be from traveling Gopher faithful (Ed. Note: InsertName will be at both of these games). After that we get a visit from Nebraska and their new coach, the PAC 12 Glen Mason. Following that and a bye, we get a Halloween night visit from the ALL POWERFUL AND INVINCIBLE MICHIGAN BY GOD WOLVERINES LED BY THE LORD JESUS J(im) CHRIST. So if one were to take a step back and be objective here, anything less than 4-0 is a massive disappointment.
After that, the 2nd half starts with a little more of a challenge with the defending and impending national champs in Columbus. Once again, avoid injures, save face and knees. The next two games at Iowa and vs. Illinois will be important in that we expect to take care of business. Iowa was so thoroughly asphyxiated last year that I assume they'll be fired up for all of 3 series before reality sets in and they realize that 52-14 will be a pleasant death. Illinois at home is a bit of a concern because they beat us last year, it's just Illinois, and that game is in the middle of one hell of a run of games. I just look at "NEBRASKA-MICHIGAN-OHIO STATE-IOWA-illinois-WISCONSIN" and think trap. But if they get through that one unscathed and 7-1 in conference, look out. Barring Paul Chryst being medicore, and only a 19-19 record at Pitt would ever lead me to suggest something like that, Wisconsin should be 11-1 coming into this game, and it'll be for the B1G West yet again. But this time it's in a real state. THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL!
I would be remiss to go through all that without pointing out a few minuscule details. Like, for example, that I am a disgusting homer and an eternal optimist. In spite of all evidence to the contrary, I'll always assume things will go well for Minnesota sports teams once I have a reason to do so. Jerry Kill has given me a reason to have faith in this team. The defense will be one of the best in the conference, the OL will be road graders, and Nugget Williams will step in and pick up the slack from David Cobb. The thing it all comes down to is Mitch Leidner occasionally hitting a receiver, followed by said receiver actually catching the ball. If that doesn't happen? Then the bottom falls out and we only go 6-6.
What we've learned so far:
|September 12th||@ Colorado State|
|September 19th||Kent State|
|October 3rd||@ justNorthwestern|
|October 10th||@ FILENOTFOUND|
|November 7th||@ Ohio State|
|November 14th||@ Iowa|
|December 5th||Big Ten Championship Game|
|December 31st||College Football Playoff Semifinal|
|January 11th||College Football Playoff Championship Game|
Jerry and everybody else, please beat the everloving shit out of Wisconsin. Please.
As you can see, the Quadrangle outside of blatant homer and deplorable quitter Mike Jones is aware of what Minnesota can and will do this year. Heck, it's so widely-known in the western frontier of the B1G that Minnesota is building a return to our pre-desegregation glory that deplorable Badger-lover Thomas Speth was afraid to make a prediction on this team. My own personal modest prediction is due to the fact that I won't predict a win over those things to the east until it actually happens once.
/InsertName steps up to the podium
As a non-native Minnesotan, I have not been conditioned to expect the worst (even if my freshman year coincided with the first year of #WINFIGHTTRYTREMENDOUS) and have no problem predicting a victory over the popcorn skunks. Plus, a jNW writer also picked 10-2 (7-1) and we all know that they're the smartest guys in the room.
|Candystripes for Breakfast||7-5||4-4|