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B1G 2016 // Minnesota Golden Gophers Cocktail Party Preview

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THIS IS TOTALLY THE YEAR!

"And then I told Mabel 'oh yah, I can see Leidner being drafted. Into South Korean military service.'"
"And then I told Mabel 'oh yah, I can see Leidner being drafted. Into South Korean military service.'"
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Now that we've covered nearly all of the dregs of the B1G (I say "almost" because due to an amazingly long-lasting deal with the devil, Wisconsin hasn't had their turn yet), let's put the PARTY! into the cocktail parties and talk about everyone's 2nd-favorite team: Minnesota!  And just for fun, we've added a few little tweaks to irritate the Minnesota fans because change is the worst thing ever to us.


About last season

The Good News...

Nobody died.  Seriously. Nobody died.  Also, because Jerry Kill was very good at getting kids to play school we got to go to a bowl game and beat a MAC team.

The Bad News...

Just about everything that could go wrong in 2015 did.  Jerry Kill, the man who cleaned up the toxic waste dump he inherited when he arrived here in 2011, had to retire due to health reasons.  Prior to his departure, the offense was stagnant and uninspired.

About the offense

The Good News...

Did you guys hear that Mitch Leidner is going to be a 1st round draft pick? Ignore what you've seen in the past, and focus on the fact that NFL people are idiots.  Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith provided a potent 1-2 punch in the backfield, and should come back hungry and ready to compete. Brandon Lingen provided a reliable target at TE, and a number of young receivers each showed flashes of competence at separate points last season.  Skill positions shouldn't be a concern at all.  New OC Jay Johnson has more playcalling experience than Matt Limegrover, and looks to be a little more daring, too.

The Bad News...

OL depth. Yikes. If anything goes wrong, it could throw a wrench in everything else that could go right in 2016. And let's not even talk about what would happen if something were to happen to Mitch Leidner.  While Demry Croft and Seth Green could both be outstanding QBs for the Gophers at some point, I really don't want to see if it'll happen in 2016. KJ Maye, Leidner's favorite security blanket, matriculated.

About the Defense


The Good News...

Jay Sawvel is the best DC in the B1G West.  The return of Damarius Travis should help the reloading process of the secondary. The DL got some help with depth in the form of Merrick Jackson, which is key if we don't want to get worn down and mowed.

The Bad News...

We lost a ton. Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Eric Murray, De'Vondre Campbell, and Antonio Johnson are all gone. Having capable replacements that can stay healthy could be a big ask.

About Special Teams

The Good News...

SANTOSO SMASH!  The most charming fat kicker in the B1G returns for another year.

The Bad News...

Everyone's favorite humanitarian/punter has gone to a worse place.  Whether or not I meant the NFL or back to wisconsin is entirely up to you to decide.

On the schedule

Sept. 1 Oregon State
Sept 10 Indiana State
Sept 24 Colorado State
Oct 1 at Penn State
Oct 8 Iowa
Oct 15 at Maryland
Oct 22 Rutgers
Oct 29 at Illinois
Nov 5 Purdue
Nov 12 at Nebraska
Nov 19 Northwestern
Nov 26 at wisconsin
Dec 3 B1G Championship Game

BEHOLD THE CREAMY SOFTNESS!!!  Go ahead, soak that beautiful mess in.

If you're talking to a Minnesota fan

Do Mention...

Beer, how awesome it still is to go to football games on fall afternoons in an outdoor stadium, running backs, Goldy the Gopher, and/or beer.

Don't Mention...

Jerry Kill taking a job at Kansas State because he wanted a position at Minnesota where he'd be athletic director of football, Tim Brewster, wisconsin's winning streak.

B1G 2016 Minnesota Week

MONDAY | Cocktail Party Preview | Potluck I

TUESDAY | Personnel Files | Potluck II

WEDNESDAY | Traditions | Potluck III

THURSDAY | Wildcard | Potluck IV

FRIDAY | H8rade | Potluck V