1. MINNESOTA WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
If Northwestern could pull off a Big Ten West title last year, why can’t Minnesota do it?
It didn’t take a perfect storm for the Wildcats to get to the Big Ten Championship, but it required a whole lot of breaks, starting with a down West with Nebraska not there yet, Iowa just above-average, and Wisconsin going bye-bye once Alex Hornibrook got hurt.
Nebraska has to come to Minnesota, and so does Wisconsin. The Iowa and Northwestern games are tough, but there’s no Ohio State, Michigan, or Michigan State to deal with from the East, and the Penn State game is at home after getting a week off to prepare.
So understanding that this might be way low if the Gophers can win at Fresno State early on and get by Purdue on the road in the Big Ten opener …
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 7
The running back and wide receiver situations are as strong as the program has had in a long, long time. However, the quarterbacks are just okay, the offensive line has to undergo some retooling, and the defensive front has a few question marks in the interior.
And then there’s the consistency factor. Is this going to be the team that was so good in the finishing kick last year, or will it be the one that got its doors blown off by Maryland, Nebraska, and Illinois – three teams that didn’t go bowling – on the way to an ugly 1-5 start to the Big Ten season?
It’ll be somewhere in between, and it should make Minnesota the Big Ten’s biggest wild-card team.
And, maybe this year’s Northwestern.