Minnesota Golden Gophers Schedule Breakdown & Season Win Totals

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 4:55 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jul. 22, 2015 4:55 PM GMT

Our college football professional analyst breaks down the prospects for the Minnesota Golden Gophers upcoming 2015 season. Read on & find out where they may be headed.

2015 Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are coming off a successful 8-5 campaign in 2014, including a solid 5-3 during Big Ten action. The season ended on a bit of a sour note with a 33-17 loss in a “New Years Day” bowl game against Missouri. The Golden Gophers will look to attain their third consecutive winning season, and will aim for a fourth consecutive bowl appearance all under current head coach Jerry Kill.

 

Regular Season Futures Win Total
According to our respectable affiliate at Bovada, the regular season win total posted for Minnesota is currently at 6.0. Placing a bet on go over 6 regular season wins comes at a price of -175, and under the total of 6.0 is a very enticing +135.

 

Outlook
Minnesota will be returning 5 starters on offense and 7 on defense for the upcoming season. They lost some key personnel on offense starting with All-American tight end Max Williams who led the team with 36 receptions, and 8 of those resulted in touchdowns. They must also replace their 2014 top rusher David Cobb who ran for 1675 yards and 13 touchdowns. The defense will be without their two leading tacklers from a season ago in Damien Wilson and Cedrick Thompson.

On a positive note, last year’s starting quarterback Mitch Ledner returns. Although he possessed less than gaudy numbers a season ago, Ledner is a perfect fit for Jerry Kill’s offense. He has good size at 6’4 and 236 pounds. That attribute is crucial in absorbing the punishment he’s likely to endure considering he ran for 452 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

 

The Schedule

09/03/15

vs. TCU

09/12/15

at Colorado State

09/19/15

vs. Kent State

09/26/15

vs. Ohio U.

10/03/15

at Northwestern

10/10/15

at Purdue

10/17/15

vs. Nebraska

10/31/15

vs. Michigan

11/07/15

at Ohio State

11/14/15

at Iowa

11/21/15

vs. Illinois

11/28/15

vs. Wisconsin


The upcoming 2015 schedule for the Gophers can be deemed as anything but easy. They open up at home against TCU (9/3) who will in all likelihood the preseason #2 nationally rated team. They’ll also take defending national champion Ohio State in Columbus (11/7), and the Buckeyes undoubtedly will be #1 to begin the year.

Their conference home slate isn’t nearly as imposing as the two above mentioned games, but it’s certainly no cakewalk. Three of those four opponents (Nebraska, Illinois, and Wisconsin) participated in bowl games a season ago. The other comes against a Michigan team which is expected to be vastly improved. Former San Francisco 49ers head coach and Wolverines alum Jim Harbaugh takes over in Ann Arbor. The best possible scenario I see for Minnesota is to go 5-2 at home. Realistically 4-3 would seem to be a safe projection.

Minnesota follows their season opener versus TCU with a road game in Fort Collins against Colorado State. Although the Rams went 10-3 a season ago, they’ll be going through a transition in their coaching staff. Former head man Jim McElwain accepted the vacant Florida job at the conclusion of a tremendous 10-2 regular season campaign. They’ll also have to replace star quarterback Garrett Grayson and leading rusher Dee Hart. Grayson threw for 4006 yards and 32 touchdowns, and Hart rushed for 1312 yards while averaging a superb 6.6 yards per carry a season ago. In the nutshell, this certainly won’t be an easy game, but it’s surely one that Minnesota can win with all being considered.

The Golden Gophers 2015 conference road slate is far from imposing when excluding the Ohio State game. Their other three opponents are Northwestern, Purdue, and Iowa. Those three teams combined to go 15-22 overall and 8-16 in the Big Ten last year.

 

Final Analysis
This isn’t going to be a team that I’m personally going wagering on or against in terms of their regular season win total. If I were backed into the proverbial corner to make one of my college football picks at this time, I’d lean toward taking the value of going under 6.0 wins (+135).

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