The Minnesota Golden Gophers landed the hottest coaching prospect in the country by luring P.J. Fleck away from Western Michigan after he directed the Broncos to an undefeated regular season and a New Year’s Six bowl game. There will be pressure on Fleck to win immediately with the Gophers after they won nine games, their most in 13 seasons, and reached a bowl for a program record-tying fifth consecutive season. Fleck has assets to work with, but overtaking Wisconsin in the Big Ten West might be too much to ask in his first season.
2016 Record: 9-4 SU, 5-5-3 ATS, 6-7 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 7
National Championship Odds: +35000
Odds To Win Big Ten: +3000
We could call the Gophers overachievers, or we could call them underachievers. It all depends on how you look at it. Sure, they won nine games, which way overachieved from the previous 12 teams. They had the benefit of a soft schedule and they took advantage. It really doesn’t mean anything if you can’t beat the teams you’re supposed to beat.
The one thing Minnesota did was play close games with seven of the contests decided by a touchdown or less. The Gophers came out on top four times in those game and played Big Ten champ Penn State close in a 29-26 overtime loss. They were able to eke out wins over not-so-good Oregon State and Rutgers, but a win’s a win and the Gophers got nine of them.
Tracy Claeys did a fantastic job in his first full season, righting the ship after Jerry Kill retired midway through the 2015 season. Claeys was able to get enough out of his group to produce the most wins for the program since a 10-win season in 2003. But when an investigation led to the suspension of a number of players prior to the bowl matchup with Washington State, Claeys put his job on the line by supporting a players-led boycott of all team activities. In the end the Gophers relented, beat Washington State in the Holiday Bowl and watched their coach get fired because of his involvement.
One thing his predecessors did was recruit well giving Fleck plenty to work with so a Big Ten West title isn’t out of the question, and at the very least a program record sixth straight bowl game. There will be a period of adjustment after Fleck overhauled the coaching staff bringing offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca with him from WMU and putting Robb Smith in charge of the defense.
The Gophers lacked a formidable passing game last season and that was with an experienced quarterback. Mitch Leidner proved to be a valuable leader, but he threw for just 2,169 yards and the team averaged 173.6 per game through the air to rank 111th nationally. The new staff has a number of candidates vying for the starting job with Conor Rhoda and Demry Croft the front runners. Rhoda threw 16 passes last season. The hope is Fleck and Ciarrocca can get more out of the passing game after leading WMU to an average of 252 yards per game and a ranking of 20th among all FBS schools.
If the passing game doesn’t work out, there’s always a nice group of running backs to lean on. Rodney Smith rushed for 1,158 yards and 16 scores with Shannon Brooks plowing for 650 yards and five touchdowns. They’ll operate behind a mammoth but inexperienced offensive line. Smith inherits a defense that ranked 21st in total yards and allowed just 22.1 points per game. The linebackers are good and the line is disruptive with Steven Richardson able to do plenty of damage.
Week 1: Minnesota vs. Buffalo, Thursday, August 31
Week 2: Minnesota at Oregon State, Saturday, September 9
Week 3: Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee, Saturday, September 16
Week 4: OFF
Week 5: Minnesota vs. Maryland, Saturday, September 30
Week 6: Minnesota, at Purdue, Saturday, October 7
Week 7: Minnesota, vs. Michigan State, Saturday, October 14
Week 8: Minnesota vs. Illinois, Saturday, October 21
Week 9: Minnesota at Iowa, Saturday, October 28
Week 10: Minnesota at Michigan, Saturday, November 4
Week 11: Minnesota vs. Nebraska, Saturday, November 11
Week 12: Minnesota at Northwestern, Saturday, November 18
Week 13: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, Saturday, November 25
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
You aren't going to find yourself in much better position if by the time your handicapper puts his predictions out for the weekend the lines have been pounded and the value is gone.
So no matter if you are a big or small bettor, you can get your NCAA Thursday Night football betting action in as soon as possible.
Looking for Free Collegel Football picks online? - Look no farther.
Every week we'll choose a few games and preview them, give you the college football betting trends, make a free prediction and NCAA football odds on each game, and who you should be putting your money on.
Whether or not you should bet the moneyline or make a bet with or against the college football spread.
Make sure to share the college football information you gained here at Gamblers Palace with your friends by clicking on the Facebook Like bar at the top of this article.
Sports bettors have never had it so good thanks to the latest range mobile sports software that are designed to keep you abreast of all the sports betting action.
At Gamblers Palace our mission is to provide you with a reliable guide to best sports gambling applications available today.
NCAA Football Specials: NCAA Football Sportsbook Bonus
NCAA Football Odds: Live NCAA Football Betting Odds
Sports Betting Help: How to bet on sports
Sportsbook Rules: The Sports Betting Rules
Sports Betting deposits: View NCAA Football Deposit options