Generic CFB Prediction: Nebraska Will Return to Glory; Gophers Will Be Average… blah blah blah

Nebraska defensive back Tre Neal (14) tackles Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Nebraska won 53-28. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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In yet another “man-made” 2019 college football expert prediction, the Gophers have been thrown through the same generic tumbler that kicks out the same generic crap that you see every year if there is any positive spin around the Gopher program.

This type of thing doesn’t happen when you let computers do the predicting.

It’s a “Way Too Early Bowl Matchups” Prediction from 247Sports.com this time, where the Gophers landed The Pinstripe Bowl. The 247Sports author did a wonderful job of explaining their selections too. Here it is, in its entirety:

Texas Bowl — Projection: Iowa State vs. Auburn

Pinstripe Bowl – Projection: Florida State vs. Minnesota

Independence Bowl – Projection: Wake Forest vs. Oklahoma State

Cheez-It Bowl – Projection: Texas Tech vs. Arizona

Quick Lane Bowl – Projection: N.C. State vs. Purdue

247Sports take: That’s right — Florida State will be an improved football team in 2019. For coach Willie Taggart’s sake, it must happen. Redshirt sophomore quarterback James Blackman is bulking up this spring and should be the guy who’s slightly ahead of Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook under center … Another seven-win regular season for Auburn might be it for coach Gus Malzahn, who takes over control of the offense this season as the Tigers’ primary play-caller. Auburn’s schedule isn’t conducive to success considering the questions on offense and the Vegas over-under win total of 8 suggests this team could take another step back.

Hey, at least we got to learn a little bit about our projected opponent, Florida State. Look, playing in Yankee Stadium would be great. BUT, finishing the 2019 season around 8-5 (the record of the last two Big Ten Pinstripe Bowl participants) would not be great. In fact, it would be completely unacceptable.

I wrote about it last week, but this is just the latest example of a national outlet underestimating what should be a much better Gophers team with a very favorable 2019 schedule. A schedule without either Michgan team or Ohio State.

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We should also have improved QB play, as Annexstad (possibly Morgan — but probably not) gains a full year of experience next to what has to be one of the best WR combinations in the country, with Tyler Johnson + Rashod Bateman, and behind an ever-improving offensive line. Even last year, there was a stark difference to what Gopher fans have been used to watching over the past 5 years under Kills/Clays, where they liked to turtle their way down the field, worrying much more about Mitch Leidner’s feelings and the defensive field position than actually scoring points on offense.

As long as our defense stays healthy, Antoine Winfield, Jr. in particular, and Joe Rossi’s scheme continues to work like it did last year when he took over, that side of the ball might be even better than the expectedly explosive offense.

But who cares about any of that right? Let’s talk about the Nebraska Cornhuskers going to The Citrus Bowl because they are going to be REALLY good AGAIN this year since they finished last season HOT…. (kind of) AND because they are NEBRASKA, who has historically been GREAT… (not really, they’ve only won 10 games once since entering the B1G in 2011).

Citrus Bowl

Where: Orlando, Fla.

Projected matchup: Nebraska vs. Texas A&M

Quick bite: How amped are Huskers fans about the possibilities this season with dynamic quarterback Adrian Martinez entering Year 2 under Scott Frost’s tutelage? If there’s a darkhorse conference title contender in the Big Ten, Nebraska should be the heavily-circuited choice. The Aggies aren’t quite there yet, but they will be.

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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