Happy Veterans Day. Thanks for stopping by. Let's get started with questions.
I predicted 7-5 before the season, so I'm already surprised by the 8-2 start. Wisconsin and Michigan State will be tough. I'd say 8-4 but we'll see if the Gophers continue to surprise.
I think the long-term impact is that Jerry Kill is getting better. He's been pretty much back to work full-time the past three weeks, making big decisions since the Nebraska game. I think he'll be back on the sideline before season's end, though I'm guessing he'll wait until after a loss, going with the not-broke-don't-fix-it theory.
Yes, I think they both knew what they were signing up for and both will stay. Both are great kids. They're good friends. And I think they can tell how important two quarterbacks are in this offense.
I think Wisconsin can get a BCS berth by winning out. I know Gophers fans don't want to think about that, though.
It's interesting that the Buffalo Wild Wings (Dec. 28) bowl fourth in the Big Ten pecking order, ahead of the Gator and Heart of Dallas Bowls on New Year's Day. That was big last year getting the ESPN primetime spot in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. But the Gophers haven't played in a New Year's Day game since the 1962 Rose Bowl, so the Gator would be a fine landing spot.
The team hasn't released any official details, other than that Jon Christenson had surgery on his left leg. I was told he broke the leg.
I hadn't seen that Tweet, but I think it's still a longshot. Maybe if GameDay hadn't done the Jerry Kill feature story last week, they'd feel more compelled to come tell that story, in addition to the battle to the Axe, etc.
I'm going to say Gator Bowl, with Ohio State and Wisconsin both getting BCS berths.
I think he was trying to fire up that team. O'Brien is crazy like a fox.
I see your point. Nebraska is another threat to leapfrog the Gophers. No doubt fans from Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan have traveled better, historically, but Minnesota seems like the program on the rise out of that group of four.
ESPN's Todd McShay had Hageman projected as a third-round guy going into the season and recently had him as a late first rounder, No. 22 on his overall board, I believe.
He's tremendous. When the ball is thrown his way, you expect him to make a big play, even though he's a redshirt freshman. And yes, he has the size to block like the Gophers want their tight ends to do. Good kid, too.
The coaches like Nelson in there with the lead because of the experience factor. Leidner can really run, but his two fumbles (both recovered by MN) at Indiana on the same drive showed he has to learn to protect the ball.
The coaches had him pegged as their most talented back from the minute he set foot on campus. But he had a ton of maturing to do. Pass blocking, for example, wasn't part of his thing, but now he's picking up guys on the blitz. He's come a long way.
The 8-2 record has helped with all the recruits. Personally, I think Jones would have bolted for sure if the Gophers had gone 6-6. But this has to be eye opening for him. Still not sure where he'll land, but the Gophers are in much better position than they were four weeks ago.
Enjoy the ride, but hard to argue that Kill's program has made the turn. And the staff has laid a foundation for years of sustained success. I'm not saying they'll be 8-2 after 10 games next year -- there has been some good fortune involved -- but there are many more good things ahead.
The run defense has been suspect, especially against Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State. I thought Nebraska could have used Abdullah more, and the Gophers still don't have an answer for Zach Zwinak. Tracy Claeys said he wasn't pleased with how the defense looked against two-back, two-TE sets ... and here comes Wisconsin. A tough test, to be sure.
Donovahn Jones has impressed me the most, but Drew Wolitarsky, another true freshman, has really made strides, too. Nelson is getting most of the headlines, but the WR development has been critical.
No question, this has been a lot of fun to cover. How about Kevin Bacon? I used to get that a lot. We've both aged since then.
Apologies that I don't have more info. If I did, I'd report it.
Agreed. It's going to be very tough to score in both games. The Wisconsin game is at home, and with the rivalry, perhaps anything can happen. But given the Gophers struggles stopping the run, I think they match up better with the Spartans.