Iowa football: Are the Gophers actually a legitimate B1G West contender?

With Minnesota undefeated seven games into the season, we need to ask the question. Should Iowa football fans actually be worried about the Gophers?

If you’re a Minnesota Gophers fan, you’re not going to like what I am about to say so maybe just stop reading? Theoretically, the Gophers are a team the Iowa football team should be worried about as they attempt to win the Big Ten West, but talent-wise, they are not.

Minnesota has arguably the best schedule of all Big Ten West teams, and until this point, they have had zero competition.

Let me rattle off the wins that Minnesota has:

  • South Dakota State 28-21
  • Fresno State 38-35 2OT
  • Georgia Southern 35-32
  • Illinois 40-17
  • Purdue 38-31
  • Nebraska 34-7
  • Rutgers 42-7

That’s seven wins against teams that are a combined 22-25 and six of those wins are coming from FCS program South Dakota State. Two of Illinois’ wins were against Akron and Connecticut who have one win combined between them. Yes, the Wisconsin win was nice, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

Rutgers is garbage and Nebraska looks at least another year away from actually competing for a Big Ten West title. Purdue is probably the best team on this list and they are 2-5 after dropping a close game to the Iowa football team this past week.

Now to be fair to Minnesota, being undefeated at this point is quite an accomplishment. The rigorous college football season is always good for one or two crazy upsets and any team, except for Alabama, is susceptible to that. The gophers currently have the nation’s 22nd-best offense led by Sophomore Tanner Morgan who has thrown 16 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions and their defense has been solid as of late and is currently allowing 21.4 points per game, which is 35th in the nation.

This isn’t a bad team, but let’s slow the roll on them being a good team. They are likely going to drop at least three of their next five games to Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin. If they do that, that’s still a commendable season, but it isn’t going to win the Big Ten West.