Looking ahead to 2020

#76
Minnesota is ranked #13 in the advanced stats. I wouldn’t call them a mediocre team.
Minnesota beat South Dakota state by 7, Fresno by 3 and Georgia state by 3. This was one of the most experienced teams in ncaa football. They started to gain confidence around mid season, but this team in the big east would have won 6 games

they also had an easy schedule, that’s why most stats people picked them to win the west.
 
#77
So if we get to 7 wins, lose to OSU, WI, Minny, Iowa, and NE - what would you be asking Whitman to do?

I wouldn't expect us to be favored in any of those games, NE being most likely to pull out a win even though it is away.
I think we win 8 games next year. But if things go our way, we could win 11. I have always believed Lovie should stay barring less than 5 wins this past season. I think back to back bowls for Illinois is great. Back to back to back at Illinois is almost unheard of historically. That is the goal next two seasons. But a team of all upperclassmen will produce way above expectations. After losing all the seniors (/season after next) I wouldn’t be surprised to win 4.
 
#78
If we win 7, compete in the others except for OSU, we are meeting my expectations. Tie that in with continuously improved recruiting. I am ok. We are not OSU, psu, or Mich and won't be anytime soon. We can aspire to that but it will be a long hard slog. It bothers me that game coaching appears questionable but don't want to start over.
If our offense wasn’t so atrocious, this team would have done better. It’s hard to keep the defense on the field all game. Need to move the chains. Next year, with Luke and a lot of infused talent, I’m expecting offense better than the top 50 and defense in the top 20.

as far as game coaching, I don’t mind it, because I like Lovies put the trust in the players. This will pay dividends down the road, once we get past this first hump.
 
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#79
If our offense wasn’t so atrocious, this team would have done better. It’s hard to keep the defense on the field all game. Need to move the chains. Next year, with Luke and a lot of infused talent, I’m expecting offense better than the top 50 and defense in the top 20.

as far as game coaching, I don’t mind it, because I like Lovies put the trust in the players. This will pay dividends down the road, once we get past this first hump.
I expect offense to be better. Defense unsure...lose Milan and Harding. Need to find a way to get pressure on quarterback. Also, the run stop vs NW was troubling. Should we have or did we make adjustments? Seems it was too easy to run...when everyone knew we would run. If defense improves slightly..would be happy. Depth should be improved every where but dl.
 
#80
Normal, Illinois
Remember a few years ago when the West was one of the weakest divisions in the P5 conferences? Now, it's hard to predict how many wins Illinois or anyone else in this division will have next year. A quick breakdown
Purdue-Seems to have found their QB for next year in O'Connell, passing attack should be prolific with Moore and Bell, but defense is still a question mark.
Iowa-Should be Iowa-good but is losing Stanley
Wisky-Probably will still win 10 games, are losing Taylor to the draft but they always magically find the next great Big Ten RB
Northwestern-Got better at the end year (bad timing for us), had a ton of injuries, should be improved next year
Minnesota-Defense will need to improve if they want to take the next step, bring back Morgan, Bateman, and Johnson on the offensive side
Nebraska-Make or break year for Scott Frost. Team should make a bowl game, media heads will probably talk them up but probably a 7-9 win team at best
Illinois-Returns nearly everybody on both sides of the ball

It's going to be a bloodbath in the West next year.
 
#81
I expect offense to be better. Defense unsure...lose Milan and Harding. Need to find a way to get pressure on quarterback. Also, the run stop vs NW was troubling. Should we have or did we make adjustments? Seems it was too easy to run...when everyone knew we would run. If defense improves slightly..would be happy. Depth should be improved every where but dl.
Offense should be better, nearly everyone returns (let's hope Dre Brown does too, he could have 1000 yard season). On defense, D-Line will be worse without Milan, I think LBs could be anywhere from slightly worse to slightly better, Hansen and Eifler another year in the system, and Tolson or others stepping in. DBs should be much better, only losing Stanley Green and gaining Beason, a offseasoned Witherspoon, and more experience. Next year we should be anywhere from 25-50 in SP+ in my opinion.
 
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#82
Remember a few years ago when the West was one of the weakest divisions in the P5 conferences? Now, it's hard to predict how many wins Illinois or anyone else in this division will have next year. A quick breakdown
Purdue-Seems to have found their QB for next year in O'Connell, passing attack should be prolific with Moore and Bell, but defense is still a question mark.
Iowa-Should be Iowa-good but is losing Stanley
Wisky-Probably will still win 10 games, are losing Taylor to the draft but they always magically find the next great Big Ten RB
Northwestern-Got better at the end year (bad timing for us), had a ton of injuries, should be improved next year
Minnesota-Defense will need to improve if they want to take the next step, bring back Morgan, Bateman, and Johnson on the offensive side
Nebraska-Make or break year for Scott Frost. Team should make a bowl game, media heads will probably talk them up but probably a 7-9 win team at best
Illinois-Returns nearly everybody on both sides of the ball

It's going to be a bloodbath in the West next year.
this is where talent comes in. In the East, many teams have players with size and talent where the two deep are all capable. Every team in the west depends on development and maturity. Wisconsin and Iowa are the closest to an Osu, but both teams have up and down years. Next year, Iowa will be a little more susceptible to a loss if wirfs (probably not) and espenesa (probably will) declare. Add another year of strength and maturity to our roster. Find some rotational defensive tackles and I like our chances.

Minnesota will be depleted on defense, they graduate most of their starters. I like this matchup.

purdue will have talent on offense. But they will still be young. I like this matchup.

Wisconsin is Wisconsin, I don’t like that matchup.

Indiana is going to be a tough one.returning most starters on a good team. They should be able to replace the players graduating with capable experience except ball.He may leave big shoes to fill.

Northwestern will be tough
 
#83
Will shammond Cooper be a factor for us next year at lb or are there others that will be ahead of him on the depth chart? I know he's redshirting but I haven't heard much about him since he joined the team.
 
#84
Will shammond Cooper be a factor for us next year at lb or are there others that will be ahead of him on the depth chart? I know he's redshirting but I haven't heard much about him since he joined the team.
I fully believe he will be a factor next year. I am not saying he is going to start every game, two seniors and one open spot is not easy to break. But with his talent, and physical frame, I suspect he takes a decent leap after a year in the program.
 
#85
Will shammond Cooper be a factor for us next year at lb or are there others that will be ahead of him on the depth chart? I know he's redshirting but I haven't heard much about him since he joined the team.
He came in pretty skinny, so probably bulking this season. I think he did sub Hansen in a couple games at the end, but when Hansen was hurt we played Tolson and DeGroot in front of him, probably to preserve his redshirt. There will be an open MLB spot, I think Barnes is the main backup now, but Tolson and Cooper could factor if they move Hansen to MLB or either of them play the MLB spot. My best guess is he will compete for a starting role somewhere but will probably be second string until Eifler and Hansen graduate.
 
#86
Cary, IL
Here's my interpretation of how next season should play out.
Illinois st.....W
Uconn........ W
Bowling...... W although not easy
Rutgers...... W
Nebraska .. L @ nebraska tough
To beat at home
Purdue..... W
Minnesota.. W
Wisconsin L avenge the loss
Iowa .... W finally beat them !
Indiana.. W
Ohio st.... L
N' western.. W.....

That puts us at 9 and 3 and ranked in the top 25 for the first time in forever.... Not unreasonable expectations right???
(Being facetious)
In all actuality its possible but tough...
7 and 5.. or 8 and 4 are more likely and the bar should be set at minimum of 7...
I agree with 9 on the high side, therefore, 7-5 seems more reasonable.
 
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#88
My best guess is he will compete for a starting role somewhere but will probably be second string until Eifler and Hansen graduate.
I love how we are starting to get some 4* caliber players and we are able to actually redshirt them and wait until they are ready before throwing them onto the field. When was the last time we could realistically do this?
 
#90
Minnesota beat South Dakota state by 7, Fresno by 3 and Georgia state by 3. This was one of the most experienced teams in ncaa football. They started to gain confidence around mid season, but this team in the big east would have won 6 games

they also had an easy schedule, that’s why most stats people picked them to win the west.
Say what you want about Minnesota, PJ Fleck is clearly doing something right. Talk about turning a couple of programs around...

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#92
Say what you want about Minnesota, PJ Fleck is clearly doing something right. Talk about turning a couple of programs around...

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I'm not saying it's not impressive, but he didn't exactly "turn around" either program. Western Michigan had been a consistently good MAC team under Cubit - bowl eligible in 5 of his 8 years - before Fleck got there, including going bowling two years before he arrived, and Minnesota had been in 14 bowls in the previous 18 years, including a 9-4 Holiday Bowl team the year before he got there. So this isn't exactly Alvarez coming to Wisconsin or Snyder coming to Kansas St.
 
#93
I fully believe he will be a factor next year. I am not saying he is going to start every game, two seniors and one open spot is not easy to break. But with his talent, and physical frame, I suspect he takes a decent leap after a year in the program.
yes. And we have been bare on the depth chart. Our depth chart is starting to look solid. I’m guessing Hansen movesover to tie Harding’s place and tolson takes Hansen’s spot. With increased depth, we can start working more rotations. I’m thinking we see barns and cooper in the field.This will give them experience and allow for breaks.
Im curious how our defensive ends will look with coleman and Randolph working in the rotation. I think we will look solid. I was a little surprised to see shogbonyo walking with the seniors. I thought we would use him for his fifth year since he really outperformed expectations.
 
#94
Plainfield
I'm not saying it's not impressive, but he didn't exactly "turn around" either program. Western Michigan had been a consistently good MAC team under Cubit - bowl eligible in 5 of his 8 years - before Fleck got there, including going bowling two years before he arrived, and Minnesota had been in 14 bowls in the previous 18 years, including a 9-4 Holiday Bowl team the year before he got there. So this isn't exactly Alvarez coming to Wisconsin or Snyder coming to Kansas St.
Chris - we can quibble but each program got better under his leadership. Now would WMU have fallen back? we don't know. He's a good coach and recruiter. I would have liked to have him here - not instead of Lovie necessarily but he would have done as good a job here and he's a native Illinoian.
 
#96
Im curious how our defensive ends will look with coleman and Randolph working in the rotation. I think we will look solid. I was a little surprised to see shogbonyo walking with the seniors. I thought we would use him for his fifth year since he really outperformed expectations.
We have different opinions as far as the D line goes. Having to play redshirt freshman on the line is not particularly a good thing. But I am not sure Ayo would have given us anymore production than the youngsters
 
#98
Say what you want about Minnesota, PJ Fleck is clearly doing something right. Talk about turning a couple of programs around...

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I don’t know what you think I’m saying. I was saying that his season this year was like northwestern winning the west last year, the team fell into several wins. The team is playing well and they had an easy schedule and got several breaks. Our season next year, with several breaks, could look the same as Minnesota this year.
 
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#99
We have different opinions as far as the D line goes. Having to play redshirt freshman on the line is not particularly a good thing. But I am not sure Ayo would have given us anymore production than the youngsters
when they are the size of okpala, I’m not as concerned. But, kidding aside, I think working redshirt freshmen into the rotation is not a bad thing. I think they will get valuable experience and we still have a decent rotation with Betiku, gay, carney, Coleman and Randolph. Would be better with Roundtree, but Betiku will get some more experience given he is still a bit green