Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Golden Gophers’

Minnesota vs. Texas Tech: 2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl 12/28

December 28th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Minnesota vs. Texas Tech: 2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl 12/28
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Meineke Car Care Bowl of TexasThe 2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl picks are going to be difficult to make, as the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Texas Tech Red Raiders are set to do battle with one another in a Big Ten vs. Big XII battle. Check out our Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl predictions and the keys to the game for Minnesota vs. Texas Tech.

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2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 28th, 9:00 p.m. (ET)
2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Key #1: The Minnesota secondary has to stand firm
There’s no doubt whatsoever that Texas Tech is going to come out and throw the ball all over the place. QB Seth Doege will put the ball in the air at least 40 times over the course of the Meineke Car Care Bowl. However, the strength of the Minnesota defense is in its secondary, as the team is allowing just 178.5 yards per game this year. The problems? No one on the team has more than two picks, and the mass majority of the teams that the Gophers faced this season just weren’t all that good. Most of the teams in the Big Ten just don’t have great passing attacks, and this is clearly going to be the best passing game that the team has faced all year long. However, if the Golden Gophers can figure out how to at least slow this unit down, there is going to be a solid chance to at least hang around in this game.

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Minnesota Golden Gophers +13
Texas Tech Red Raiders -13
Over/Under 55.5
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Key #2: Whomever starts at quarterback for Minnesota has to keep the ball moving
The Golden Gophers ranked 108th in the country in passing this year, and a lot of the problem stemmed from the fact that the quarterback position has been a nightmare. QB Max Shortell, the team’s leading passer is transferring from the school, and the only wide receiver that had more than 19 catches this year, WR AJ Barker has left the program as well. The question is still whether it will be QB Philip Nelson or QB MarQueis Gray will end up taking the snaps in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Nelson is clearly the future of this program, though the frosh only threw for 735 yards and six scores against seven picks. Gray is the man that has been here over the course of the last four years. He only threw the ball 56 times and threw for 464 yards and five TDs to go with 331 rushing yards and five scores. He’s probably the man that deserves to get the nod as the senior leader of this team, but neither option is really all that great. Whomever it is that is taking the snaps is going to have to get the ball moving on a regular basis against a fantastic offense if there is any hope for winning this game.

Key #3: The Red Raiders have to keep themselves together amidst problems
The Red Raiders are anything but sunshine and rainbows at this point. Head Coach Tommy Tuberville did everything that he could to get away from Lubbock, and he finally got out. The team has already suspended three players for this game, and most of the coaching staff is going to be cut and pasted together. That really could leave this club in a bit of array. We have already seen a bunch of teams this year in the bowl season that have fought adversity with a new, interim coaching staff, while others (we’re looking at you, Western Kentucky) have cracked under the pressure in the most critical of moments. This isn’t the sexiest bowl game in the world, and it is an opponent that is easy to overlook. If the Red Raiders come to play this game, they should become easy winners. If they don’t though, they are going to be in a heck of a lot of trouble when push comes to shove.

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2010 College Football Betting: Big 10 Odds & Predictions

July 29th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2010 College Football Betting: Big 10 Odds & Predictions

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The 2010 college football betting season is fast approaching and to prepare you, we will look at the odds to win the Big Ten at Bankroll Sports, provided by BetUS Sportsbook .

It’s no secret that the clear-cut favorites are the Ohio State Buckeyes (-250 at BetUS). The offense is led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Terrelle Pryor. As we know, he is a powerful passer, but would have no trouble leading his unit’s ground game for a second consecutive year. However, that might not happen with several strong running backs, including senior Brandon Saine and junior Daniel Herron. Junior DeVier Posey and senior Dan Sanzenbacher will again be effective at wide receiver. The offensive line is full of experience and depth, but struggled at times last year. The defense returns seven starters, including its sack leader Cameron Heyward and two outstanding starting LBs in Brian Rolle and Ross Homan. The Buckeyes benefit greatly from a schedule that contains eight home games. Road contests at Wisconsin and Iowa will ultimately decide if OSU runs the table, but the Buckeyes should have no problem topping the Big Ten.

The Penn State Nittany Lions (+650 at BetUS.com) are an unknown this year, with the potential to surprise the major powers. Obviously, the quarterback situation is the top issue. Kevin Newsome appears to have won the job, having thrown just eleven passes in his young career. At running back, the Nittany Lions feature Evan Royster, who could break school rushing records. WRs Derek Moye and Graham Zug return after being the top two targets last season. The offensive line also returns three starters. On defense, Penn State needs to replace some major talent, including conference Defensive Player of the Year DT Jared Odrick. At linebacker, the Lions will need big playmakers to replace three NFL picks. Look for DE Jack Crawford to make an impact in the pass rush. The unit is strongest in the secondary, with returning junior safeties Nick Sukay and Drew Astorino. On the schedule, Penn State will face Iowa and Ohio State on the road, but avoid Wisconsin. If the offense can click, the Nittany Lions could shock the conference.

Looking up at the contenders will be the Minnesota Golden Gophers (+3000 at BetUS.com), who will drop like flies after last year’s Insight Bowl appearance. On offense, starting quarterback Andrew Weber returns, having thrown more picks than touchdowns last season, however. Juniors Da’Jon McKnight and Troy Stoudermire will be counted on to become the top two wide receivers. Stoudermire has also shown himself to be an effective kick returner. The running back situation should be solid with juniors Duane Bennett and DeLeon Eskridge. It all sounds good so far, but the monumental problem for Minnesota is the defense. The unit returns just two starters, the fewest among FBS teams. Some positions will also be filled with inexperience, with freshman Ra’Shede Hageman expected to play defensive end. All the pressure will be on the offense to dominate time of possession, at least until the defense can find itself. A brutal non-conference schedule with games against USC and Northern Illinois could have the Gophers beat up just in time for the conference home opener against Northwestern.

Big Ten Odds @ BetUS Sportsbook(as of 7/29/10):
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Ohio State -250
Iowa +350
Wisconsin +350
Penn State +650
Michigan +1200
Michigan State +1200
Illinois +2000
Northwestern +2000
Purdue +2000
Indiana +3000
Minnesota +3000

Mississippi State & Minnesota Should Listen to These Lessons

March 14th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Mississippi State & Minnesota Should Listen to These Lessons

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Let’s get one thing straight before I get started with this little rant: Mississippi State and Minnesota don’t deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament in they don’t win their respective conferences on Sunday. But neither do Illinois, Florida, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, or any other teams that are sitting on this proverbial “bubble” that we have come to know and love.

Come to think of it, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest, and probably about 12 other teams shouldn’t get the right to play for the National Championship either.

And you want to expand this field to 96 teams next year???

Regardless of whether I like it or not, the Golden Gophers and Bulldogs are both going to get to win their way onto the dance floor the old fashioned way: by winning their conference tournaments.

These two teams should both take lessons from the teams before them. Washington was considered a bubble team until it removed all doubt by winning the Pac-10. San Diego State could say the same thing with the Mountain West.

The other lesson that Mississippi State and Minnesota should take into consideration: Don’t complain if you don’t get into the field.

The Golden Gophers have some unsightly losses on their resume, including a 28-point defeat to Michigan which capped a season sweep for the Wolverines over Minnesota, a loss at Northwestern, and ‘L’s to Portland and Miami. Winning more than one legitimate road game (@ Illinois) in conference would’ve helped quite a bit, too.

Hey Mississippi State, why the heck are you losing at home to Rider? It doesn’t matter that that loss came on the first night of the regular season. It’s Rider! Tournament teams don’t lose to Western Kentucky or to Arkansas, Alabama, or Auburn in conference play. The only road wins in SEC play came at Ole Miss, LSU, and South Carolina.

Don’t get me wrong… Anyone that wins their conference tournament is deserving of a spot in the field of 65. It’s all of these bubble teams that annoy the heck out of me.

I’ll admit this much: I smirked just a bit when Utah State and UTEP both lost their conference finals, which is probably going to take a bid away from one of these teams that doesn’t deserve to go dancing.

And once again, I’d love nothing more than to see the Dawgs and Gophers take care of business, pull upsets in their conference finals, and take automatic bids to the dance. Then there will be two more teams deserving of their tickets to the NCAA Tournament, while more teams will be left at home, complaining that the system doesn’t work and that there should be more teams allowed in the NCAA Tournament.

But don’t worry, all of you 21-10 teams. When the field expands to 96 teams, you’ll all be in the tournament. Then all we’ll have complaining is all of the 18-14 teams why they’re not allowed to play for college basketball’s biggest prize.