I've been referring to this ongoing phenomenon as being in "believe mode" and I'm here to tell you, it's pretty fun to believe. It will probably make the hurt so much worse when it all goes to hell, but I'm enjoying the ride. I'm not the only one starting to believe though... based on our schedule and relative weakness of the Big Ten Western Division, there is a growing sentiment ALL OVER THE WORLD that the Gophers are in the hunt for the division.
So, climb aboard as we ride the believe train and check the scuttlebutt from the webz:
Scott Dochterman at The Gazette (Iowa)
4B. Minnesota (5B) 5-1 2-0Of course, Dochterman has Iowa as 4A, which is odd because they lost to freaking Iowa State.
"Gophers a true contender in Big Ten West"
Tom Powers says the Gophers are Improving
"Kill comes across as more Munchkin than Wizard, but he definitely has his players headed down the yellow-brick path. Minnesota's victory over Northwestern on Saturday boosted the team's mark to 5-1 and Kill's record as Gophers coach to 22-22. The Gophers have two more winnable games on the horizon: Purdue and Illinois. Then the schedule gets dicey in November."Berry Tremel at the Oklahoman
Purdue at Minnesota: Gophers 26-14. Don't sleep on Minnesota winning the Big Ten West.
Iowa at Maryland: Hawkeyes 27-17. Iowa as good a pick as any for worst 5-1 team in America. Let's see who else is on the list. Georgia Tech. Rutgers. Kentucky. Washington.
Love you, Berry.
Paul Myerburg at the Telegraph-Forum
Kill's ability to maximize his team's talent has the Golden Gophers in the hunt in the Big Ten West Division.Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans at SI.com
[The underdog] is a role Minnesota coach Jerry Kill & Co. are comfortable with, but they’re unlikely to be in with its next three games against Purdue, at Illinois and Iowa. The next time the Gophers won’t be favored should be Nov. 15 against Ohio State.Adam Rittenburg at ESPN.com
That's why the Big Ten needs someone to take charge in the West. The ideal candidates are Minnesota and Nebraska because both have quality losses (Gophers on the road against TCU, Huskers on the road against Michigan State). Iowa isn't a bad option at 1-1, but a home loss to Iowa State will be held against the Hawkeyes.
There's also the possibility, albeit slim, that both Big Ten championship game participants are in the playoff mix. If Nebraska's lone loss is a 5-point setback at Michigan State, its résumé, which will include road wins against Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa, plus a home win against Minnesota, doesn't look too shabby. Minnesota would have benefited from TCU holding on against Baylor and continuing to win, but a Gophers team that runs the Big Ten table with wins against Ohio State (home), Nebraska (road) and Wisconsin (road) would get much more national respect than the current unranked product.Don't look now but Rittenburg said there's a chance, albeit slim, that the Gophers are in the playoff mix!
Whatever you think, this much is true:
Gophers win, improve to 2-0 in Big Ten. Excellent game. Minnesota is for real, folks.
— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) October 11, 2014