In what has been an up and down season for Minnesota, the Gophers still have a shot at the Big Ten West title.
However, that path is partially blocked by Iowa, who happens to be Minnesota’s opponent on Saturday.
The game, being played at Huntington Bank Stadium, is certainly in the Gophers’ favour.
What is likely to be a true Big Ten slobberknocker, who will prevail and keep division championship hopes alive, and which team will see that dream dwindle?
Here are this week’s predictions from around the web:
Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: Iowa 27, Minnesota 17. “The Hawkeyes’ offense has come to life — relatively speaking — and just like that, they’re well-positioned to defend their Big Ten West title and return to the Indianapolis conference title game.” But who isn’t still alive in the Big Ten West race? Stylistically and aesthetically, this game should be the antithesis of USC-UCLA.”
Collegefootballnews.com’s Pete Fiutak: Minnesota 19, Iowa 16. “So how much does fighting for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy mean in the Big Ten chase? Considering Illinois has to play Michigan this week — and hopes for a loss to Illini — Iowa will take over the Big Ten West if it wins that and finishes with a win over Nebraska. Minnesota needs to win this week, beat Wisconsin next week, and it takes Illinois and Purdue to lose both. That could be tricky depending on whether or not QB Tanner Morgan is healthy and ready to go, but… For now, just getting the bronze hog back after losing the rivalry seven straight is enough.
Athlon Sports’ Kevin McGuire: Minnesota 23, Iowa 13. “Pundits are expecting a fairly low-scoring competition between Iowa and Minnesota, and that seems to make perfect sense. With that in mind, which offense do you trust more to achieve a key result? It has to be Minnesota, even if the Gophers need a backup quarterback. Head here with the home team to win a close game because the Iowa defense will refuse to let this game get too one-sided.
Morgan Moriarty of Bleacher Report: Iowa 21, Minnesota 17. “The key to Iowa’s turnaround was the turnaround on offense. In Iowa’s four losses, the Hawkeyes have averaged 9.3 points. Iowa has scored 81 points over the past three weeks.”
Sam McKewon of Omaha World Leader: Minnesota 11, Iowa 10. “It’s reasonable to expect a cold, boring meltdown in Minneapolis that takes the game back a few years.”
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman ($): Minnesota 16, Iowa 12. “This is a salty rivalry among coaches. I was about to pick the Hawkeyes, but I’ll pick the team with the stronger running game — especially since the Gophers average nearly 100 more rushing yards per game when playing at home.
The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel ($): Iowa 13, Minnesota 6. “Minnesota is a highly deceptive 7-3 team. None of those seven wins were achieved against an FBS team that currently has a winning record. The three the Golden Gophers played, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State, all won by two points and held the Gophers to 17 points or fewer. Iowa is 6-4 and has a more dominant defense than either of these teams.
Cedar Rapids Gazette’s John Steppe: Iowa 17, Minnesota 14. “Minnesota has about as good a chance of recapturing Floyd as it has in a while, but Iowa is a few big defensive or special teams away from retaining the bronze hog. “
Inside the Hawkeyes’ Rob Howe: Iowa 17, Minnesota 10. “Iowa is the better team. If this game was played at Kinnick, I think the Hawkeyes would win easily. That it’s on the way makes me stop. I end up riding a Hawkeye defense that will delight in a one-dimensional offense like Minnesota’s in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving.
CBS Sports.com’s Tom Fornelli: Iowa 17, Minnesota 13.
Trent Knoop of Wolverines Wire: Iowa 17, Minnesota 13. “The Gophers have won three straight games themselves, but the toughest game they’ve played this stretch is Nebraska. Mo Ibrahim is continuing his resurgent season but it doesn’t look like Tanner Morgan is healthy for the game. I’m not impressed with newcomer Athan Kaliakmanis at quarterback. Assuming he starts, I think Iowa will win this game.
Riley Donald of Hawkeyes Wire: Iowa 17, Minnesota 10. “This game is going to be old-school football. Both teams play good defense and with temperatures well below freezing it becomes difficult to move the ball. Iowa will be a little better at winning the field position game, and if they win the turnover battle, they’ll bring the Floyd of Rosedale back to Iowa City.
Cameron Ross of Picks and Parlays: Minnesota 27, Iowa 13.
Lincoln Journal Star Contributors: Luke Mullin – Iowa 16, Minnesota 14; Nate Head—Minnesota 28, Iowa 24; Arnie Just—Iowa 27, Minnesota 24; Colton Stone—Minnesota 12, Iowa 9.
Bill Connelly from ESPN: His S&P+ forecast has Minnesota 18, Iowa 14.
Two out of three Athlon Sports analysts pick Minnesota as the winner.