What I learned from Minnesota’s 2022 spring football campaign

I don’t think there’s a way to convince me that Minnesota doesn’t have as much of a chance of winning the 2022 Big Ten West title as Wisconsin or Iowa.

On paper, they have a more manageable crossover schedule.

Minnesota: @Michigan State, @Penn State and against Rutgers

Iowa: against Rutgers, against Michigan and @Ohio State

Wisconsin: @Ohio State, @Michigan State and against Maryland

Essentially, they’re avoiding the Big Two Michigan and Ohio State, and I understand that Michigan State or Penn State are obviously going to be tough games, but playing on the road in the Horseshoe isn’t great.

(Photo: StatsoWar on Twitter)

Let’s also take a look at the comparison between the three quarterbacks. I’m sure this information may stun some Gopher Football fans, but Tanner Morgan was MUCH better than Graham Mertz or Spencer Petras last season. And it wasn’t particularly close.

Above, I’ve attached the quarterback EPAs of all 130 FBS teams in 2021. The theory behind Expected Points Added (EPA) is simple. The stat is used to try to define how many points a player or game is worth to a team. Each play is viewed in context, which means that distance and position on the pitch are used to gauge the amount of EPA against the actual game result. These statistics can be added to create a cumulative EPA at the over a period or season, or they can be viewed by EPA/game.

And Tanner Morgan was actually slightly above the EPA average last season coming in 57th of 130 quarterbacks. But look how ugly it was for Mertz and Petras 121st and 122nd respectively.

And if it still holds in 22 ‘, it will depend on what he has done two of the last three seasons. How is Minnesota doing against Wisconsin and Iowa?
If this isn’t the year Minnesota can finally get over the bump against Iowa, I don’t know when it will. You get them home on Senior Day, and the opponent before they travel to the Twin Cities is Wisconsin.

We also saw Minnesota turn Wisconsin’s game into a real rivalry as the Gophers took two of the last four from Madison.

All that to try and say, good to get excited again, Gopher fans. This team of 2022 seems to be pretty darn good. I don’t know if it will equate to their first Big Ten West title, but it will make for an entertaining 2022 season.