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Thread: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

  1. #1
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    Default 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    I joined the message board a year ago and started out with a bang with my season preview. It’s that time to do the 2019 edition! These previews are my opinion and you guys have every right to criticize me if you disagree, especially if I post false information about your team. Chances are a team will prove me wrong so don’t take this preview so seriously, chances are good that Witt will provide a better preview than me ;)

    I’m doing the previews as a conference overall (1-16). Record in () indicates my prediction on the record. Anyways... here we go!

    1. Minnesota St. (11-0) The Mavericks have been very good for the better part of the last decade. But this year to me is different, to me this is the best team the Mavericks have fielded since the 2014 championship run. They have 3 seniors who will get NFL invites (Gunn, Heim, Zystra) This team is borderline championship or bust kind of team this year. They only lose one starter on offense and the starter they did lose wasn’t that big of a contributor. This offense should be putting up 45-50 PPG. While they did lose some key players on Defense (especially the d line), they refilled those positions and should be good enough to keep teams to about 15 PPG. Losing kicker Casey will hurt but with the offense so loaded, I think his loss will be marginal. He’ll be a bigger loss on KO’s honestly. They got a JUCO kicker and still have Luke Williams who has a decent leg so I’m not all too worried. My biggest worries are allowing big plays to opposing receivers and QB play down the stretch. Ferris St. opposed those weaknesses greatly. Overall, this team is very talented and can do a lot of damage if the chemistry is great! Another thing to note is that there has been ZERO coaching turnover which is remarkable for a good program! This is a team that could end up playing in Texas in December if all the cards fall right.

    2. Minnesota Duluth (10-1) The bulldogs return a solid group of personal on the offense side of the ball. Wade Sullivan should be fun back to watch after having a great freshman season. John Larson is back at QB and it will be key that he is healthy throughout the year for the bulldogs to succeed long-term considering the other QB’s that played behind him are no longer on the roster. The defense should be very solid with a bunch a starters returning led by Bill Atkins. The defense will rely on pressuring the QB to have quick series. The kicking game and team speed were major concerns last year as their lack of speed overwhelmed them in the playoffs against Commerce. They should be very solid and I could see this year as the year they return the run and pound game like the years they won it all. The last few seasons they’ve slanged the ball in the air more than usual. When it’s all said and done, they should be in the playoffs.

    3. Augustana (8-3) A bit of a stretch? Maybe. But I think Auggie has the talent to win 8 games this year. Kyle Saddler is the best passer in the NSIC and will have some very big targets to throw to. The question has always been the defense and that remains to this day. If Auggie wants to make that next big step, the defense needs to improve.

    4. Sioux Falls (8-3) The cougars were the biggest Disappointment in the NSIC last year after having a prospect of Trey Pipkins go to waste. The chemistry just didn’t seem to mesh last season. The cougars have one of the best RB’s in the country (D2) in Watson and is sure to be getting a lot of interest from NFL teams. But where will all of other production come from is the big question. I do have the cougars winning 8 games based on pass success but if this team can play together and find other production then they can easily win more games.

    5. Bemidji St. (7-4) The Beavers had a pretty solid campaign for a team that lost their QB to a ACL tear. Now he’s back and will provide a spark to the offense. The defense as always will be sound this year and will be among the best in the NSIC and should keep the beavers in most games. But can the offense keep up?

    6. St. Cloud St. (7-4) The huskies were one of the more surprising teams last year as they had a solid balanced attack on offense. But I’m not sure if they can duplicate that success again. I gave them 7 wins based on the fact they play in the North division.

    7. Winona St. (6-5) After all of the players they have graduated (especially on defense) the last couple of years, I think Winona takes a step back. I don’t know a whole lot about the current lineup of players but I wouldn’t ever count out a team coached by Sawyer. It wouldn’t surprise me if they finished better than 6 wins but I think it’ll be a retooling year and finish around .500.

    8. Minnesota St. Moorhead (5-6) From going from the biggest disappointment in 2017 to the biggest surprise in 2018 appearing in their first post season action for quite some time, the dragons are riding on a lot of confidence. However I don’t see this the dragons replicating that kind of success again.

    9. Northern St. (5-6) The wolves have a solid foundation of players on the offensive end and are a very well coached team. But the natural talent is lacking and are still pretty young preventing them from taking the next step.

    10. Minot. St. (4-7) After a disappointing season I think the Beavers will take a step forward this year. It’ll be up to Minot native Ben Bolinske if the beavers want to take the next step. He has the talent but is inconsistent. The stability of the program has improved tremendously and have been a lot more active recruiting in North Dakota. Just a few years ago they only had 3 players from ND, now they have 15.

    11. Upper Iowa (4-7) The peacocks are just a program that confuses me. They have the resources, the facilities, the personal.. all good for a school that’s located in a remote area of Iowa but they can’t turn into a constant winning football program. The coaching turnover I think is one of the biggest issues because I do think the talent is there. How can they turn the page? Will they do this year, probably not, they finish the middle of the road again.

    12. Mary (4-7) Another team I may have given too many wins? We’ll see. To this day I am still a big fan of the hiring of HC Craig Bagnell and I think he’ll lead the team in the right direction. Last season was a rebuilding year under the new system and its reasonably expected that they should be better this year. They’re still rebuilding but have a solid foundation and they’re funded very well. I think they’ll get 4 wins at the most being in the north. The future is bright for Mary.

    13. Southwest Minnesota St. (3-8) The Blake Gimbel era is (finally) over and it’s gonna be weird not seeing him as the QB. This is a year I can see the Mustang Implement the running game that hasn’t been seen in years with the backs that are returning. However that defense is still atrocious and the offense will not bail out the defense like it has in past years. This will be a rebuilding year.

    14. Wayne St. (3-8) Very young squad at Wayne St. Don’t see very much happening here for the wildcats but hey, least your guys are getting a shiny new pressbox! Something I wish MSU had!

    15. Concordia St. Paul (2-9) After starting out hot right out of the gate, the wheels feel off real quick for the Golden Bears. The QB they had last season was decent but he graduated so where does that leave them? A long season ahead.

    16. Minnesota Crookston (1-10) Nice to see Crookston pick up a win last season and I think they’ll get one this year. Not much else can be said here.

    As I mention above.. go ahead and criticize me if I said anything that is false about the team you support. I did this season preview to the best of my knowledge and if you have any information I missed, please share! Can’t wait for the 2019 season which is just right around the corner! Hope everyone is having a great summer!

  2. Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    I always like seeing perspectives of the Warriors from the outside fanbases and media, mostly because its easy to jump the hype train living in Winona. 6-5/7-4 is where I pick them most years based on the schedule and the players they lost or returned. Road games at Sioux Falls and Mankato on the 14th and 28th of September will be tough but a good indication of where they are. Looking forward to another season of football and may even throw my hat into the weekly pick ems this year.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    I think you are fairly accurate with the Peacocks. Looking at the schedule, I see them picking up wins against CSP, SMSU, UMary, Crookston and Wayne. Maybe sneak in an upset or two. Not sure what the qb situation is this year and hopefully the offensive line has improved. The defense looked really good last year but was on the field too much.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    A good appraisal in general. Agree that on paper at least, this could be the best team MSU has had since the 2014 national runner-up. Of course, a lot has to happen in a positive way for the Mavs, and avoiding injuries.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Winona will have the best D in the league. Injuries to there Defense in 1st 2 games and still finished 8-3. *** I am puzzled by the statement( After all of the players they have graduated (especially on defense) )Only 1 defensive starter leaving from last year and 3 from the year before. Top 3 defenders returning from season ending injuries in 1st 2 games. I can see them going 10-1 / 12-0 even. If they stay healthy look out. You heard it from Me. WSUWarriorFan you are going to enjoy this ride.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Northern's offense will be one of the top of the conference, I have no doubt about that, I think the line will hold up. Defense will be the huge question mark. Can our new wizard on D make us better? Will these JUCO defensive backs play a big role? I've learned my lesson from last season. This year I will post a much more serious prediction rather than last years (absolute best case, total fandom, not likely; as indicated*) prediction, ha.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Winona_20_20DB View Post
    Winona will have the best D in the league. Injuries to there Defense in 1st 2 games and still finished 8-3. *** I am puzzled by the statement( After all of the players they have graduated (especially on defense) )Only 1 defensive starter leaving from last year and 3 from the year before. Top 3 defenders returning from season ending injuries in 1st 2 games. I can see them going 10-1 / 12-0 even. If they stay healthy look out. You heard it from Me. WSUWarriorFan you are going to enjoy this ride.
    Your right, thank you for calling me out. I do remember they had a lot of key injuries on the defensive side of the ball. To be fair, I said I didn’t know all that much about them and that you can never count out a team coached by Sawyer. How well do you think the offense will do?

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    TCM....I love the fact that you posted your thoughts here....it serves as a nice reminder that football is gonna be here (teams reporting back) in a matter of weeks..and for football fans, that's really exciting. I think you do a great job of following the league as an informed poster. I don't agree with your take on some of the teams, but I'll save my take for my preview..which will happen in late August, after I've had a chance to visit (via phone) with each head coach..and get a chance to formulate my take on all 16 schools. Either way, it doesn't mean I'm right..you might very well be more accurate with your predictions than mine.

    I will say this....2019 will be my 6th preview and during that time I've noticed that 3 teams are seemingly the hardest for me to pick accurately....Upper Iowa, Moorhead, and Winona. Each has been up and down over the last handful of years..when I think they should be good/bad..

    Examples of this..
    -WSU was roughly a .500 team during the Jack Nelson years..despite having plenty of talent around him....then he and their offensive playmakers leave and they go 10-1 in conference play in 2017!??! I really didn't see that coming. I also thought they'd have greater success in the years when having a high powered offense.
    -Moorhead....each year I think they are returning a lot and will be a up-and-comer in the North....they struggle. When I think they are young and will struggle....they are over .500.
    -Upper Iowa....(see MSUM)

    Once again the QB spot in the league looks like it's down when comparing to just a few years ago when any of the top 6 QB's in the conference would be looked at as the top guy in 2019. Kyle Saddler threw for a lot of yards but also led the league in picks and completed only 52% of his passes. If he can clean that up, he then looks like the top passer in the league. Larson at UMD might be the best right now, assuming he's healthy coming into the year. MSUM could also produce a top QB..as Coach Laqua has proven that his offenses can be explosive. Lawhorn from SCSU has shown flashes also..along with Trautman from NSU....both have the potential to be a star.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Witwicki View Post
    TCM....I love the fact that you posted your thoughts here....it serves as a nice reminder that football is gonna be here (teams reporting back) in a matter of weeks..and for football fans, that's really exciting. I think you do a great job of following the league as an informed poster. I don't agree with your take on some of the teams, but I'll save my take for my preview..which will happen in late August, after I've had a chance to visit (via phone) with each head coach..and get a chance to formulate my take on all 16 schools. Either way, it doesn't mean I'm right..you might very well be more accurate with your predictions than mine.

    I will say this....2019 will be my 6th preview and during that time I've noticed that 3 teams are seemingly the hardest for me to pick accurately....Upper Iowa, Moorhead, and Winona. Each has been up and down over the last handful of years..when I think they should be good/bad..

    Examples of this..
    -WSU was roughly a .500 team during the Jack Nelson years..despite having plenty of talent around him....then he and their offensive playmakers leave and they go 10-1 in conference play in 2017!??! I really didn't see that coming. I also thought they'd have greater success in the years when having a high powered offense.
    -Moorhead....each year I think they are returning a lot and will be a up-and-comer in the North....they struggle. When I think they are young and will struggle....they are over .500.
    -Upper Iowa....(see MSUM)

    Once again the QB spot in the league looks like it's down when comparing to just a few years ago when any of the top 6 QB's in the conference would be looked at as the top guy in 2019. Kyle Saddler threw for a lot of yards but also led the league in picks and completed only 52% of his passes. If he can clean that up, he then looks like the top passer in the league. Larson at UMD might be the best right now, assuming he's healthy coming into the year. MSUM could also produce a top QB..as Coach Laqua has proven that his offenses can be explosive. Lawhorn from SCSU has shown flashes also..along with Trautman from NSU....both have the potential to be a star.
    As always, I’m looking forward to your season preview! I’m on the same page as you for WSU, UIU, and MSUM, I had a harder time projecting those programs mainly due lack of information I have and how unpredictable those teams have been recently. So I projected them where they’ve been as a program for the last 5 years or so.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    I bet I can predict where Witt will have Northern picked! Haha

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Twincitiesmav View Post
    Your right, thank you for calling me out. I do remember they had a lot of key injuries on the defensive side of the ball. To be fair, I said I didn’t know all that much about them and that you can never count out a team coached by Sawyer. How well do you think the offense will do?
    From what I can recall (off the top of my head), the offense should be okay. I think they have 3 starters back on the offensive line and of course Owen Burke returns at QB. Have some talent back ta running back and to be honest, I'm not sure how the WR position will shape up.

    That said, I think it's fair to predict them to take a step back. After I looked at the schedule, I predicted 8 wins. Though that might have been with some purple-colored glasses as I still don't have a great feel for the offense.

  12. Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Winona 7th? They return a ton of people on both sides..id expect them to compete for the conf title this..

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by NSU4LIFE View Post
    I bet I can predict where Witt will have Northern picked! Haha
    I get a lot of grief from NSU fans, I've noticed..haha. I get a kick out of it..

    Had the Wolves 6-5 last year. They went 4-7.
    http://www.d2messageboard.com/entry.php?b=2195

  14. #14

    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Witwicki View Post
    I get a lot of grief from NSU fans, I've noticed..haha. I get a kick out of it..

    Had the Wolves 6-5 last year. They went 4-7.
    http://www.d2messageboard.com/entry.php?b=2195
    I'm not saying right or wrong. They have to show you something, I totally get that. Just meant I'm sure they will be picked between 7th and 9th as always.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Good analysis - this is the first year I can remember in a long, long, long time the QB situation at UIU is a bit up in the air. Have heard good reports on the D (a lot of returners and some good new faces), sounds like they addressed the o-line as well, but one of the things we've been able to have each year was an experienced QB. That does worry me a bit going into the season.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peacock View Post
    Good analysis - this is the first year I can remember in a long, long, long time the QB situation at UIU is a bit up in the air. Have heard good reports on the D (a lot of returners and some good new faces), sounds like they addressed the o-line as well, but one of the things we've been able to have each year was an experienced QB. That does worry me a bit going into the season.
    Was thinking the same about the QB spot. Didn't you guys have a real big guy (like TE size) as the backup who saw some time a year ago? Runner type too.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Yes - Kyle Domin, he started a game in 2017 when Lammers was hurt and got us a big win over Southwest. Heard he moved to the line or TE position, he's listed at 6'4 and 255 lbs.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Football season is getting closer!!!! I like the projections TCM! For USF, they must get OL up to speed, replacing both tackles will be tough. They do bring back QB however, he needs time in the pocket and the play calling needs to be less predictable than the last 2 seasons. Defense should be solid but offense must move the chains to give the defense a break. Just a few weeks until teams get to fall camp and many questions will be answered. Looking forward to the upcoming season and looking forward to the road trips that bring us to new communities.

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    Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    So happy this thread has started to take off! While it was that time to post my predictions, I thought it was pretty quiet on the NSIC threads over the last few weeks (I get it, it’s summer) but I can’t wait for some football and for some of these teams that are eager to prove me wrong ;)

  20. Default Re: 2019 NSIC Pre-Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Twincitiesmav View Post
    So happy this thread has started to take off! While it was that time to post my predictions, I thought it was pretty quiet on the NSIC threads over the last few weeks (I get it, it’s summer) but I can’t wait for some football and for some of these teams that are eager to prove me wrong ;)
    Excitement is an understatement for me, I don't know what I would do on fall Saturdays if it wasn't for football. This also makes the first fall since 2012 that I don't have a Fall wedding to go to.

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