An exercise in futility can best be described as predicting the future based on incomplete information about 18-22 year olds, who of course always act rationally, make wise decisions, and perform to expectations. Feel free to leave your picks in the comments if you so desire, so five months from now I can at the very least be slightly less futile than someone else.

11/11/11 vs. Bucknell Williams Arena 7:00 p.m. CT
Gophers win a close one. Bucknell is a good mid-major, but Mike Muscala, a Roseville native, doesn’t have enough time to eat enough cheeseburgers to slow down Mbakwe or Sampson III.

11/14/11 vs. South Dakota St. Williams Arena 7:00 p.m. CT
Gophers win again. Nate Wolters may go for 40, his team won’t break 60.

11/17/11 vs. Fairfield Williams Arena 6:00 p.m. CT
The Stags bring in last year’s 22nd ranked defense, frustrate the still maturing half-court offense, and eek out a close win. Gopher fans panic, and feel slightly better in March when Fairfield reaches the Sweet 16.

11/21/11 vs. Mount St. Mary’s Williams Arena 7:00 p.m. CT
In need of some confidence, the Gophers summit The Mount, who won only 11 games last season and won’t win many more this season.

11/24/11 vs. DePaul Orlando 1:30 p.m. CT
The Gophers beat the worst (by far) BCS team in the country, who has already lost two freshmen due to eligibility issues.

11/25/11 Texas Tech/Indiana State Orlando
Most likely Indiana State, and most likely a win for the Gophers

11/27/11 TBD Orlando TBA
Dayton is the strongest team on their side of Old Spice Classic bracket, but in a weak field, the Gophers should be the best team.

11/30/11 vs. Virginia Tech-Big Ten/ACC Challenge Williams Arena 8:15 p.m. CT

Gophers win a game with major bubble implications, if only because any game with either Virginia Tech or Minnesota has bubble implications. It’ll be close, even though the Hokies won’t have had enough time to find replacements from their two leading scorers from a year ago.

12/03/11 vs. USC Williams Arena 1:15 p.m. CT

Minnesota wins, and irrational exuberance invades The Barn, momentarily overwhelming the irrational pessimism left over from the Fairfield loss. Aren’t schizophrenic fan bases fun? USC will be missing their point guard and best player, and could be without their top recruit due to injuries.

12/06/11 vs. Appalachian State Williams Arena 7:00 p.m. CT
Gophers win. One of the worst interior defending teams in the country against the best front-line in the Big Ten should get ugly fast.

12/10/11 vs. St. Peter’s Williams Arena 12:00 p.m. CT
Gophers win big. Last year’s senior-laden Peacocks were a surprise conference tournament winner. Losing their four leading scorers to graduation is too much for anyone to overcome.

12/13/11 vs. Central Michigan Williams Arena 8:00 p.m. CT
See South Dakota State. Replace Nate Wolters with Trey Zeigler.

12/22/11 vs. North Dakota State Williams Arena 7:00 p.m. CT
Double the football score, reverse the teams. Gophers win 74-48.

Some time around Christmas we’ll take a shot at predicting the conference season, when, you know, we actually know something.

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