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Writers select Gophers as sleeper Big Ten West team

Oct 11, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) calls out a play to the rest of the Minnesota Golden Gophers offense in first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 11, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) calls out a play to the rest of the Minnesota Golden Gophers offense in first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

With College Football season approaching and Big Ten Media Days later this week, predictions will start flying about how teams will fare this year.

The Big Ten Network polled conference beat writers to find out who they felt was the sleeper team in the West this season. The West is generally seen as wide open with perhaps Wisconsin being the default pick for now so the sleeper could very well end up playing in Indianapolis.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers received the most votes and writers had very positive things to say about them. Here is what Tom Dienhart said about the Gophers:

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"The Gophers are coming off consecutive 8-5 seasons that included the program's first New Year's Day bowl since the 1961 season. But I think Minnesota could take things to another level in 2015 and win the Big Ten West title."

It will be a tough task to replace David Cobb and Maxx Williams on the Gophers offense but their defense could be the best in the West which could propel them to the Big Ten Championship game.

(h/t Big Ten Network)

Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports