The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team received votes in the first coaches poll of the season.
Football season is officially here. Thursday’s weather throughout the state of Minnesota felt like fall, the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game was on Thursday’s schedule and the first USA Today Coaches Poll of the year was released. The Minnesota Golden Gophers didn’t break the Top 25, but Minnesota did receive some votes.
Not a lot of votes, but some. Minnesota received six votes. An important note for some Gopher fans is the fact that the Gophers received one more vote that the rival Iowa Hawkeyes.
There’s not a whole lot of shocks in the Top 25. Alabama was ranked first, the Big Ten’s Ohio State ranked second, Florida State was ranked third, Southern California was ranked fourth and Clemson rounded out the top five.
Three other teams in the Big Ten made the top 10 spots in the poll. Penn State finished sixth, Michigan finished ninth and Wisconsin finished in tenth.
The Big Ten teams to receive votes were Northwestern with 25, Nebraska with 23, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan State and Maryland both receiving one vote.
USA Today’s Coaches Poll is voted on by a board of 65 head coaches in the Bowl Subdivision schools. New Gophers coach P.J. Fleck is on the board this season.
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The Golden Gophers kick off their season at the end of the month, already. The P.J. Fleck era gets going on August 31 with a home game against Buffalo. Kickoff from TCF Bank Stadium is scheduled for 6:00 central. The three game non-conference schedule also features an away game against Oregon State and a home game against Middle Tennessee State.
The early part of the Big Ten schedule looks a lot nicer than the backend for Minnesota. Big Ten play kicks off with games against Maryland, Purdue, Michigan State and Illinois. The season ends with a tough five game stretch with matchups against Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
Gophers just kicked off practice for the season at the beginning of this week. One of the things to watch in the 20 days to the first game is who takes the quarterback job after the graduation of Mitch Leidner.
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