Almost the entire conversation leading up to the Penn State-Minnesota game this past weekend was how the Golden Gophers hadn't played any legitimate competition and how the Nittany Lions would be different.
All kinds of dates were thrown out about how Minnesota had not been 8-0 since before World War II. Undefeated in the first nine games went back to nearly 1900. The numbers were mind-boggling as to how well the start of the season went.
But the argument was that Minnesota was still largely untested against weak competition.
That changed Saturday when the Golden Gophers defeated Penn State and looked great - especially offensively - doing it.
Minnesota beat Penn State 31-26, holding on late after a furious Penn State comeback and when the AP poll was released on Sunday, the Gophers moved all the way up to No. 7 in the country. Only Minnesota and Ohio State remain undefeated in the Big Ten.
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LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Oregon are the only teams ranked ahead of coach P.J. Fleck's squad.
It's not an easy finish for Minnesota, either, with games at Iowa and Northwestern and then finishing the regular season at home against Wisconsin.
But the offense is playing really well. Quarterback Tanner Morgan has been excellent, the rushing attack is stellar behind a massive offensive line and Minnesota has some of the best receivers in the entire conference.
We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell where he would put Minnesota in the College Football Playoff poll that will be released later Tuesday considering that one-loss Alabama, Georgia and Oregon are ranked higher than the undefeated Gophers in the AP poll.
"I like this Minnesota team a lot, from their huge offensive line to their smart and effective passing game and elite wide receivers to their stout and athletic defense. But the Gophers aren't a top-five team. While the win over Penn State was impressive, they will get smoked by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and I don't think they could beat LSU, Clemson or Georgia. The Minnesota-Oregon game would be a fun one to watch and we could get to see that if neither team gets to the playoff. I'm very interested in seeing who Minnesota gets in a New Year's Six game if it doesn't stumble down the stretch."
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