So close and yet so far.
After a 5-0 start for the first time since 2004, the Gophers seemed like a strong possibility for a national ranking in the Associated Press poll that came out Sunday, whichwould have been their first since spending one week at No. 22 in 2014.
But the poll put them at No. 26 -- one spot away from that goal in the weekly media poll. Minnesota is ranked at No. 25 in newest USA Today poll of college coaches.
The Gophers are 2-0 in the Big Ten conference, including beating Illinois 40-17 this past Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. They will face Nebraska this coming weekend. But they won't face a ranked opponent until November, when they play No. 10 Penn State, No. 17 Iowa and No. 8 Wisconsin.
Also as a note, a Gophers' 2021 quarterback commit, Athan Kaliakmanis, broke his collarbone in a game this past Friday and will sit out the rest of his junior season at Antioch Community High School in Illinois. The 6-4, 190-pound dual-threat is a four-star prospect and one of the gems in coach P.J. Fleck’s still-forming 2021 class.