• Look for an agreement to be signed in the near future between the University of Minnesota and the Vikings for the use of TCF Bank Stadium during construction of the new Vikings stadium. Expect a ceiling of the Vikings paying $3 million a year -- $250,000 per game -- for use of TCF, including expenditures of some $2 million by the Vikings to install a new turf field and electric warming cables underneath it to operate during all kinds of inclement weather. The Vikings will also install about 3,000 new seats in the open end at their expense and also will pay for winterizing the stadium, which is not normally used once the Gophers season is over.

• Jared Allen, appearing on an NFL Network radio broadcast, was asked if the Vikings are being taken as a serious contender to win the NFC North. "We don't need all of the hype," he said. "We had all of the hype in 2009 and 2010 and it got us only to the NFC Championship Game. ... I like being the underdog, starting under the radar. We will keep sneaking up on people one game at a time."

• New Mexico State, where former Gophers athletic director McKinley Boston has been the AD since December 2004, will replace North Carolina in a series of home-and-home football games on the Gophers schedule. The first game will be at New Mexico State next year. The Aggies won at TCF Bank Stadium 28-21 last year. The Gophers have also added Kent State and South Dakota State to future schedules, and it's official now that for the next four years they will open the season at home on a Thursday night.

• Look for two former Vikings in the Washington secondary: Madieu Williams is starting at free safety and has 30 tackles. Cornerback Cedric Griffin is a reserve but is recovering from a hamstring injury that might keep him out; he didn't dress the past two games.