• None of the four future Gophers selected in the recent NHL draft — Ryan Collins (47th overall by Columbus), Jack Glover (69th by Winnipeg), Steve Johnson (120th by Los Angeles) and Jack Ramsey (208th by Chicago) — are expected to turn pro this year. In fact, coach Don Lucia could be fortunate in not losing a single underclassman to the pros this year.
• The Gophers’ Mariucci Classic on Jan. 2-3 will include Massachusetts-Lowell, Rochester Institute of Technology and Merrimack at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers will play Merrimack in the night game on Jan. 2, preceded by Lowell vs. RIT. The Gophers also finalized their 2014-15 season schedule by booking a home-and-home series with St. Cloud State on Oct. 31 at St. Cloud and Nov. 1 at Mariucci Arena.
• Jimmy Shapiro, the Las Vegas oddsmaker, has Vikings running back Adrian Peterson a 25-1 shot to win the NFL MVP. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a 3-1 favorite to win the award. … The NFL Network counted down its top 100 players for 2014 and ranked Peterson fourth. Manning was No. 1, followed by Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Patriots QB Tom Brady. Peterson, who was No. 1 last year, is in the top 10 for the third consecutive year. What’s interesting is that no other Viking made the top 100.
• Phil Steele’s College Football Preview has the Gophers ranked 55th in the nation, finishing fifth in the Big Ten West Division and making a bowl game. He picks a few Gophers to make All-Big Ten teams, although none on the first team. He has offensive lineman Zac Epping and defensive lineman Theiren Cockran on the second team; running back David Cobb, tight end Maxx Williams and kick returner Marcus Jones on the third team; and offensive lineman Josh Campion and defensive back Eric Murray making honorable mention. Steele has 11 of the Gophers’ 12 opponents ranked among the nation’s top 100, with Ohio State highest at No. 7.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. email@example.com