The Gophers climbed two spots to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll Sunday, coming off their 38-22 victory over Northwestern.
Minnesota (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten) will meet No. 13 Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2) on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium to decide the Big Ten West champ.
The Gophers’ highest AP ranking this season was No. 7, after they beat previously undefeated Penn State.
The new College Football Playoff rankings come out Tuesday. The Gophers have been as high as No. 8 but fell to No. 10 last week.
Minnesota could climb to No. 8; two teams ahead of the Gophers lost this week — Oregon and Penn State.
Oddsmakers like Badgers
The Gophers have the higher ranking, home-field advantage and a better record, but oddsmakers see them as underdogs Saturday.
According to Oddshark.com, the early lines have the Badgers favored by three points or 2½.
Gophers-Badgers a sellout
The Gophers announced a sellout for the Wisconsin game. TCF Bank Stadium has a capacity of 50,805.
Minnesota’s previous home game — the Nov. 9 win over Penn State — was also a sellout, the first for the Gophers since 2015 vs. Wisconsin.