TCU coach Gary Patterson had plenty of praise for the Gophers in Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference. A sampling:

"I look at Minnesota a little bit like what we were a year ago -- really a good football team but probably didn’t get as much credit as what they deserved," Patterson said. "They were a really good football team when we played them. And then I really watched them at the end of the year, and they probably played Ohio State as well as anybody did, even better than anybody did in the playoffs.

"We know we’ll probably even play a better Minnesota team than we watched on film at the end of the season because of recruiting and guys growing up."

The Gophers will get a chance to prove it when they open their season against Patterson's No. 2-ranked squad on Thursday at 8 p.m.