• The presence of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino might have had something to do with the competitive game the Gophers, coached by Pitino’s son Richard, played against Indiana in losing 70-63 Saturday, rather than getting walloped by 25 points like they did against Northwestern and Nebraska. Word was that the senior Pitino talked to the Gophers and had some influence in their improved play.


Chad Greenway definitely wants to play another year of football, preferably with the Vikings. But the 33-year-old linebacker would even play for the rival Packers if his only NFL team didn’t bring him back.


• Former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, the defensive coordinator the past two years for Tampa Bay, has been hired as Ravens defensive backs coach now that Lovie Smith was been fired by the Buccaneers.


It is unfortunate Carter Coughlin suffered a concussion in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and that he also needs shoulder surgery that will sideline him for three months. The Eden Prairie linebacker was being counted on to start as a freshman if he could take part in spring practice. Coughlin should be able to play this fall.


Former Gophers basketball player and high jumper Wally Ellenson had season highs with nine points, eight rebounds and 20 minutes in Marquette’s 74-66 loss to No. 7 Xavier on Sunday. He is averaging 2.3 points and 3.1 rebounds this season.


The combined 2015 win-loss records of Gophers 2016 football opponents is 71-73: Oregon State (2-10), Indiana State (5-6 in the FCS), Colorado State (7-5), at Penn State (7-5), Iowa (12-1), at Maryland (3-9), Rutgers (4-8), at Illinois (5-7), Purdue (2-10), at Nebraska (5-7), Northwestern (10-2), at Wisconsin (9-3). Clearly that’s a much easier schedule than they faced this past season.