• New Vikings Chief Executive Officer Andrew Miller, who is replacing Kevin Warren as he takes over as commissioner of the Big Ten, got his start with the Cleveland Indians in 2006 and was their baseball operations assistant in 2007. Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey got his start with the Indians in 2007, when he began an internship in baseball operations.
• While the Gophers football team received seven votes in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll, Fresno State, its opponent next week, got eight. The Gophers will face them at 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the Bulldogs’ home opener, which could be one of the U’s toughest games this season.
• Getting Rochester Mayo and Mankato West to play at TCO Field in Eagan on Sept. 28 could be the start of several outstate high school football games at the Vikings complex.
• Pro Football Focus really liked the play of Olabisi Johnson at wide receiver — making him the only Vikings player to make its list of top 30 preseason rookies.
• ESPN ranked its top 100 players in the NFL and had Adam Thielen as the highest-ranked Vikings player at No. 28.
• Timberwolves forward Josh Okogie is playing for Nigeria in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, but also of note is that Timberwolves player development coach and former Gophers standout Kevin Burleson is on the coaching staff of the squad. That team is considered one of the real threats to compete for a medal.
• For all the talk of the Twins’ starters struggling, they have at least been consistent. Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda already have made over 20 starts each this season. The last time the team had five pitchers start at least 20 games was 2011 with Carl Pavano, Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano.