• The Gophers football program has never played a schedule that didn't have a single nonconference opponent like the Big Ten is planning for this season. In 1957 under Murray Warmath, the Gophers played just one nonconference game, beating Washington 46-7 at Memorial Stadium in the season opener.

• The Gophers had been set to pay nearly $2 million to their nonconference football opponents — $1.2 million to Florida Atlantic, $450,000 to Tennessee Tech and $300,000 to Brigham Young.

• Pro Football Focus ranked the Vikings offensive line No. 23 in the NFL heading into the offseason: "The Vikings have a good zone-blocking line that gave their running backs the third-highest percentage of positively graded blocks per rush last season, but there are holes in pass protection that can be exploited, especially in must-pass situations against good defensive lines."

• Jake Irvin, a 2015 Bloomington Jefferson graduate, made the 60-man roster for the defending champion Washington Nationals. The 6-6 righthander graduated from Oklahoma and spent last year at Class A Hagerstown. The Twins drafted him out of high school in the 37th round in 2015.

• The Twins have worked hard with MLB to get a more favorable home schedule, and the 2021 schedule is great for Target Field with just 11 home games in April, 18 in May, 12 in June, 14 in July, 13 in August and 13 in September.

• Jim Marshall, the greatest athletic trainer in the history of the state of Minnesota who spent 42 years with the Gophers, turned 90 years old on July 3. Marshall was named to the "M" Club Hall of Fame in 1998.

• Isaiah Weston, a graduate of St. Michael-Albertville, could be a big standout for Northern Iowa this season. Weston caught 43 passes for 1,053 yards as a sophomore last season.