Gophers deserve national respect with blowout road win at Michigan State

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			Gophers deserve national respect with blowout road win at Michigan State
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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Voters in the Associated Press top 25 poll had been warming up to the Gophers as the season has progressed, but they still appeared to be taking a wait-and-see approach after three runaway victories over winless nonconference foes.

Minnesota’s continued domination in a 34-7 win over previously ranked Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium should garner more national respect. The next AP poll comes out Sunday afternoon.

In the season-opening ranking, Minnesota had received 31 votes, but that dipped to 22 after the 38-0 win over New Mexico State on Sept. 1. It climbed to 37 votes after the 62-10 win over Western Illinois on Set. 10 and was up again to 48 after the 49-7 win over Colorado last week.

Michigan State had received 91 votes, nearly double Minnesota’s output, in this week’s AP poll. The Spartans had been ranked 11th in the AP poll before a 39-28 loss at Washington last week. MSU was No. 21 in the coaches poll this week.

The 25th ranked team in this week’s poll, Miami (Fla.), received 123 votes.

Minnesota hasn’t been ranked by the AP since Oct. 18, 2020, and promptly fell out after a 49-24 loss to No. 18 Michigan. That was the first week of the pandemic-delayed season.

SCHEDULING

Gophers Athletics Director Mark Coyle is headed to Chicago after Saturday’s game to meet with fellow Big Ten ADs to determine football schedules for the 2023 season.

Coyle said on the KFXN-FM pregame show that a few of the subjects to be figured out include the future of divisions and whether they keep nine-game conference schedules.

Minnesota’s future schedules previously were available online, but with the changes on the horizon in the conference, the U has taken them off its website.

Southern California and UCLA will join the conference in 2024, which will create more scheduling changes.

BRIEFLY

Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck improved to 2-4 in Big Ten openers. At Minnesota, he also improved to 1-1 against the Spartans. … Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren attended Saturday’s game.

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