One national writer, CNNSI.com's Stewart Mandel, believes in the Gopher football team.
While the Gophers have been consistently ranked in the lower tier of the top 25 in most polls and rankings, most prognosticators have been tepid in their evaluation of the Minnesota.
Mandel, however, believes in their improved defense, stong offensive line and their two returning 1,000-yard rushers. Mandel, having already picked the Gophers to win the Big Ten, was consistent in making them his highest ranked Big Ten team in his current rankings.
They are there in the rarified air usually reserved for Michigan and Ohio State, who in fact just trail the Gophers at Nos. 9 and 11, respectively.
Mandel's top 10 are:
4. Miami (Fla.)
6. Florida State
9. Ohio State
10. Kansas State
Gophers go top-10 in one poll
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