Gophers Out Of Top 25

After high hopes to contend for the Big Ten title and go to the Rose Bowl, the Gophers have dropped two straight games and fallen out of the top 25.

After starting the season with high hopes and a top-25 ranking, Minnesota has now dropped out of the top 25 in both polls. After two disappointing weeks that were eerily similar to last season — a late heartbreaking loss to Michigan followed by a emotionally empty performance against Michigan State — Minnesota is once again on pace for a mid-level bowl.

In some ways the Gophers are the new Timberwolves. After seven consecutive trips to the playoffs and first-round exits, last year the T-Wolves stepped it up and went to the conference championship game. The Gophers are at the same place, a nice streak of consecutive bowls and winning seasons but the bar has been raised. Fair or not, a two-loss season is a disappointment and the Gophers may need to take on Ohio State's mantra of "beat Michigan."

Nobody is giving up on the Gophers — they are having a good season and they only need to go 1-3 in the last four games to be bowl-eligible. They should go at least 2-2 and have a good shot at 3-1. Of course, all Gophers fans would love to see them play spoiler against the Badgers.

Still, 9-2 and another trip to the Sun Bowl is now a disappointment that Gophers fans have suffered. This year, with what could have been, maybe Gophers fans have gotten spoiled, but like the T-Wolves and seven years of first-round frustration, just getting to a bowl isn't enough anymore.

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