Gophers back up to 8th in CFP rankings

'College GameDay' setting up shop on U of M mall

ESPN "College GameDay" personalities Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit. David Samson / Forum News Service

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Gophers moved up two spots to No. 8 in the latest College Football Playoff ranking released Tuesday, Nov. 26.

“It’s a great spot to be,” ESPN commentator Greg McElroy said of Minnesota on the ranking release show.

Meanwhile, the Badgers remained at No. 12 heading into the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday.

The Gophers debuted at No. 17 in the first ranking in early November, moved up to No. 8 after the Penn State win and slipped to No. 10 after the Iowa loss. Minnesota (10-1, 7-1) rebounded for a 38-22 win over Northwestern on Saturday.

Iowa is now No. 17, with Penn State down two spots to 10th after losing to new No. 1 Ohio State. The Buckeyes await the Badgers-Gophers winner in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 7 in Indianapolis.


‘GameDay’ on mall

ESPN’s “College Gameday” will air live on Saturday morning from Northrop Mall on the University of Minnesota’s campus before the Gophers-Badgers game.

The gates for the popular pregame show will open at 5 a.m., and the University encourages fans to arrive early. The parking lots surrounding TCF Bank Stadium will open at 6 a.m.

“GameDay” will air from 8-11 a.m. Saturday. The show’s picks segment, with the still-mysterious picker, will air a few minutes before 11.

The Gophers-Badgers game at sold-out TCF Bank Stadium will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.

The show also is known for the fan-made signs seen in the set’s background, and the U is hosting a sign-making event at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the President’s Room at the Coffman Memorial Union.

The big game is expected to draw increased traffic and parking congestion. Fans are encouraged to use the Metro Transit’s “Park and Ride” service and the Green Line light rail service. Info can be found at

O’Brien honored

Gophers placeholder Casey O’Brien was announced as the winner of the 2019 Disney Spirit Award given to the most inspirational figure in college football.


O’Brien, a four-time cancer survivor, told coach P.J. Fleck and his teammates that he has a “small spot” in his lungs. The plan, Fleck said, is for O’Brien to have the spot removed Wednesday for further tests.

“He’s going to attack this like he attacks everything else, with strength, encourage, culture, his power to find a way to beat the odds,” Fleck said. “Again, we don’t even know what it is. That’s the good thing. We’ll handle things when they come.”

The goal is for O’Brien to accept the Spirit Award as part of the college football awards show in Atlanta on Dec. 12.


• Fleck called starting tight end Jake Paulson “day-to-day” with what is believed to be an ankle injury suffered on the opening drive of the win over Northwestern last Saturday.

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