Gophers debut at No. 25 in college football playoff rankings

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The Minnesota Gophers football team ranks 25th in this week's college football playoff rankings. It's the fist time the Gophers have appeared in the rankings for college football's new playoff system.

The Gophers are in the teeth of their Big Ten schedule as they are coming off a 51-14 victory over Iowa that returned Floyd of Rosedale to Minnesota, and are looking ahead to a showdown with perennial conference powerhouse Ohio State on Saturday.

The Buckeyes (8-1) have climbed to eighth in the playoff rankings that will pit college football's top four teams in NCAA Division 1 football's first ever playoff.

As the Pioneer Press reports, Ohio State is the highest ranking Big Ten team, but the Gophers' other remaining opponents, Nebraska and Wisconsin, are also ranked in the top 25.

Gophers coach Jerry Kill told reporters Tuesday that the Buckeyes will be a big test for them.

The Gophers are approaching the game with confidence, partly because the weather at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday is expected to play right into their hands. Forecasters expect the temperature will barely reach 20 degrees.

"It's Minnesota," tight end Maxx Williams told WCCO. "We'll see if Ohio State likes the cold weather because I know we practice in it, so we'll be fine."

If it becomes a cold weather ground and pound game the Gophers have to like their chances. Minnesota running back David Cobb has already rushed for more yards than he did all year last season.

But the Pioneer Press notes that's only part of the picture. Cobb, who has 1,205 yards on the ground, ran for just 74 of Minnesota's 291 yards in last week's victory.

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