In the first week Big Ten teams were eligible for the AP Top 25 poll, the Gophers did not make the cut.
The Gophers had been No. 19 in the preseason iteration of the poll, though the conference deciding not to play this season during the coronavirus pandemic left them off subsequent lists. But the Big Ten reversed that call, giving voting media members the opportunity this week to rank teams who won't start playing until Oct. 24 against teams with seasons already underway.
Some 0-0 programs did break through, including No. 6 Ohio State, No. 10 Penn State, No. 14 Oregon (the Pac-12 begins play Nov. 6), No. 19 Wisconsin and No. 23 Michigan.
The Gophers did receive 110 votes, third-most after Virginia Tech and Louisiana Lafayette. Iowa and Utah were also in the just-missed group.
All of this made voting quite unusual. Some media members, including Brett McMurphy of Stadium, decided not to rank teams that hadn't played yet while others, like Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News, voted for SEC teams that started later than other conferences so did the same with Big Ten and Pac-12 teams now to be consistent.
The Gophers will open the season Oct. 24 against Michigan at TCF Bank Stadium. Check out the full poll here.