Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
Minnesota likely won't be sniffing the AP Top 25 any time soon after a third straight loss on Saturday.
Continuing a trend of disappointment for the conference this season, the Big Ten still has just two teams placed in the AP Top 25 Poll seven weeks into the season. Other than the ninth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes and the 20th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, every other team in the conference is on the outside looking in.
Some teams, such as the Wisconsin Badgers, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Penn State Nittany Lions, are still on the periphery of the rankings, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers aren't so lucky. After losing their first three conference games of the season, including a pair of blowout road losses, Minnesota is likely simply eyeing a bowl game now.
While things were initially looking bright for the Golden Gophers earlier this season after they won all four of their nonconference games, reality has quickly set in. Of Minnesota's four victories this season, one is against an FCS opponent (New Hampsire) while the other three are against teams with a combined record of 7-16.