That's a bit of a trick question, obviously. . .the rankings for the Football Bowl Subdivision are completely separate from those for the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly known as 1-AA), so the two teams will never actually appear in the same set of rankings.
Well, until NDSU joins the Big Ten, anyway. . .with the craziness of conference realignment, I'm not sure such a move would surprise anyone at this point, but that's another discussion for another day.
But the folks over at The Daily Gopher found something interesting while doing their research leading up to today's game. They took a look at the rankings put together by Jeff Sagarin of USA Today, who does all sorts of mathematical gymnastics in order to determine who he feels the best college football teams in America are. Between the FBS and FCS, the Sagarin Ratings rank 246 teams in both subdivisions.
According to the latest Sagarin Ratings, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are the 110th best college football team in the nation.
The NDSU Bison, on the other hand, are ranked 89th.
NDSU has a very strong football history. . .they were a dominant force in Division II for a long time before moving up to I-AA, and have continued that tradition since the move. Though they were ranked 12th in the most recent FCS Coaches poll, the Sagarin Ratings only show four teams ahead of the Bison at this point in time.
The Gophers are still very capable of winning this evening's contest at TCF Bank Stadium, but anyone that's expecting Minnesota to simply roll over NDSU should probably think again.