Minnesota plays five, count ‘em , five games against teams in the AP preseason Top 25.
Besides playing the four ranked Big Ten teams (No. 2 Ohio State, No. 9 Iowa, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 19 Penn State), the Gophers host No. 14 USC.
Hey, you play 12 games in college football, you’re in the Big Ten, you figure to catch three or four clubs ranked in the AP preseason Top 25.
But not Wisconsin. The Badgers face just two, in No. 2 Ohio State and No. 9 Iowa. They avoid Penn State this season, and have no ranked foes in their four-game nonconference schedule, which includes UNLV, San Jose State, Arizona State and Austin Peay.
San Jose State, by the way, opens with road games against Alabama and Wisconsin. In Week 4, it plays at Utah. Don’t look for SJSU in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Illinois and Purdue also only play two ranked FBS teams. Both don’t face Iowa.
The Hawkeyes play all three of the Big Ten’s other ranked teams. So does Ohio State.
Penn State plays three ranked teams, but what a schedule the Nittany Lions have. They face No. 1 Alabama, Iowa and Ohio State on the road.
Ten Big Ten teams play an FCS (I-AA) team. Only two are playing someone in the Coaches’ FCS preseason Top 25. Illinois hosts No. 5 Southern Illinois and Iowa faces No. 16 Eastern Illinois.
Northern Iowa was the preseason No. 4 team when it came to Iowa for last year’s season-opener, a 17-16 Iowa win. UNI is No. 14 in this year’s preseason poll.
Iowa played only two FBS teams that were ranked at the time they met last season, then-No. 5 Penn State and then-No. 10 Ohio State.
Penn State met just one, then-No. 15 Ohio State. Iowa was unranked when it won at State College last fall.