The Gophers are for real, and after Saturday’s 31-26 historic win over No. 4 Penn State sit at 9-0 with three games remaining in the regular season.

All the nay-sayers said the boat was going to be sunk by the undefeated Nittany Lions, who came to Minnesota with one of the best defenses in the country. But the Golden Gophers came out and seized the momentum early, led 24-13 at the half and pulled out a 31-26 victory with a game-winning interception in the final seconds.

I wonder if this will finally get ESPN’s attention and finally bring College Game Day to Minnesota. They could have been here for the Gophers’ biggest win in more than 50 years, but they chose to go to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama-LSU game, which ended in a Crimson Tide defeat. My weekend couldn’t have been sweeter. Nick Saban, the biggest grouch in football, lost at home.

Up next for the Gophers is an Iowa team that has lost three straight but is playing this game at home.

While I’m totally on board with the Gophers, this game is going to be tough to win. Minnesota hasn’t won in Iowa since 1999 and has lost four straight to the Hawkeyes. More on this game when I make my picks at the end of this column.

As for the other Minnesota team, they held on to beat America’s not-favorite team — Dallas. Kirk Cousins finally beat a team with a winning record, or as he said after the game, the Vikings beat a team with a winning record. He still missed some wide open receivers.

Winning the week was Nancy Wegner at 14-4. Nice job! I stank it up because of all the upsets. I don’t think anyone saw New Orleans and Indianapolis each losing at home to one-win teams, Kansas City falling at Tennessee, and Pittsburgh with a third-string quarterback beating the Rams.

I picked San Francisco to beat Seattle, but Jimmy G. had several receivers drop passes and then he fumbles twice. He looked a lot like Mr. Cousins as he held onto the ball way too long.

This week I’ve got six titillating college games and 12 in the NFL. I’m going with Minnesota, Auburn, Oklahoma, Michigan, Notre Dame and Clemson, but don’t be surprised if Iowa, Georgia, Baylor or Navy wins.

In the NFL, Carolina, Indianapolis, Baltimore, San Francisco, Oakland, and Rams will win at home, while Buffalo, Dallas, New Orleans, Kansas City and New England will get road wins. The Vikings will improve to 5-0.


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