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Updated: May 6th, 2014 12:35pm
Gophers listed just outside top-25 in CBS Sports' post-spring rankings

Gophers listed just outside top-25 in CBS Sports' post-spring rankings

by Nate Sandell
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Expectations for the Minnesota Gophers football team are on the rise heading into Year 4 of the Jerry Kill era.

Coming off the program's fifth eight-win season in the last 50 years, the Gophers return 23 players who started at least three games last season. With a squad dotted with legitimate potential, the Gophers appear in position to put up a fight again in the Big Ten next year.

The Gophers' emergence in 2013 and the program's perceived upside has already led to a slight increase in national attention and early speculation for the season ahead.

Minnesota earned an honorable mention in CBS Sports college football writer Dennis Dodd's post-spring top-25. The Gophers were one of 14 teams, along with fellow Big Ten members Penn State and Northwestern, listed in Dodd's "just outside the velvet ropes" category.

Dodd's top-25 was led by Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Oregon and Oklahoma. The rankings featured four Big Ten teams: Michigan State (7), Wisconsin (15), Nebraska (18) and Iowa (23).

The Gophers open their 2014 campaign on Aug. 28 against Eastern Illinois.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell