PJ Fleck’s second season at Minnesota has not inspired much confidence. The former Western Michigan head coach has kept the Golden Gophers above water with a 3-2 record, but none of those wins have come in Big Ten play. In fact, his 0-2 conference record has featured defeats against mid-tier programs (Maryland and Iowa) by a combined 46 points.
But Fleck can make a statement — and notch Minnesota’s first win over a top 10 opponent since beating No. 6 Ohio State way back in 2000 — by upending the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff aspirations Saturday.
Ohio State has climbed to a No. 3 ranking on the strength of a 6-0 start that’s featured five wins over Power 5 opponents and victories over a pair of top 15 squads; then-No. 15 TCU, and then-No. 9 Penn State. The Gophers shouldn’t pose too much of a problem in Week 7, but Fleck’s team will be hungry for a validating win in Columbus.
Minnesota vs. Ohio State prediction:
The Buckeyes are the No. 4 team in the latest round of the S&P+ rankings. The Golden Gophers clock in at No. 57. The preseason prediction pegged this as a 29-point win for Ohio State, and that might wind up a conservative estimate given Minnesota’s awful start to Big Ten play.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
Time: Noon. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, fuboTV
Odds: Ohio State is favored by 29.5 points.