Big Ten Football: 2015 preseason power rankings

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Jan 1, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Russell Hansbrough (32) is wrapped up by Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Derrick Wells (3) and defensive back Cedric Thompson (2) during the first half in the 2015 Citrus Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Coming in at No. 5 is Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have 16 starters returning — eight on both sides of the ball — and Jerry Kill’s team is one that is rising in popularity while gaining respect from the rest of the Big Ten.

Must Read: MSU Football: 5 bold predictions for the 2015 season

As mentioned earlier, the Golden Gophers will be hosting TCU to begin the season on Thursday evening in a battle that could either make Minnesota’s season or go as just another non-conference loss.

You can bet that our writers are rooting for the Gophers to take a victory away from the Horned Frogs, but they will have to go up against one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country in Trevone Boykin. It will be a tough test, but you better believe that if they win, they’ll be moving up in next week’s power rankings.

Every season, it seems like the Golden Gophers are given no respect and are always underrated. This year is no different as many are picking them to finish no higher than sixth place in the Big Ten.

Given their ability to nearly take their division crown for the past two years, I say it’s time the Golden Gophers finally prove everyone wrong and head to the Big Ten title game this year. They aren’t my pick, as I think Nebraska will win the division, but it’s surely possible.

Next: No. 4 Nebraska