ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Gophers football: Bowl projections downshift and a surprise option after loss to Iowa

Similar to last week, the Gophers’ rivalry game on Saturday against Wisconsin will have more than Paul Bunyan’s Axe on the line.

SPORTS-GOPHERS-FOOTBALL-BOWL-PROJECTIONS-DOWNSHIFT-1-SP.jpg
Minnesota Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck leads his team onto the field against the University of Iowa on Saturday at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL -- On top of everything else, the University of Minnesota’s 13-10 loss to Iowa on Saturday damaged its bowl projections.

Besides losing the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy and their outside chance of winning the Big Ten West Division, the Gophers (7-4) can all but forget about going to the Music City Bowl in Nashville or the former Outback Bowl (now named ReliaQuest) in Tampa.

Of 10 national projections tracked by the Pioneer Press, no outlet picked Minnesota for the Music City or ReliaQuest bowls.

For Minnesota, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl was the most-popular destination picked with a total of four educated guesses this week. The game is against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent and will be played on Friday, Dec. 30 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

MORE MINNESOTA GOPHERS COVERAGE:
Mara Braun, who had a career-high 34 points and a buzzer-beater in a 101-99 victory over Lehigh, scored a game-high 27 points.
Six-year senior was named to all-Big Ten first team, but also lost conference award to Michigan's Blake Corum.
The award comes after a comeback season that saw the outside hitter lead the conference in kills per set (4.43) and points per set (449).
In September, Whalen was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Virginia Tech (7-1) was a 12-point favorite over Minnesota (4-3) and rolled to an easy victory.
Minnesota had aspirations to reach the Big Ten title game. But the Gophers lost crucial intra-division games to Purdue, Illinois and Iowa, and it cost them a Big Ten West championship.
The Gophers will be back in action on Wednesday, where they’ll take on Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at 7 p.m. at The Barn.
Minnesota is the No. 2 seed in its region and will play Friday at Maturi Pavilion.
The jersey features a combination of loom and beadwork designs reflecting both Dakota and Ojibwe heritage.
Win marks 1st time Minnesota has won the Axe in consecutive years since 1993-94

The second most popular destination was the too-familiar Quick Lane Bowl on Monday, Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. The Gophers know this spot well after visits there in 2015 and 2018. The matchup is with a Mid-American Conference team.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium in New York City had been the most-popular pick for two straight weeks. After being previously forecast as Minnesota’s destination by five different outlets, only two of them this week picked the U to go to the Bronx and play against an ACC foe.

In a curveball, 247 Sports picked the Armed Forces Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 22 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. This was not on the radar for Minnesota across the previous month.

Similar to last week, the Gophers’ rivalry game on Saturday against Wisconsin (6-5) will have more than Paul Bunyan’s Axe on the line. With both teams 4-4 in the Big Ten, a higher spot in the bowl-game pecking order would likely go to the winner.

Gophers’ Week-By-Week Bowl ProjectionsThe number of national projections over the last five weeks where for Minnesota might go bowling (from left: the first roundup in late October, though November and into this week):

  • Pinstripe Bowl: 4, 2, 5, 5, 2
  • Mayo Bowl: 4, 3, 2, 1, 4
  • Music City Bowl: 0, 3, 2, 2, 0
  • ReliaQuest Bowl: 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
  • Quick Lane Bowl: 1, 1, 0, 1, 3
  • Armed Forces Bowl: 0, 0, 0, 0, 1

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
What to read next
Blair, Olson lead the way as UMD men and women top Golden Eagles in NSIC action.
Bulldogs fifth-year senior defenseman Maggie Flaherty is having a career season thus far at UMD, sharing the team lead of seven goals going into this weekend's home series with Ohio State.
Jackie Johnson led the Saints women with 13 points.
Grad student has provided a boost for the Bulldogs after leaving South Dakota State.