MINNEAPOLIS — The 24th-ranked Gophers football team will host No. 19 Michigan in a prime-time season opener on Oct. 24 at TCF Bank Stadium. The Battle for the Little Brown Jug will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. and will air on ABC, the Big Ten said Monday.
It will be the first time since the Associated Press poll started in 1936 that Minnesota will open a season against another ranked opponent.
The Minnesota-Michigan rivalry game is a top contender for an appearance by ESPN’s College GameDay, with other competition being No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 17 Southern Methodist and No. 20 Iowa State at No. 7 Oklahoma State.
Second-ranked Alabama at No. 18 Tennessee is another option, but the pregame show will be in Tuscaloosa, Ala., this weekend for the Crimson Tide vs. No. 3 Georgia.
If GameDay comes to Minneapolis, it would be for a second-straight home game for the Gophers. The popular pregame show set up on the U’s snowy campus for the de facto Big Ten West title game last November, which Wisconsin won 38-17.
The Gophers also said they will have three Friday games this season: Maryland in College Park (Oct. 30), and two in Minneapolis, Iowa (Nov. 13) and Purdue (Nov. 20). The Terrapins kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT; the Hawkeyes’ is at 6 and the Boilermakers time was not announced Monday.
There were no new details for four regular-season games on Minnesota’s schedule: at Illinois (Nov. 7); at Wisconsin (Nov. 28); vs. Northwestern (Dec. 5); and at Nebraska (Dec. 12).
The Gophers’ season is expected to finish Dec. 19 with a crossover game: Whatever place Minnesota finishes in the West Division, they will face the team that finished in the same spot in the East.
The College Football Playoff and bowl games will be announced Dec. 20.
Gophers 2020 schedule
Oct. 24: vs. Michigan, 6:30 p.m., KSTP-Channel 5
Oct. 30: at Maryland, 6:30 p.m., TBA
Nov. 7: at Illinois, TBA
Nov. 13: vs. Iowa, 6 p.m., FOX/FS1
Nov. 20: vs. Purdue, TBA
Nov. 28: at Wisconsin, TBA
Dec. 5: vs. Northwestern, TBA
Dec. 12: at Nebraska, TBA
Dec. 19: Champions Week vs. East Division, TBD