Minnesota Football: Gophers Bowl Projections Week 12

Scott Halleran

The Gophers had a bye week, and yet in the eyes of "Bowl Projectionists" have actually improved their bowl standings. Last week the majority vote said it was back to the Texas Bowl in Houston. This week? New Year's Day, baby! Before we get to the projections, the B1G bowls and order/rules of selection (Rules of Selection per Adam Rittenberg of the ESPN.com B1G blog):

Rose Bowl Presented by VIZIO, Jan. 1
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, 4pm, E!SPN
B1G Champ vs Pac 12 Champ

Selects Big Ten champion unless the champion finishes No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS standings

Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1
Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL, 12PM, ABC
B1G #2 vs SEC #2

Bowl may select any eligible team after Rose Bowl Game/BCS except a team that has two fewer wins or two more losses (in all games) than another eligible team. This rule applies whether there are one or two Big Ten teams in BCS bowls.

Outback Bowl, Jan 1
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL, 12pm E!SPN
B1G #3 vs SEC #3

Bowl may select any eligible team after Rose Bowl Game/BCS except a team that has two fewer wins or two more losses (in all games) than another eligible team. This rule applies whether there are one or two Big Ten teams in BCS bowls.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec 28
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ, 9:15pm E!SPN:
B1G #4 vs Big 12 #4
May select any eligible team after Outback Bowl

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Jan 1
Everbank Field, Jacksonville, FL, 11am E!SPN2
B1G #5 vs SEC #6

May select any eligible team after Insight BWW Bowl

Texas Bowl, Dec 27
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX, 5pm E!SPN
B1G #6 vs Big 12 #6
May select any eligible team after TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan 1
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX, 11am, E!SPNU
B1G #7 vs C-USA
May select any eligible team after Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Bowl

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec 26
Ford Field, Detroit, MI, 5pm E!SPN
B1G #8 vs MAC #2
May select any eligible team

Now that we have that out of the way, here's 15 Gopher bowl projections for Week 12:

Athlon: Gator Bowl vs Ole Miss

BTN: Texas Bowl vs Texas Tech

CBS Sports: Gator Bowl vs Ole Miss

College Football News/Scout: Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl vs Oklahoma

ESPN: Brad Edwards- Gator vs Georgia
Mark Schlabach- Gator vs Georgia

ESPN.com B1G Blog: Texas Bowl

National Football Post: Gator Bowl vs Georgia

Off Tackle Empire: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs Rice

Phil Steele: Texas Bowl vs Texas Tech

SB Nation: Gator Bowl vs Ole Miss

Sports Illustrated: Texas Bowl vs K-State

The Sporting News: Texas Bowl vs Texas Tech

USA Today: Gator Bowl vs Georgia

Yahoo!: Gator Bowl vs Georgia

Minnesota's Week 12 "Consensus" Bowl? Gator Bowl

Gator (8 votes)
Texas (5 votes)
BWW (1 vote)
Heart of Dallas (1 vote)

Last Week: Texas Bowl

Gator Bowl? GATOR BOWL! This remains my dream/most hoped for bowl destination for Minnesota. If you're shopping for me for Christmas, I mean, I don't ask much. A matchup with Georgia probably wouldn't go very well, but Ole Miss? Do they bring The Grove with them for tailgating at bowl games? Can't wait to find out! Seriously, a New Year's Day bowl vs an SEC opponent the Gophers actually stand a chance of beating? Best ever.

And yet, I remain skeptical it will happen. Our voting panel this week basically flipped the Gator and Texas bowls from Week 11, believing...well see that's the thing. I'm not sure what this is based on because not much has changed from a week ago. And as much as I HATE seeing the Heart of Dallas Bowl vs a freaking C-USA school from OTE again, this time it wasn't done by a good-for-nothing Iowa fan. Yet as much as I hate to admit it, the rationale is the same- Iowa continues to pose a threat to Minnesota's better bowl hopes whether we like it or not.

Iowa could definitely pull the upset at home vs Michigan this week then again for Farmaggedon vs Nebraska next week. At that point with 8 wins they're a shoo-in for a New Year's Day bowl. I continue to believe that Minnesota needs to win Saturday to secure a NYD Bowl- or for those so inclined...a BWW bowl on a Saturday night at that starts at 9:15 pm! Because that's somehow better than playing on New Year's Day...? Anyway, the point stands that if the Gophers want a top 5 B1G Bowl, they need to win one more, and I can't think of a better game to do it than a rivalry game with the best rivalry trophy in the sport (sorry Floyd! Love you!) on a day with sub-zero windchills. By the way, anyway else worried about literally freezing to death Saturday?

Without one more Gopher victory, we're then doing what we always do- cheering for Iowa to lose. Heck, whether the Gophers win or lose obviously cheer for Iowa to lose as always, as the Hawkeyes would seem to pose the most significant threat of jumping the Gophers. I love the bowl projectionisit's idea of the Gator Bowl, but unless Minnesota can win one more, I remain skeptical it'll happen.

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