Despite not quite reaching a bowl-eligible record of 6-6, the Gophers are headed to a bowl game so that the NCAA can fill all of the open spots. Minnesota will face the Central Michigan Chippewas, their third opponent out of the Mid-American Conference. The Gophers defeated Kent State and Ohio earlier this season.
DATE: Monday, December 28 at 4:00 PM CST
LOCATION: Ford Field in Detroit, MI
OPPONENT: Central Michigan Chippewas (7-5)
Central Michigan finished 4th in the MAC West, with a conference record of 6-2. Three of their losses on the year came against Power 5 opponents, with non-conference matchups against Oklahoma State, Syracuse, and Michigan State. The Chippewas were a tough out in all three of those losses. Their other losses were against Western Michigan and Toledo. Minnesota and Central Michigan share a common opponent in Kent State, with the Chippewas have a bit more success on offense in a 27-14 win on the road against the Golden Flashes.
While it hasn't exactly been a successful season for the Gophers, the extra practices for the young players will be valuable and the trip to Detroit will be a good experience for the team, aside from the abandoned buildings, empty streets and general sense of despair. This is also a chance for the seniors to wear maroon and gold one last time and go out with a bowl win, something this program hasn't done since 2004.
More coverage to come.