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A Gopher Fan’s Rooting Guide to Big Ten Bowls

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Here is why you should or should not root for our Big Ten brethren in their bowl games

MAC Championship - Western Michigan v Ohio
Row that Boad PJ!!
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Its bowl season once again and the Big Ten is playing in ten games this season (11 if Ohio State advances to the CFP Title Game). Here is a breakdown of the ten bowl games, and who as a Gopher fan you should have a vested interest in rooting for. Feel free to disagree in the comments if you do...but just know if you advocate rooting for either Wisconsin or Iowa you should feel ashamed of yourself.

December 26

Quick Lane Bowl—Detroit, MI

Maryland Terrapins vs Boston College Eagles

Why you should root for Maryland:

  • Because the Gophers beat the Terps earlier this season and a win would make out season look just a little bit better.
  • Because we want revenge on BC for our various hockey losses over the last few years.

Why you should root for Boston College:

  • Because we still haven’t gotten on that Maryland is a real Big Ten team thing.
  • Because we have the Maroon and Gold Alliance with BC against BU and Wisconsin...so its not that hard to stretch that to Maryland on a one day basis.
  • Maryland’s uniforms.

The Right Choice:

That other maroon and gold team—-Boston College

December 27

National Funding Holiday Bowl—San Diego, CA

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Washington State Cougars

Why you should root for Minnesota:

  • Well...if you are here and aren’t a Minnesota fan...why are you here?
  • We need all the good news/karma we can get right now.
  • Even with all the off the field stuff, a Holiday Bowl win would still be a nice trophy to have in the case.

Why you should root for Washington State:

  • You are so mad at the football team you want it to all burn down in a glorious tire fire.
  • You want to see Mike Leach the pirate become the Gopher coach killer.
  • You just really like the forward pass.

The Right Choice:

Come on....you know its the Gophers.

December 28

New Era Pinstripe Bowl—NYC, NY

Northwestern Wildcats vs Pittsburgh Panthers

Why you should root for Northwestern:

  • NERDS playing football
  • Yankee Stadium has tarps too.
  • You think Austin Carr is a great story and want to see the kid do well.
  • You appreciate the James Connor Story, but think its a sham he got the Orange Bowl Courage award over Mike Sherels.

Why you should root for Pitt:

  • You remember when Pat Narduzzi was the Michigan State DC and you like that he is now at Pitt.
  • James Connor coming back from cancer to being a great running back is a story you can get behind.
  • You are sick of the Pat Fitzgerald narrative and want to see him fail.

The Right Choice:

In a tight one...we’ll go Northwestern.

Foster Farms Bowl—Santa Clara, CA

Indiana Hoosiers vs Utah Utes

Why you should root for Indiana:

  • It would be nice to see the Hoosiers try and gain more steam to compete against the beasts in the B1G East.
  • You are happy the gave Kevin Wilson the boot.
  • Umm...yeah I got nothing else

Why you should root for Utah:

  • You think Indiana kept Kevin Wilson around too long.
  • You are a fan of Samoan names.
  • You like mountains?

The Right Choice:

Does it really matter? Lets say Indiana

December 30

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl- Nashville, TN

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Tennessee Volunteers

Why you should root for Nebraska:

  • Because one can only hear Rocky Top so many damn times.
  • You want to see a guy named Ryker win a bowl game.
  • You want to see what happens in Knoxville if Butch Jones loses another game.

Why you should root for Tennessee:

  • They are playing in tribute for the victims of the wildfires in Gatlinberg, TN
  • Because you want to see what happens in Lincoln if Mike Riley does worse than Bo Pelini again.
  • Because you hate to see a member of the “Quadrangle of Hate” win.
  • You are Chip Scoggins.

The Right Choice:

The song does get old but—-Good Ole Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee

Capital One Orange Bowl—Miami, FL

Michigan Wolverines vs Florida State Seminoles

Why you should root for Michigan:

  • You want to see the Big Ten win a NY6 Bowl Game.
  • You still hate Jimbo Fisher/FSU for the whole Jameis Winston thing.
  • Yeah
  • Hmmmmm

Why you should root for Florida State:

  • Harbaugh
  • Jedd Fisch
  • Harbaugh
  • The Big Ten gets the big bowl money whether they win or lose

The Right Choice:

Get those war cries going—-Florida State

December 31

Playstation Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinal)—Glendale, AZ

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Clemson Tigers

Why you should root for Ohio State:

  • It would be nice to see a Big Ten team playing for the national title again.
  • Not a big fan of Dabo Swinney
  • Don’t want to see a title game rematch from a year ago.

Why you should root for Clemson:

  • It would be nice to see a Big Ten team playing for the national title again...just not THAT Big Ten team.
  • You really like Deshawn Watson.
  • You don’t want to see Bama crush OSU in the title game.
  • You cant stand 10 days of Urban vs Saban ESPN blathering.

The Right Choice:

Just mute ESPN—Ohio State

January 2

Outback Bowl—Tampa, FL

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Florida Gators

Why you should root for Iowa:

  • You hate yourself and enjoy pain and suffering.
  • You were damaged as a child
  • Maybe Kirk gets another extension on top of his latest one?

Why you should root for Florida:

  • They might have at least some mild distaste of Iowa?
  • Schadenfreude might be all we have left.
  • You would think it would be funny to watch a former Purdue QB beat Iowa.

The Right Choice:

Gator Chomp—Florida

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic—Arlington, TX

Wisconsin Badgers vs Western Michigan Broncos

Why you should root for Wisconsin:

  • I think you are in the wrong place. Bucky’s 5th Quarter is about 270 miles east of here.
  • You have a sick and immoral obsession with the color red.
  • You really just like to see the world burn.

Why you should root for Western Michigan:

  • You still think there is an actual chance PJ Fleck will be the next Gopher coach and you want him to get used to beating Wisconsin.
  • Its freaking Wisconsin
  • Better Dead Than Red

The Right Choice:

ROW THE BOAT!!!— Western Michigan

Rose Bowl Game—Pasadena, CA

Penn State Nittany Lions vs USC Trojans

Why you should root for Penn State:

  • You think its impressive the way they have bounced back so quickly.
  • Its Minnesota’s fault this happened.
  • You still think James Franklin will be a flop long term and this will give him a lot of rope.
  • USC’s war chant gets old after about 30 seconds.

Why you should root for USC:

  • You are still disgusted with Penn State from the whole Sandusky/Paterno thing.
  • Its always nice to see a scrappy no name team win a bowl game.

The Right Choice:

Its the Rose Bowl...as long as its not WI or Iowa we root for the Big Ten— Penn State.