The college football post-season (such as it is) is all set! Unless you’re living under some sort of internet-less rock, you’re probably aware that the College Football Playoff has its four-team bracket all dusted off and ready to go.
Of more immediate relevance though, Minnesota is off to a bowl game again, and this time, it’s a pretty good one. The Golden Gophers will take on surprising 8-4 team Washington State in the 2016 Holiday Bowl.
It's the Minnesota Golden Gophers @GopherFootball vs. the Washington State Cougars @wsucougfb in the 2016 @NationalFunding Holiday Bowl!! pic.twitter.com/14MULhUI29— Holiday Bowl (@HolidayBowlGame) December 4, 2016
This is the only the third time the game has featured a Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup, and last year, the Big Ten representative, Wisconsin, brought home the trophy.
- Date and time: Dec. 27, 7 p.m.
- TV channel: ESPN
- Location: San Diego
- Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
- Last year's score: Wisconsin 23, USC 21
- Last year's attendance: 48,329
- Teams with the most all-time appearances: BYU, 11
- Teams with the most all-time wins: BYU, 4
Washington State leads the all-time series between these teams 2-3, and won the most recent meeting in 1988. That Cougars squad dominated the Jim Gutekunst-era Gophers 41-9 in Minneapolis. Being coached by Dennis Erickson might have had an impact.
The current edition of Washington State is coached by the dread pirate Mike Leach. You may not want to recall this at all, but the last time Minnesota took on a Mike Leach-coached team in a bowl game, things did not go well. Specifically, the Gophers were ahead 38-7 with almost eight minutes to go in the third quarter but ultimately lost the game in overtime 44-41. That loss may have led to the end of the Glen Mason era at Minnesota.
Let’s hope for a better result this time.