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Minnesota Football: The Gophers are headed to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl

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Ugh

The Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4) have a date with the West Virginia Mountaineers (6-6) in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 28, in Phoenix, Arizona. This will be the first ever meeting between the Gophers and the Mountaineers. Minnesota has made three previous trips to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, though it was called the Insight Bowl when the Gophers appeared in the bowl in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Minnesota lost all three games.

The game will kickoff at 9:15 p.m. CT and be televised on ESPN.

West Virginia is in its third year under head coach Neal Brown, who is 17-17 in his tenure with the Mountaineers. They opened their season with a 30-24 loss to Maryland on the road and lost three of their next five games to start the year 2-4. But the Mountaineers rallied to win four of their last six games to secure bowl eligibility, including a 38-31 upset of then No. 22-ranked Iowa State.

Kirk Ciarrocca, who spent this season at West Virginia as an offensive analyst, is expected to be named the Gophers’ new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The rest of the Big Ten’s bowl lineup:

  • Orange Bowl: Michigan vs. Georgia
  • Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Utah
  • Peach Bowl: Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh
  • Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Kentucky
  • Outback Bowl: Penn State vs. Arkansas
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Arizona State
  • Music City Bowl: Purdue vs. Tennessee
  • Pinstripe Bowl: Maryland vs. Virginia Tech