Gophers Will Play A New Year’s Day Bowl Game
Minneapolis (gophersports.com) - The University of Minnesota football team has accepted an invitation to compete in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020.
The Gophers, who went 10-2 in the regular and a 7-2 in Big Ten play, will face Auburn from the SEC.
Minnesota was ranked No. 18 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, while Auburn was No. 12. This will be the first meeting ever between the Gophers and Tigers.
The Outback Bowl will be the 21st bowl game all-time for Minnesota, but it will mark the first time that the Gophers have played in the Florida-based Bowl. It will also be the second straight bowl game for the Gophers under head coach P.J. Fleck, as Minnesota played in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit last season and beat Georgia Tech 34-10. The 24-point win was Minnesota's largest bowl margin of victory in school history.
This year, Minnesota reached historic heights under Fleck, as the Gophers won 10 games in the regular season for the first time since 1905. Minnesota also won seven Big Ten games for the first time in school history.
Minnesota won four Big Ten games by at least 20 points for the first time since 1934 and beat No. 5 Penn State at home. The Penn State win was Minnesota's first win against a Top 5 five team since it beat No. 2 Penn State on the road in 1999. It was Minnesota's first home win against a Top 5 team since it beat No. 1 Michigan 16-0 in 1977.
The Gophers ascended to No. 7 in the AP Poll, which was the team's highest ranking since it was No. 5 on Nov. 19, 1962. Minnesota was also ranked No. 8 in the College Football Playoffs, which was its highest CFP ranking in school history.
Minnesota is 8-8-1 all-time against teams from the SEC and most recently played Missouri in the 2015 Citrus Bowl. Prior to that, Minnesota's last game against an SEC opponent was a 20-16 win against Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl.
The Gophers, who have won three straight bowl games, will be playing in their third-ever Florida-based bowl. Minnesota previous played in the 2015 Citrus Bowl and the 2000 MicronPC.com Bowl.