Gophers to the Rose Bowl? Not so fast, forecasters say

Published 2:25 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

By Andy Greder

Pioneer Press

The Gophers’ bowl projections have changed in the wake of Saturday’s 23-19 loss to Iowa.

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Before Minnesota’s perfect season ended in Iowa City, the majority of forecasts had the Gophers penciled in for a Rose Bowl berth for the first time since after the 1961 season. As of Tuesday morning, four major projections have the Gophers headed to the Outback Bowl, a New Year’s Day bowl in Tampa, Fla., the Gophers have never played in.

Last week, five of six mainstream projections had the Gophers penciled in for the Rose Bowl.

Three still have the U pegged headed for Pasadena for the first time since Sandy Stephens led the Gophers to their last national title.

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has been consistent for two straight weeks in picking the Badgers to go to the Rose Bowl and is the one forecaster pegging Minnesota for the Citrus.

The outlets and educated guessers not selecting the Gophers to go to the Rose Bowl have either Penn State or Wisconsin going instead.

A lot will be determined in the next three weeks when the Gophers (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) play Northwestern (2-8, 0-7) in Evanston, Ill., on Saturday, followed by Wisconsin (8-2, 5-2) at TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 30.

Minnesota also has a one-game lead on the West Division’s spot in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis on Dec. 7.