Minnesota Gophers Bowl Projections 2023

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

No, the 2023 Minnesota Gophers football team did not reach the required 6 wins it takes to become “bowl eligible”. But there are so many bowl games these days that PJ Fleck & Co’s 5-7 squad is still going bowling in December anyway.

Non-eligible Gophers bowling thanks to high APR

How? A very high APR (Academic Progress Rate), which measures academic success for student athletes, proving it pays off to excel in the classroom as a football program, something Fleck has always taken very seriously.

Related: How Much NIL Can Gophers Pay vs What Transfer QBs Actually Cost?

If all 6-win teams across FBS nation do not fill all of the spots during bowl season, the NCAA turns to APR to decide what 5-win teams they turn to next. Of all the 5-7 teams in the country, the Minnesota Gophers (.992 – 8th in CFB) have the highest APR.

Minnesota Gophers Bowl Projections 2023

minnesota gophers bowl projections 2023
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

So, where will they play and who will their opponent will be? Many of the most reliable projections changed course on their Minnesota bowl pick, after Alabama beat Georgia in Saturday’s SEC Championship game.

The bowl landscape’s latest shuffle now has the Gophers’ most likely destination, in pretty overwhelming fashion, as Phoenix, AZ for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. The Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit, MI) had been the favorite, entering Saturday. It’s still possible, but much less likely.

Related: Phenom Freshman Darius Taylor Announces He’s Staying in Minnesota

Opponent projections line Minnesota up against a variety of teams, some power 5, some not. The Gophers’ most likely foe, according to the projections below, is the Kansas Jayhawks. Bleacher Report went outside the box and even has the Gophers in Nashville for the Music City Bowl vs Auburn.

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm)

  • Guaranteed Rate Bowl vs West Virginia

Saturday Tradition

  • Guaranteed Rate Bowl vs Texas Tech

Related: Minnesota Gophers Football Transfer Portal Tracker 2023

Detroit Free Press

  • Quick Lane Bowl vs Northern Illinois HuskiesDetroit, MI (Ford Field) – Dec. 26

Yahoo Sports & ESPN (Bonagura)

  • Quick Lane Bowl vs Miami (OH) Redhawks

Bleacher Report

  • Music City Bowl vs Auburn TigersNashville, TN (Nissan Stadium) – Dec. 30

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