The Gophers finished the regular season with a sub-.500 record, but they're going to the postseason nonetheless.
Minnesota accepted an invitation to the Quick Lane Bowl and will play Central Michigan on Dec. 28 at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Gophers looked to be spending the postseason in the Twin Cities after losing the regular-season finale to Wisconsin to drop to 5-7 and seemingly miss bowl eligibility. But a shortage of teams with .500 records or better meant a couple of the whopping 80 bowl slots were made available to 5-7 teams. Ranked by APR, or Academic Progress Rate, Minnesota — along with conferencemate Nebraska — qualified for the postseason despite just five wins.
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It's four straight bowl games for Minnesota in the final season to feature Jerry Kill as head coach. Kill had to abruptly retire in the middle of the season due to health concerns. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys took over as interim head coach and was promoted to the permanent head coach not long after.
Central Michigan finished its regular season at 7-5 and made a bowl for the second straight season. The Gophers have played the Chippewas just once, a 20-point win in 1987.
Despite reaching a bowl game in 13 of the past 17 seasons, Minnesota has gone just 3-9 in the last 12 bowl trips. It hasn't won a bowl game since 2004, on a seven-game postseason losing streak.