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Bowl game projections for the Gophers are kind of generous

Some national media is putting the Gophers in the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl.
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Within three weeks the Gophers will find out which Bowl Game they're invited to play in this season. Entering Saturday night's key Big Ten West Division game at 19th-ranked Nebraska, the Gophers are getting some pretty big support from major media outlets.

Both Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report are projecting the Gophers to play LSU in the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

Last year, ESPN ranked the Outback Bowl as the 11th-most prestigious bowl game.

Clearly, some media is jumping on the Gophers hype train. But in all reality, Minnesota is a major mystery. Their four-game win streak is against opponents (Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois and Purdue) with a combined record of 5-19, although they did push Penn State to the wire and lost a close game at Iowa.

Minnesota is 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. With three weeks to go they're tied with Nebraska and Wisconsin for the division lead, making this week's game in Nebraska critical. The final two games are at home against Northwestern and at Wisconsin.

More on the Bowl Games

The Outback Bowl is played between the third- or- fourth-place Big Ten team and an SEC team that finishes 3-8 in the conference. The Holiday Bowl pits the No. 3 team from the PAC-12 against the No. 3 or 4 team from the Big Ten. The Pinstripe Bowl features a 4-7 team out of the ACC against a 5-7 team from the Big Ten.

The Outback Bowl is Jan. 2 while the Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27 in San Diego) and the Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium) are played in late December.

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