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Bowl projections put Gophers in Texas Bowl

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Official NCAA bowl game announcements will be made Sunday when this weekend's slate of college football games are completed, but speculation points to the Gophers making a return trip to Houston for a bowl game.

As Michael Rand of the Star Tribune points out, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports project the Gophers will play in the Texas Bowl.

The Texas Bowl is the same game the Gophers played in last year, although it was called the Meineke Car Care Bowl at the time. They lost to Texas Tech, 34-31.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach projects a Minnesota-Boston College matchup while ESPN's Brad Edwards projects a Minnesota-Texas Tech rematch.

Stewart Mandal of Sports Illustrated also has the Gophers playing Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl. CBS Sports BCS expert Jerry Palm has the same projection.

Meanwhile, a poll at GopherSports.com raises some eyebrows.

Which potential Gophers bowl game destination would you be most likely to attend?

  • Gator Bowl - Jacksonville, Fla. (Wednesday, January 1 / 11 am. Central) 
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Tempe, Ariz. (Saturday, December 28 / 9:15 p.m. Central)
  • I do not plan to attend the Gopher Bowl game this year

According to Rand, a spokesperson for the University of Minnesota said the two-bowl poll isn't anything to read into.

Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart has the Gophers playing Vanderbilt in the Gator Bowl.

The Golden Gophers have eight wins and are one of the best stories in the nation. The Wolverines crawled across the finish line with seven wins in a disappointing season. Will the Gator take the warm-and-fuzzy Gophers? Or will it opt for the power of the Michigan brand? Hmmmm. Remember: Bowls are in business to sell tickets and make money. That’s it.

Where they end up is a complete guess at this point... kind of like a mock draft. Speaking of which, the latest mock draft at SI.com has Gophers defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman going to the Patriots with the 28th pick in the first-round.

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