The Minnesota Golden Gopher football team's regular season ended in disappointment, but their bowl game assignment will at the very least have them heading somewhere warm.
After finishing 10-2 and ranking as high as eighth in the College Football Playoff poll, the Gophers were passed over for a New Year's Six bowl game and will head to the Outback Bowl as the No. 18 team in the CFP rankings against the No. 12 Auburn Tigers.
The Tigers are coming off of a 9-3 season led by quarterback sensation Bo Nix. The freshman put up modest numbers through the air for the Tigers, throwing for 2,366 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions, but was also a threat on the ground, running for 301 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Gophers will also have its hands full with the Auburn defense led by defensive line standouts Marlon Davidson (team-leading six sacks) and Derrick Brown (four sacks). The Tigers ranked 19th in the FBS in yards allowed and 13th in scoring defense, which in turn led them to a 9-3 record and wins over Alabama and Oregon.
For Minnesota, this will be their first New Year's Day bowl since they played in the Citrus Bowl in 2015. The Outback Bowl will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay and will be played at 12 p.m. CT on New Year's Day.
Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1.
Minnesota had been rumored to be a possible opponent for Alabama, but the Crimson Tide were selected to the Citrus Bowl against Michigan.