Not much has changed in the bowl speculation leading up to the official bowl game announcements coming Sunday. According to the Pioneer Press, the Texas Bowl in Houston remains the most likely location the Gophers will find themselves playing in a bowl.
While it's possible the Gophers could get invited to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, the fact that Minnesota fans don't travel as well as Michigan and Nebraska fans means Houston is the more likely location.
Gophers Deputy Athletics Director David Benedict believes 7,000 fans would travel from Minnesota to the Gator Bowl. In comparison, Michigan and Nebraska "are capable" of sending 15,000 to 20,000 fans, according to the report.
Bowl games are big business, so the potential for bigger profits can outweigh a great story like Jerry Kill and the Gophers.
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.
Earlier this week the a poll at GopherSports.com raised 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.