Gophers football: What are the popular bowl game destinations one month out?

The Gophers football team enter November with its bowl projections all over the map — from Tampa to Tennessee, and Detroit to Dallas.

Minnesota (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) has four more conference games to better determine where the Gophers might go in December, but three popular picks have emerged among 11 projections reviewed by the Pioneer Press on Wednesday.

The most-popular pick is the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, which means prognosticators don’t think too highly of how the Gophers will finish the regular season. The U went to the Quick Lane Bowl after a 5-7 season in 2015 and a 6-6 mark in 2018.

Three different outlets picked this one, including The Athletic, Athlon Sports and the Action Network. They each have the U playing a different Mid-American Conference team — Ohio, Eastern Michigan and Miami (Ohio).

The second-most-popular pick is the Pinstripe Bowl (ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and College Football Network), but the Gophers went there last season, so a repeat visit is highly unlikely for the decision-makers. On that note, the Gophers beat Eastern Michigan 26-6 on Sept. 9, so a rematch again in a possible 2023 Quick Lane Bowl won’t be happening, either.

The other second-most popular pick for Minnesota is a surprise: the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Fla., according to CBS Sports and FOX Sports. That bowl has not had a Big Ten team before, but those outlets still have the U pegged to play South Florida or Georgia State.

Among four other national projections, the Sporting News is the highest on how the Gophers will finish the 2023 season. They have them going to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando and playing Missouri. That would be a rematch of the 2014 Citrus Bowl, which the Tigers won 33-17.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has the U going to the Music City Bowl and playing Tennessee; Minnesota hasn’t been to Nashville for this bowl since 2005.

247 Sports has the Gophers heading to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, which essentially would be a home game for pegged opponent Texas Christian.

USA Today put the Gophers in the First Responders Bowl in Dallas against Iowa State.

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