The University of Minnesota is one of those 5 win teams who were granted eligibility to play in a bowl game this season. There simply weren’t enough teams with 6 wins to fill out the bowl schedule. I think that is a sign there are probably too many bowl games. In any case, more football is never a bad thing, and leading up to MNF we get the Central Michigan Chippewa’s against the Minnesota Gophers. Nebraska, a 5-7 BIG 10 team already won their matchup against UCLA. Now it will be up to Minnesota to prove that they are better than their 5-7 record indicates. Central is going to get up for this game, I can say that about them. They are going to be really eager to beat up on a BIG 10 team in a bowl game on national television here. The Chips will be aware with this game leading up to MNF, there will be some form of an audience watching the Quick Lane Bowl.
Central Michigan played in one entertaining bowl game last year, which resulted in a 1 point loss in the Bahamas Bowl. A crazy comeback attempt from the Chips came up just short against Western Kentucky, but they did pull off one of the better plays you’ll see in football at the end of the game. Central will look to amend the loss against Minnesota in the early evening. Not a bad Monday, with three games slated to kickoff today.
Minnesota did compete and battle with the best the BIG 10 had to offer this season. They also opened the season against TCU, a game in which they held in, ultimately losing 17-13. That was probably one of their better performances this year. However, the Gophers struggled down the stretch, losing five of their last six games. Those losses were against some good teams though, with Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, Wisconsin all handing them losses. They only loss by 3 points to the Wolverines and 5 points to Iowa. Minnesota also played Ohio State competitively in a 14 point loss. Let’s see what happens, as the MAC and BIG 10 meet, two conferences that geographically share territory.
Central Michigan vs. Minnesota Quick Lane Bowl Betting Odds:
Central Michigan +5(-110)
vs. Minnesota -5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Central Michigan vs. Minnesota Pick:
Central Michigan played in a highly competitive MAC this season. There were a lot of teams in the conference that came to play. Perhaps if it were an off year for the conference, Central would have had a better chance of being threats to win it. Bowling Green, Toledo, Northern Illinois, and even Western Michigan were better this season. Alarming to me was how Central played in their last game. If you are struggling against Eastern Michigan there are problems. Eastern has been one of the worst, if not the worst, team in college football for the last ten years. They were still putrid this season, finishing with a 1-11 record. Central Michigan was down to EMU at the half, 21-7, before coming back to win it 35-28. While Northern Illinois was better than them this season though, Central did defeat them 29-19 in October.
I do not feel that Central has the offense in this game to penetrate a BIG 10 defense. Other than maybe Indiana, I should say. Minnesota is susceptible to getting gashed on the ground, they have allowed 171.6 yards per game in that respect. However, Central Michigan has an inept running attack, as they are averaging only 99.8 yards per game. The Chips will try and spread Minnesota out, but they are strong at defending the pass, giving up only 182 yards per game through the air. Minnesota will do enough on defense to force Central into mistakes in the Quick Lane Bowl. This shouldn’t be the most appealing bowl game or entertaining, but the Gophers should grind out the win and cover.
PICK: MINNESOTA -5 (-110)