5-7 Minnesota Gophers Get Last Bowl Spot
MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) -- Football Bowl Subdivision newcomers James Madison and Jacksonville State along with five-win Minnesota are bound for bowls because of a shortage of six-win teams.
Those three teams round out the 82 available spots because only 79 teams achieved the six wins necessary for bowl eligibility.
James Madison is 11-1 and Jacksonville State is 8-4 but they are transitioning to full FBS status and wouldn't be eligible if there were enough six-win teams.
Minnesota gets the final slot based on its high Academic Progress Rate score.
The only FBS teams with better scores than Minnesota either had six wins or more (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Clemson, Alabama, Mississippi and Ohio State) or fewer than five wins (Cincinnati).
"We’ll always accept a bowl bid — always,” Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said after the game on Saturday. “There’s so many beneficial things to a bowl game, with practices, with development. To be honest, we might be our best football team in a month if we get everybody back.”
Minnesota also qualified for a bowl in 2015 with a 5-7 record on the strength of its APR score.
Bowl matchups will be announced Dec. 3. Minnesota's most likely destinations, based on Big Ten tie-ins, are the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26 or the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 23.