The 13th-ranked Gophers will play host to No. 5 Penn State on Nov. 9 at TCF Bank Stadium in a game that will start at 11 a.m. and be carried on ABC (Ch. 5). The start time and network was announced on Monday, two days after the Gophers routed Maryland 52-10 and one day after they moved to 13th in the Associated Press and Coaches polls.
The Gophers and Penn State are both 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten. Minnesota has a two-game lead over Wisconsin and Iowa in the Big Ten West, while Penn State is tied with Ohio State atop the Big Ten East.
A victory over Penn State would not only keep the Gophers perfect, but would be a major step toward giving the university its first Rose Bowl berth since 1962.
Assuming Ohio State is headed toward the college football playoff as one of the top four teams in the country, the Rose Bowl selection committee would be in a position to choose the team that represents the conference in Pasadena, Calif. (Because the Rose Bowl is not part of the college national semifinals this season, it will feature a Big Ten and Pac-12 team.)
While the Gophers look to be in a good position to play in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, a loss in that game doesn’t assure the Gophers of going to the Rose Bowl. In other words, if Ohio State beats the Gophers in Indianapolis, the Rose Bowl committee could take Penn State, even if the Nittany Lions finish second to the Buckeyes in their division. Penn State will play at Ohio State on Nov. 23.