Gophers to face Auburn in Outback Bowl

The Gophers will face Auburn in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla. The game will start at noon and be televised by ESPN.

The Gophers finished 18th in the College Football Playoff rankings, while Auburn was No. 12. This will be the first meeting between the teams.

Auburn beat Alabama, 48-45, on Nov. 30 in the Iron Bowl and is 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. The Gophers (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) played Wisconsin for the Big Ten West title that day and lost 38-17. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State on Saturday in the Big Ten title game and will go to the Rose Bowl.

The Outback Bowl will be the 21st bowl game for the Gophers and the first time they have played in this one. The Gophers beat Georgia Tech, 34-10, in the Quick Lane Bowl last season. The Gophers won 10 games in the regular season for the first time since 1905.

The Gophers reached No. 7 in the AP Poll at one point, their highest ranking since getting to No. 5 on Nov. 19, 1962. Minnesota also was ranked No. 8 in the College Football Playoffs, which was its highest CFP ranking in school history.

The Gophers’ most recently played on New Year’s Day in 2015, when they lost 33-17 to Missouri in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.