The Gophers will play in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando against Missouri, the Star Tribune has confirmed.
It’s the first time the Gophers have drawn a New Year’s Day bowl game since they defeated UCLA in the 1962 Rose Bowl.
Missouri (10-3) won the SEC East but lost 42-13 to Alabama in Saturday's SEC title game. The Tigers also lost to Indiana in September.
The Gophers (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) appeared to catch a break Sunday, when Mississippi State jumped ahead of Michigan State in the final College Football Playoff rankings.
The Orange Bowl was under contract to take the highest ranked Big Ten or SEC team that didn’t make the four-team College Football Playoff. That would have been Michigan State based on last week’s rankings, but it wound up being Mississippi State.
If the Big Ten team had landed a team in the Orange Bowl, it wouldn’t have been able to send one to the Citrus Bowl.
Ohio State landed a berth in the four-team College Football Playoff. Michigan State got a bid to play Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. And with the Citrus Bowl back in play, the rest of the Big Ten benefited.
The Citrus Bowl was called the Capital One Bowl from 2003 to 2014. It actually dates to 1947, when it was known as the Tangerine Bowl before changing its name to the Florida Citrus Bowl.