We will know in a matter of days whether most prognosticators are correct in guessing that the 5-7 Gophers are headed to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on the day after Christmas as a reward (punishment?) for their season.
Other realistic options are still in play, but for now a reader thinks that we give this yet-to-be-determined bowl game an unofficial name. He suggested the "De-Flecktion Bowl," which you can parse as a pun on the name of Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck and perhaps a desire to have us look away from the four-game losing streak at the end of the season.
Here are five other options after a long Monday morning of pondering such things:
The Readjustment Bowl: Per Fleck's description of this season after Saturday's 28-14 loss to Wisconsin. "I named it the readjustment year," Fleck said of the 2023 season. "There are a lot of things to adjust moving forward."
Patrick Reusse and I had some fun with this, of course, on Monday's Daily Delivery podcast.
Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins says "readjustment year" is dangerously close to Fleck's "Year Zero" description of his first season at Minnesota. Indeed, Year 7 shouldn't be a mulligan.
But the Readjustment Bowl does have a nice ring to it, and there are plenty of things for the Gophers to think about this offseason. Hopefully these extra practices getting ready for the Readjustment Bowl will help.
College Knowledge Bowl: If you haven't been paying attention and are wondering how on earth a 5-7 team will even get a bowl game invite, Randy Johnson has a good recap.
Essentially, they were the first in line of the five-win schools because of their strong standing in the Academic Progress Rate rankings. They also used that route to reach (and win) the Quick Lane Bowl in 2015. If you can't beat them on the field, at least win in the classroom.
Culture Bowl: That 2015 team was coached first by Jerry Kill and then Tracy Claeys. Fleck and Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle talked about changing the culture of the program when Fleck took over in 2017, a sentiment that did not sit well with Kill. It's far-fetched to imagine Fleck's Gophers and Kill's New Mexico State team meeting in a bowl game given current projections, but if they do let's get the popcorn ready and call it the Culture Bowl.
Aloha Bowl: This used to be an actual bowl game before it became the Hawaii Bowl a couple decades ago, but I'm hoping they'll let us have it.
It's a a nod to the Gophers saying goodbye to the Big Ten West and all the perks that went along with playing in that division, while also tipping the cap to Hawaii's last second field goal that knocked Colorado State out of the final bowl slot and gave it to the Gophers.
(Un)fair Catch Bowl: Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is still mad about the invalid fair catch signal that upon further review nullified a punt return touchdown and gave the Gophers a 12-10 win over the Hawkeyes. But If not for that play and win in Iowa, the Gophers would be stuck on four wins and not even their college knowledge could save them.