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Overnight field goal, good grades gift Gophers a bowl game

How’d the Gophers get in? Good grades.
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By the grace of field goal that sailed through the uprights just before 1:30 a.m. CT Sunday, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are going bowling. 

What? It’s true. Let’s explain…

When Hawaii beat Colorado State with a 52-yard field goal as time expired, it made the Gophers bowl eligible even though P.J. Fleck’s team finished the regular season 5-7.

There are 42 bowl games but only 81 teams won at least six games to secure bowl bids. That left one opening for the 5-win team with the best Academic Progress Rating in the country and that team just happened to be Minnesota.

Colorado State had five wins and the walk-off field goal prevented them from reaching the six wins needed to automatically qualify. 

The NCAA released the academic progress rates on Saturday and Minnesota ranked eighth in the nation among the 133 Division I football teams. 

The specific bowl game Minnesota will play in will be announced later, but the game will give the Gophers a chance to end the season with a victory — or head into the offseason on a 5-game losing streak.