2023 College Football Bowl Projections: Brett McMurphy’s Early Predictions & Projected Spreads (Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs Central Michigan)

BleedGopher

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Per McMurphy:

Since my final bowl projections of 2022 finished with a 95% accuracy rate (78-of-82 teams in the correct bowl), a lot of weird things have happened in college football.
In the past six months:
  • There have been approximately five billion players enter the transfer portal — but enough about Colorado.
  • The powers that be decided to expand the College Football Playoff to 12 teams in 2024. I’m told they did this for three reasons: money, money and to lower my bowl projection accuracy. Here’s a quick sneak preview of my 2024 bowl projections: 13 SEC teams will qualify for the 12-team playoff except for Vanderbilt, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Several conference commissioners were in the news: Kevin Warren left for the Chicago Bears. And like the Big Ten, the Bears won’t win it all either. Just the other day, George Kliavkoff saw his shadow, so that means another six weeks without a Pac-12 media rights deal. Brett Yormark continues to be aggressive in Big 12 expansion — but enough about Colorado. Actually, the Big 12 has targeted Mexico City Tech, Cancun State and Acapulco A&M. And finally, Mike Aresco of the AAC pleaded for the removal of “Power 5” terminology. Ironically, by the time I finished reading Aresco’s 2,587-word “open letter,” three more teams left his conference.
Hopefully no one has left yet. If you’re still with me, here’s the good stuff: my never-too-early 2023 bowl projections. But first, let’s update some changes from last year’s bowl lineup.

The Independence Bowl, which was contracted to select BYU this year, instead will be filled by a Big 12 team. In these projections, I have BYU in the Independence, but it can be filled by any Big 12 team. That guarantees the Big 12 seven bowl tie-ins in addition to whatever teams qualify for the College Football Playoff and/or New Year’s 6 bowls.

Other bowl changes since last season:
The College Football Playoff semifinals will be Jan. 1, 2024, at the Rose and Sugar Bowls. The Orange Bowl will feature the ACC champion (if not in the playoff or the ACC’s highest-ranked team if the ACC champ is in the playoff) vs. the highest-ranked available team from SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame.
The remaining New Year’s 6 bowls — Cotton, Fiesta and Peach — will feature the five highest-ranked at-large teams (or Power 5 champions if not in the playoff) and the highest-ranked Group of Five champion if not in the playoff. The Group of Five champion will play in either the Fiesta or Peach Bowls.
Also, there are new pairings for Las Vegas (Big Ten vs. Pac-12), Music City (SEC vs. Big Ten), Duke’s Mayo (SEC vs. ACC) and Independence (Big 12 vs. Pac-12). Trying to confirm the Independence Bowl halftime entertainment will feature a no-holds-barred wrestling match between Kliavkoff and Yormark.

Now onto my long-awaited, never-too-early 2023 bowl projections — sorry, there’s no Colorado punchline here. The Buffaloes are not among my 82 bowl teams.
So, who made the cut?

Here you go, and as always, each projection includes the projected point spread for each bowl based on Action Network senior writer Collin Wilson’s updated college football betting power ratings.

Quick-Lane-Bowl-Logo-167w-132h.png

Quick Lane Bowl​

Detroit, MI
min.png

Minnesota​

-17
cmc.png

Central Michigan​



Go Gophers!!
 



Ski U Mah Gopher

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When you see that the Gophers are playing Michigan, OSU, & @UNC.

Add that to the fact that PJ has never defeated Iowa, and the Gophers have never beaten Bielema.

That starts the Gophers with 5 losses according to the "experts". That might lead the Gophers to a lesser game from those experts.
 

Gophers_4life

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and the Gophers have never beaten Bielema.
Son of a b___.

That is a kick in the nutsack.


- Mase's last year was an ass ripping. They probably should've lost to NDSU the following week.
- Four years of Brew helps
- Then first two years of Kill, still trying to turn the program around
- Losing to Illinois, at home, in 2021 was an embarrassment on offense due to Sanford
- Last year in Champaign, we never seemed like we were in it
 


Gophergrandpa

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Son of a b___.

That is a kick in the nutsack.


- Mase's last year was an ass ripping. They probably should've lost to NDSU the following week.
- Four years of Brew helps
- Then first two years of Kill, still trying to turn the program around
- Losing to Illinois, at home, in 2021 was an embarrassment on offense due to Sanford
- Last year in Champaign, we never seemed like we were in it
Illinois lost a lot of studs in its secondary to the nfl. Hope that brings its defense back to earth.
 

FredCoxRocks

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Since my final bowl projections of 2022 finished with a 95% accuracy rate (78-of-82 teams in the correct bowl), a lot of weird things have happened in college football.

What am I reading wrong? 95%? Or is he joshing?
 

TNGophfan

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Since my final bowl projections of 2022 finished with a 95% accuracy rate (78-of-82 teams in the correct bowl), a lot of weird things have happened in college football.

What am I reading wrong? 95%? Or is he joshing?
That was his final projection that he made in December right before the bowl games were announced
 

FredCoxRocks

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That was his final projection that he made in December right before the bowl games were announced
Thanks. I missed the word final the first time I skimmed through it.
McMurphy should share his early predictions that he made last year right around this time...that would be precious.
 



Cayman

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When you see that the Gophers are playing Michigan, OSU, & @UNC.

Add that to the fact that PJ has never defeated Iowa, and the Gophers have never beaten Bielema.

That starts the Gophers with 5 losses according to the "experts". That might lead the Gophers to a lesser game from those experts.
I really doubt that the Minnesota vs. Bret Bielema record, which features only two games with PJ Fleck as head coach at Minnesota, is affecting national experts' predictions. Minnesota's back to back wins against Wisconsin don't seem to be helping us out; the Badgers have been anointed the Big Ten West champions already. A losing streak to Iowa, which features a number of one score games, might be factored in.

Three automatic losses to North Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio State is probably being factored in. I'd guess a national college football guy sees us losing those 3, then losing to division champ Wisconsin, and then winning 3 or 4 against Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan State, Illinois, and Purdue, and automatic wins against Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Louisiana-Lafayette to finish the season at 6-6 or 7-5.

I would think Minnesota beats Michigan State at home, but this projection has Michigan State bowling and they have to get their wins from somewhere. I could see Michigan State going to the Quick Lane Bowl also if they make it to 6-6, but they have a regular season game against Central Michigan, which would keep them out of Detroit in this projection because CMU is in the Quick Lane Bowl.

To me this projection goes as follows:

- Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State are the 3 best teams in the Big Ten and will go to the NY6
- Wisconsin is Wisconsin and they will right the ship in year one with their new big time coaching hire and transfer quarterback(s)
- Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Nebraska will all finish between 6-6 and 8-4
- Illinois goes to the Music City Bowl because they are geographically the closest and Iowa went there last year, and decent chance Illinois has more wins than Michigan State and Maryland
- Nebraska football is Nebraska football, fans will be pumped to go to a bowl game again, and they go to the best game available, Las Vegas, as a double digit underdog
- Michigan State sneaks into bowl eligibility at 6-6, but can't play regular season opponent Central Michigan a second time, and thus avoids Detroit and plays in another bowl as an at-large
- Minnesota goes 7-5 or 6-6 against a tough schedule, can't go to the Guaranteed Rate or Pinstripe again so soon, and isn't getting picked ahead of Nebraska unless they're 3 wins ahead of them, so they get sent to Detroit to play a group of 5 opponent that has little hope of beating them (Minnesota as a 17 point favorite is the third largest spread given out of all the bowl matchups shown here)
- Iowa hasn't been to the Pinstripe Bowl since 2017, so they can go back again
- Maryland has never played in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl

To summarize, I see this as McMurphy believes Minnesota will be a decent team, but will rack up a handful of losses against a difficult schedule, isn't going to be picked ahead of a Nebraska fan base that will be hyped to be playing postseason football again, and has already played in the other lower tier Big Ten bowl games the last two years.
 



UpAndUnder43

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I do love the gopherhole attitude of “these mean nothing and the writer is an idiot” but also “I’m upset by this and I’ll write 1500 words to say why it’s wrong!”
 



Gophers_4life

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Thanks. I missed the word final the first time I skimmed through it.
McMurphy should share his early predictions that he made last year right around this time...that would be precious.
The point of such (early) predictions is the exact same point of these (early) pontificates on what will or "should" happen in conference realignment:

to get you to click on the never ending stream of articles. To put meat on the table, in other words.
 

Gophers_4life

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I do love the gopherhole attitude of “these mean nothing and the writer is an idiot”
Nah, none of them are idiots.

They just write, re-write, re-re-write, ....... the same articles over and over and over again, with a little bit of change, a healthy sprinkling of "sources say", and some updated minor details, to get people to keep clicking.

That's the job
 

MNVCGUY

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To summarize, I see this as McMurphy believes Minnesota will be a decent team, but will rack up a handful of losses against a difficult schedule, isn't going to be picked ahead of a Nebraska fan base that will be hyped to be playing postseason football again, and has already played in the other lower tier Big Ten bowl games the last two years.
Appreciate the effort but you are giving McMurphy way too much credit. Pre-season bowl predictions are just tossing names out there knowing that you might hit on a couple but the vast majority won't even be close.

Bowl projections part way through the season don't end up being accurate so making them in May is just filling space and giving people something to argue about in the off season.
 

Gophers_4life

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Three automatic losses to North Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio State is probably being factored in. I'd guess a national college football guy sees us losing those 3, then losing to division champ Wisconsin, and then winning 3 or 4 against Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan State, Illinois, and Purdue, and automatic wins against Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Louisiana-Lafayette to finish the season at 6-6 or 7-5.
Yep.

That's the easy button
 

Cayman

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I do love the gopherhole attitude of “these mean nothing and the writer is an idiot” but also “I’m upset by this and I’ll write 1500 words to say why it’s wrong!”
Not sure if you're referring to me here, since my post is the longest one in this thread, but I wasn't calling the writer an idiot. I was saying I understand where he's coming from. If anything I was mostly agreeing with the article. There aren't any long angry rants in this thread.

I would guess a lot of future bowl projections will also have the Gophers toward the bottom of Big Ten bowl pickings (which fans are going to be angry about, and then will call the writer an idiot for disrespecting us), perhaps in the Quick Lane Bowl specifically, and not because they see Minnesota barely eking out 6 wins, but because we've already been to the Guaranteed Rate and Pinstripe Bowls, and Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, etc. are all going to be picked ahead of us, leaving us in a lower tier bowl game than we arguably deserve, and probably extending PJ's undefeated bowl streak.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Not sure if you're referring to me here, since my post is the longest one in this thread, but I wasn't calling the writer an idiot. I was saying I understand where he's coming from. If anything I was mostly agreeing with the article. There aren't any long angry rants in this thread.

I would guess a lot of future bowl projections will also have the Gophers toward the bottom of Big Ten bowl pickings (which fans are going to be angry about, and then will call the writer an idiot for disrespecting us), perhaps in the Quick Lane Bowl specifically, and not because they see Minnesota barely eking out 6 wins, but because we've already been to the Guaranteed Rate and Pinstripe Bowls, and Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, etc. are all going to be picked ahead of us, leaving us in a lower tier bowl game than we arguably deserve, and probably extending PJ's undefeated bowl streak.

Was not referring to anyone. Just a general statement. I think the gophers are picked fairly by this guy-FWIW
 

stocker08

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I really doubt that the Minnesota vs. Bret Bielema record, which features only two games with PJ Fleck as head coach at Minnesota, is affecting national experts' predictions. Minnesota's back to back wins against Wisconsin don't seem to be helping us out; the Badgers have been anointed the Big Ten West champions already. A losing streak to Iowa, which features a number of one score games, might be factored in.

Three automatic losses to North Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio State is probably being factored in. I'd guess a national college football guy sees us losing those 3, then losing to division champ Wisconsin, and then winning 3 or 4 against Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan State, Illinois, and Purdue, and automatic wins against Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Louisiana-Lafayette to finish the season at 6-6 or 7-5.

I would think Minnesota beats Michigan State at home, but this projection has Michigan State bowling and they have to get their wins from somewhere. I could see Michigan State going to the Quick Lane Bowl also if they make it to 6-6, but they have a regular season game against Central Michigan, which would keep them out of Detroit in this projection because CMU is in the Quick Lane Bowl.

To me this projection goes as follows:

- Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State are the 3 best teams in the Big Ten and will go to the NY6
- Wisconsin is Wisconsin and they will right the ship in year one with their new big time coaching hire and transfer quarterback(s)
- Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Nebraska will all finish between 6-6 and 8-4
- Illinois goes to the Music City Bowl because they are geographically the closest and Iowa went there last year, and decent chance Illinois has more wins than Michigan State and Maryland
- Nebraska football is Nebraska football, fans will be pumped to go to a bowl game again, and they go to the best game available, Las Vegas, as a double digit underdog
- Michigan State sneaks into bowl eligibility at 6-6, but can't play regular season opponent Central Michigan a second time, and thus avoids Detroit and plays in another bowl as an at-large
- Minnesota goes 7-5 or 6-6 against a tough schedule, can't go to the Guaranteed Rate or Pinstripe again so soon, and isn't getting picked ahead of Nebraska unless they're 3 wins ahead of them, so they get sent to Detroit to play a group of 5 opponent that has little hope of beating them (Minnesota as a 17 point favorite is the third largest spread given out of all the bowl matchups shown here)
- Iowa hasn't been to the Pinstripe Bowl since 2017, so they can go back again
- Maryland has never played in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl

To summarize, I see this as McMurphy believes Minnesota will be a decent team, but will rack up a handful of losses against a difficult schedule, isn't going to be picked ahead of a Nebraska fan base that will be hyped to be playing postseason football again, and has already played in the other lower tier Big Ten bowl games the last two years.

Michigan and Ohio State are the only games that are likely losses. Simply don't understand why UNC is in that group. While not as bad as Nebraska has been.....UNC has been getting the Nebraska treatment for a while now. Overhyped preseason just to end up as a middling ACC team year after year.
 

Hates Monikers

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I don't get bothered by these low projects for the Gophers anymore. We see them every year and we have an opportunity to prove them wrong. I feel like we have proved many of the national media guys wrong over the past few years -- but not by enough for them to notice.
 

WAGopher

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Michigan and Ohio State are the only games that are likely losses. Simply don't understand why UNC is in that group. While not as bad as Nebraska has been.....UNC has been getting the Nebraska treatment for a while now. Overhyped preseason just to end up as a middling ACC team year after year.
I agree with MI and OSU being the most likely losses. UNC has one of the top QBs in Maye (4300+ yards, 38 TDS, 7 INTs). Our D will have to shine to win.
 

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Thanks. I missed the word final the first time I skimmed through it.
McMurphy should share his early predictions that he made last year right around this time...that would be precious.

Took a quick look through, and I counted 7 correct selections:

Cincy
San Jose State
UCF
Oregon
UCLA
iowa
Utah

 
Last edited:

Cayman

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Michigan and Ohio State are the only games that are likely losses. Simply don't understand why UNC is in that group. While not as bad as Nebraska has been.....UNC has been getting the Nebraska treatment for a while now. Overhyped preseason just to end up as a middling ACC team year after year.
Oh I agree, I think it’s a tough but winnable game, but I’d guess that National Football Prognosticator X thinks we lose that game.
 

Gophers_4life

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I don't get bothered by these low projects for the Gophers anymore. We see them every year and we have an opportunity to prove them wrong. I feel like we have proved many of the national media guys wrong over the past few years -- but not by enough for them to notice. modify their projections which are almost entirely based on how many clicks they think they can get.
Fixed :)
 

Gophers_4life

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Oh I agree, I think it’s a tough but winnable game, but I’d guess that National Football Prognosticator X thinks we lose that game.
An article with a headline "Why the Minnesota Gophers will Upset Drake Maye and the UNC Tarheels" is assumed to get fewer clicks than the opposite declaration.

That's how it works, these days.

Everything is moneyball'ed into oblivion.
 

MNVCGUY

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Took a quick look through, and I counted 7 correct selections:

Cincy
San Jose State
UCF
Oregon
UCLA
iowa
Utah

The fact that he even got 7 right is somewhat impressive but it underscores just how pointless these early bowl projections are. He was wrong on over 90% of his picks so this is far more of a blind squirrel finds a nut than any kind of fact based prognostication about future bowl games.
 

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stocker08

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I agree with MI and OSU being the most likely losses. UNC has one of the top QBs in Maye (4300+ yards, 38 TDS, 7 INTs). Our D will have to shine to win.

ACC was melty peanut butter soft last year.

Oh I agree, I think it’s a tough but winnable game, but I’d guess that National Football Prognosticator X thinks we lose that game.

National Football Prognosticator thinks that the Gophers won the 2019 Outback Bowl because the Auburn Tigers didn't try.
 

rwlarson

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Looking at these early national projections year after year, the Quick Lane Bowl seems like the most opined destination for the Gophers. Not every year, but they have to be #1 over the last four or five years, maybe longer.
 




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