Seven teams from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) are in bowls this year. Central Michigan is the only one to be playing a team from a P5 conference.
Minnesota's Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line coach Matt Limegrover and Quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski were fired the day following their last regular season game. For the bowl game, Tight Ends coach Rob Reeves will be the acting OC. The offensive staff is being shuffled, with some graduate assistants and quality control coaches being temporarily promoted as position coaches. Similar changes are happening on defense due to Tracy Claeys' move from defensive coordinator to head coach.
CMU's defense has a 3.9% sack rate on passing downs, good for 118th in the nation.
John Bonamego is CMU's first alumnus to be the head coach of the Chippewas since Bill Kelley, who coached from 1951 to 1966.
The last time Michigan played Minnesota was on the 31st day of the October 2015. The last time Michigan played CMU was on the 31st day of August 2013.
CMU is 5-13 in kicking field goals beyond 40 yards
Prior to his college/NFL coaching career, CMU head coach John Bonamego was a player-coach for the Verona Redskins in Italy.
CMU and Minnesota have played one time, in 1987. Rickey Foggie led the Golden Gophers to a 30-10 victory.
CMU quarterback Cooper Rush threw for an NCAA-tying 7 touchdowns in last year's Bahamas Bowl against Western Kentucky.
Since head coach Jerry Kill has resigned, Minnesota's record is 1-4.
The University of Minnesota has an enrollment/stadium capacity ratio of .996, 4th in FBS (FIU leads with 2.704)
Eight CMU receivers have catches of 25 yards or more. Five CMU receivers have in excess of 500 receiving yards this year.
CMU is 3-5 in bowl games, 2-2 in bowls played in Detroit. Minnesota is 5-12 in bowl games and hasn't won a bowl since 2004 (20-16 over Alabama in the Music City Bowl).
Both teams' coaching staffs have dealt with serious medical conditions. Minnesota's Jerry Kill has had multiple seizures since 2005, finally resulting in his resignation during this past season. He is also in remission for kidney cancer. This past June, Central Michigan's John Bonamego announced he had early stages of tonsil cancer. He has completed his radiation treatment at University of Michigan Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.
CMU has not had a field goal scored against them since October 10 at Western Michigan.
Out of the 10 FBS schools with the most acreage, The University of Minnesota's campus has a student to acreage ratio of 44.07 students/acre, ranked 4th (Texas leads with 118.21 students/acre)
CMU has more alumni voted to this year's Pro Bowl than Alabama.
Prediction: Minnesota 31, Central Michigan 21