- Minnesota has +15000 odds to win the National Championship after losing to Iowa
- The Gophers are now 9-1, and they still hold a single-game lead in the Big Ten West
- Read below to find out if the Gophers’ loss takes them out of the national title betting picture
Just a week after toppling Penn State and potentially carving its path to the College Football Playoff, Minnesota fell to Iowa by a score of 23-19, and saw their National Championship odds plummet to +15000.
Odds to Win 2020 CFP National Championship
*Odds taken November 17th
Prior to Saturday, Minnesota’s odds to win the National Championship sat at +5000. They’re still in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten West, but now lead Wisconsin by only a game. The Gophers and Badgers play in two weeks. That situation, with the Iowa loss now on the record, as well as the potential Big Ten title game against Ohio State, has led Minnesota’s odds to drop to +15000.
Minnesota Falls Flat Against Iowa
It was an extremely difficult loss for the Golden Gophers, especially considering the wave of momentum that it halted. Minnesota was undefeated, in the midst of one of the best seasons in school history, and had just taken down then-#4 Penn State. PJ Fleck’s team was riding high.
It was obvious Minnesota team came out flat on Saturday. They had all played what was likely the most emotional game of their lives against the Nittany Lions, and it showed in the follow-up. The final margin against Iowa was just 4, and that is a credit to the Gophers’ ability to rally, because they played a poor first half and trailed 20-6 at the break.
Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan carried the load in the second half rally. The Gophers gained only 63 yards on the ground, and 2.1 yards per carry, so aside from a 1-yard touchdown run from Rodney Smith, everything fell on Morgan. He went 25-of-36 for 368 yards, with a single scoring throw.
The slow start plagued the defense as well. The game was won in Iowa’s 13-point first quarter. The Hawkeyes went on both an 8-play and 9-play touchdown drive respectively, moving a total of 143 yards and taking up over nine minutes of game time.
Gophers’ Playoff Hopes are Still Alive
The path to the playoff is not completely closed for the Gophers, as they’ve only lost a single game. It’s obviously easier to get in with no losses, and they now join a competitive group of 1-loss teams, but they haven’t yet been eliminated.
Even before the loss to Iowa, the potential Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State was the biggest roadblock in the way of Minnesota making the field. Now, defeating the Buckeyes has become even more necessary for PJ Fleck’s team. That is a task that is much easier said than done.
Ohio State is unquestionably one of the two best teams in the nation. They have perhaps the country’s best pass rusher, as well as one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the nation. Based on recruiting rankings, the Buckeyes are head and shoulders above the Gophers in terms of talent.
For the Gophers to get in, they’ll have to go on the road for an early kickoff and beat Northwestern, host and defeat Wisconsin, and beat Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game. Obviously, +15000 would have a nice payout, but at this point, it’s a huge uphill battle for the Gophers to even get in. Once they get there, they’d have to beat two teams out of a group that includes LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, or Utah.
What PJ Fleck has done this season has been fun and exciting for college football, but a national title feels unlikely.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.