MINNEAPOLIS - The college football season is about three months away, but it’s never too early to gamble on the 2021 season, right?
At least one Las Vegas sportsbook has released odds for programs across the country to win the College Football Playoff national championship. Yes, the University of Minnesota football team is included in the group, and they’re a longshot.
According to SuperBook Sports, the Gophers are one of 13 teams who have 200/1 odds to be playing for a national title in January. P.J. Fleck, entering his fifth season at Minnesota, led the Gophers to a 3-4 mark in 2020 after having the season altered, including two games canceled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minnesota starts with arguably its toughest test of the season, hosting Ohio State on Thursday, Sept. 2, at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers are hoping to have a capacity crowd after about 10,000 fans attending the Maroon vs. Gold Spring Game on May 1.
The Buckeyes, not surprisingly, are one of the favorites at 5/2 to win the national title. They got to the title game last season before losing to Alabama. The Crimson Tide enter as favorites at 9/5.
The Gophers are one of eight teams with 200/1 odds or better to win the national championship. Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin each have 60/1 odds. Iowa has 80/1 odds, and Indiana and Nebraska join the Gophers at 200/1.
Minnesota opens with three of its first four games at home. After Ohio State, they host Miami (Ohio) and after traveling to Colorado, host Bowling Green to end the non-conference season. The Gophers’ Big Ten home games after the Buckeyes are Nebraska, Maryland, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Fleck is 23-15 in four seasons at Minnesota, including 15-19 in Big Ten play. The Gophers are 1-7 against Iowa and Wisconsin during that time. Interest in the program was at an all-time high after the 2019 season, which ended with an 11-2 record after a win over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. It was Minnesota’s best season in 115 years.