The Big Ten Conference announced today that Minnesota will start its 2020 season at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 against Michigan. The Gophers and Wolverines will square off nationally on ABC. The winner will claim the Little Brown Jug, which is one of the most iconic trophies in college football.
Dating back to last season, Minnesota will have played five of its six most recent games on network television. The exception being Minnesota’s Outback Bowl win against Auburn, which was broadcast on ESPN.
The Conference also announced that Minnesota will play three Friday games – one on the road and two at home – this year. Minnesota’s first road game of the season will now take place on Friday, Oct. 30 at Maryland. Minnesota will also host Iowa on Friday, Nov. 13 and Purdue on Friday, Nov. 20.
Minnesota is 6-0 under head coach P.J. Fleck in non-Saturday games. It is 1-0 on Friday (beat Indiana 38-31 at home in 2018), 2-0 on Wednesday (bowl wins against Auburn and Georgia Tech) and 3-0 on Thursday (season-opening home wins against Buffalo, New Mexico State and South Dakota State).
The Gophers are also 8-3 in night games under Fleck and have won their last six night games.
Minnesota is ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll, while Michigan is ranked No. 19. If both teams are ranked on Oct. 24, it will mark Minnesota’s fifth ranked opponent in its last six games. Minnesota ended last season with games against Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Auburn. Every team was ranked in the AP Poll except Northwestern.
The Oct. 24 game will also be the first time that an AP Poll ranked-Minnesota team will open the season against another ranked opponent. The AP poll started in 1936.