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May 27, 2014

ESPN predicts Pinstripe or Gator bowls for Michigan

Football season is still three months away and the bowl season is more than six months away, but ESPN.com unveiled early postseason forecasts and has Michigan playing in either the Pinstripe or Gator bowls.

ESPN.com college football writer Brett McMurphy pegged the Maize and Blue for the Pinstripe Bowl, played at Yankee Stadium in New York, against ACC foe Miami while Mark Schlabach predicts the Wolverines to play Florida in the Gator Bowl.

This year's Pinstripe Bowl will be played Dec. 27 and features the Big Ten (committed to an eight-year deal) for the first time against an ACC opponent (six-year deal).

The game has never featured better than an eight-win team entering the contest, with the average victory per team at seven during its four-year history.

Over the last five years, the average victory total for the participants of the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl was 7.5, with Northwestern in 2012 featuring the best overall mark at 9-3 entering the game.

The Big Ten will play in the Gator Bowl three times over the next six years with the ACC picking up the other three games in six matchups with the SEC. The game pays out $3.5 million vs. $2 million for the Pinstripe Bowl.

Michigan is 1-2 in the Gator Bowl, most recently falling to Mississippi State following the 2010 campaign.

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