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Bowl projections 2012: Minnesota headed for Meineke Bowl

The No. 5 teams in the Big 12 and the Big Ten are projected to battle for car care supremacy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston, Texas.

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Ahead of the official BCS bowl selections, SB Nation's resident bowl guru Jason Kirk is projecting University of Minnesota and Baylor to meet in the Meineke Bowl in Houston, Texas. Both teams are No. 5 in their respective conferences, the Big Ten (Legends division) and the Big 12.

Despite having a 6-6 record, and a 2-6 record against teams in the Big Ten, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are going bowling. It has been a difficult season for the Gophers. Head coach Jerry Kill has experienced multiple seizures over the past two years, with his latest happening at halftime in Minnesota's final game of the regular season. In the week leading up to the game, the Gophers' team-leading receiver A.J. Barker quit, claiming he was being criticized for an ankle injury by Coach Kill.

The team will need to put all that behind them as they face Baylor in Texas. In the first year of the post-RGIII era, the Baylor Bears were 7-5 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12. Baylor's final game of the season was a win against Oklahoma State, 41-34.

In the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl, Texas A&M snapped a five bowl-game losing streak by beating Northwestern, 33-22. The game featured now-Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, representing the Aggies.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.