Staff Picks: Predicting the winner of Monday's Quick Lane Bowl against Minnesota

Charolette junior Cooper Rush attempts to pass the ball during the Chippewas' game against Eastern Michigan University on Nov. 27 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Monica Bradburn | Assistant Photo Editor

While the Las Vegas-line is shrinking, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are still favored to beat Central Michigan by 4.5 points in Monday's Quick Lane Bowl.

Here's what five Central Michigan Life beat writers think along with some national opinions on the bowl game.

Taylor DesOrmeau, Sports Editor

Record: 11-1

The matchup to watch will be Cooper Rush and the CMU passing game — which ranks 14th in the country — going against the Minnesota pass defense — which ranks 15th in the country. I think the warm, dry dome will give Rush the advantage, giving CMU the slight edge. I’m taking the Chippewas in the battle of the maroon and gold.

FINAL: Central Michigan 31, Minnesota 27

Dominick Mastrangelo, Staff Reporter

Record: 10-2

Minnesota’s 5-7 record is deceptive. The Gophers can move the ball well enough, stifle the run game and are healthy. I expect it to be a Cooper Rush vs. Mitch Leidner quarterbacking clinic, and a high scoring showdown in the Motor City.

FINAL: Central Michigan 42, Minnesota 38

Greg Wickliffe, Staff Reporter

Record: 10-2

Minnesota hasn’t had the season it wanted and the team might not be too focused for this game, and that will play into the favor of the Chippewas. Cooper Rush will have to play one of his best games to knock off the Gophers. CMU gets the close victory on the arm of Rush.

FINAL: Central Michigan 31, Minnesota 28

Joe Judd, Staff Reporter

Record: 11-1

I expect a high-scoring game in what will surely be an overdose of maroon and gold in the D. CMU has handled Big Ten opponents like Purdue and Iowa in previous seasons and I expect this bowl game to be no different. Chippewas win in a close one.

FINAL: Central Michigan 25, Minnesota 21

Evan Sasiela, Staff Reporter

Record: 10-2

Minnesota will be looking cap its season with a win for former coach Jerry Kill, who resigned earlier this season due to seizures. The Chippewas, meanwhile, want to give Head Coach John Bonamego an 8-5 record in his first season at the helm. Strong quarterback play from junior Cooper Rush and a large fan presence at Ford Field will give CMU the edge.

FINAL: Central Michigan 38, Minnesota 34

National Media Picks

Mark Schlabach, ESPN

Final: Central Michigan 34, Minnesota 28

Sports Illustrated

Six out of eight writers pick Minnesota

Fox Sports

Three out of four writers pick Minnesota