Minnesota absolutely earned its spot in the Outback Bowl this season. The Gophers finished the season 10-2 and were in contention for the B1G West until the final week of the season.

That Florida sunshine and New Year’s Day exposure is certainly something Minnesota deserves this year. And in that game, the Gophers get the chance to test their might against a really good Auburn team.

While Minnesota may have done enough on the field to earn a bid to the Outback Bowl, it still needed to receive an invitation to play in the game. And for that invitation, the players and coaches are very thankful.

Monday morning, the Outback Bowl Twitter account posted an image of several ‘Thank You’ cards sent from Gopher football players. It was a pretty neat gesture, and one representatives from the Outback Bowl certainly enjoyed.

Minnesota is playing in its second-straight bowl game. Last year, the Gophers defeated Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit.

The Gophers started the season 9-0 and defeated Penn State in early November. After a strong start, Minnesota stumbled in the final three games, falling to Iowa on the road and Wisconsin in the season finale. Still, P.J. Fleck has led the program to one of the most memorable seasons in recent memory.

We’ll see if that continues in the Outback Bowl.