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ESPN ranks Gophers football schedule as toughest in the Big Ten

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It's already late June, which means the college football season isn't far off.

After back-to-back 8-5 seasons there seems to be a lot of excitement around Minnesota Gophers football. Coach Jerry Kill's program has taken some big steps in each of the last two seasons.

According to 1500 ESPN, it's the first time Minnesota has produced consecutive winning seasons since 2004-2005.

However, things might be a little tougher this year for the Gophers.

ESPN's Big Ten writer Dan Murphy says Minnesota has the toughest schedule in the Big Ten this season. He says it won't be easy for the Gophers to continue their positive momentum this fall.

"There's only one school that will play two of the top three teams in the country (according to ESPN's preseason FPI rankings) this season – Minnesota. The Gophers don't get to ease into their challenging slate either. They start the year with TCU, which returns Heisman hopeful Trevone Boykin and is ranked third in the FPI. They follow that game with a trip to Colorado State, where the Rams went undefeated last year en route to a 10-win season."

Minnesota's schedule also includes a tough Big Ten slate. Minnesota opens with road games at Northwestern and Purdue before hosting Nebraska and Michigan.

The Gophers play at Ohio State and Iowa during back-to-back weeks in November, before closing their schedule at home against Illinois and Wisconsin.

Gophers Schedule

  • Sept. 3 vs. TCU – 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 12 at Colorado State – 2:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 19 vs. Kent State – 11 a.m.
  • Sept. 26 vs. Ohio (Homecoming) – 2:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 3 at Northwestern – TBA
  • Oct. 10 at Purdue – TBA
  • Oct. 17 vs. Nebraska – TBA
  • Oct. 31 vs. Michigan – 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 7 at Ohio State – TBA
  • Nov. 14 at Iowa – 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 21 vs. Illinois – TBA
  • Nov. 28 vs. Wisconsin – TBA

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