Gophers upgrade schedule by adding games with TCU

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 8, 2013 - 6:42 AM

Spurred in part by the Big Ten’s desire to strengthen nonconference schedules, the Gophers are adding Texas Christian, which moved to the Big 12 last season after going 47-5 over the previous four years.

hide

Texas Christian defeated Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl.

Photo: Robert Gauthier, MCT file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

After paying $800,000 to get out of a two-year football series with North Carolina last fall, the Gophers on Tuesday announced a new home-and-home series with Texas Christian that will strengthen their 2014 and 2015 schedules, while providing financial relief, too.

The Gophers took North Carolina off their schedule for 2013 and 2014, replacing the Tar Heels with New Mexico State this fall in a widely criticized move that was designed to make it easier to reach a bowl game.

With the second half of the New Mexico State series not coming until 2016, the Gophers still had to replace the North Carolina game on their 2014 schedule. Spurred in part by the Big Ten’s desire to strengthen nonconference schedules, the Gophers reversed course, challenging a TCU team that moved to the Big 12 last season after going 47-5 over the previous four years. TCU had its own scheduling needs and agreed to a deal that will help Minnesota financially twice:

• On Sept. 13, 2014, Minnesota will play at TCU. The Horned Frogs will pay the Gophers $500,000 for that game.

• On Sept. 5, 2015, TCU will play the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Gophers won’t pay TCU anything. Minnesota previously was scheduled to play South Dakota State on that date, but TCU agreed to take over that contract, which includes a $400,000 buyout for which Minnesota is no longer responsible.

“We are certainly excited about it,” Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague said. “[TCU] is a great opponent to bring to TCF Bank Stadium and also a great opponent to play on the road. So it’s a terrific deal financially, and we’re excited moving forward to have a great team on the schedule.”

The money and quality of opponent could help the Gophers stem the backlash from the $800,000 North Carolina buyout.

“We don’t take lightly having to spend that money,” Teague said. “And we heard it from a lot of our fans, but we really got lucky, and TCU was willing to be a really good partner in the deal.”

With the four-team College Football Playoff coming in 2014, the Big Ten is determined to bolster nonconference schedules, adding more BCS (Bowl Championship Series) opponents and removing FCS (Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division I-AA) opponents.

In 2015, TCU will help the Gophers accomplish both goals. After years of dominating the Mountain West Conference, the Horned Frogs went 7-6 last year after moving to the Big 12. David Benedict, the Gophers’ executive associate athletic director, has a relationship with Texas Christian AD Chris Del Conte, dating to their time together in the Pac-12 Conference.

“I think a lot of it was timing,” Benedict said. “They needed a game. We needed a game, and I think we made a compelling case that for it to work out, it was going to have to be a positive situation for us.”

Under coach Gary Patterson, TCU went 13-0 two years ago and defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Scheduling the Horned Frogs is a leap of faith for the Gophers after avoiding the Tar Heels, who were 23-15 over the past three seasons.

“We made the North Carolina decision with the information we had at that time,” Teague said. “We provided a bit of a cushion and some breathing room for ’13. But we went to a bowl game this year, [coach Jerry Kill’s] doing a phenomenal job. And we feel like it’s time to put a BCS opponent back on the schedule.”

Kill was a proponent of dropping North Carolina from the schedule, but Teague said he was on board with adding TCU.

“They have been one of the best college football teams in the nation the last five years,” Kill said through a team spokesman. “I have known Coach Patterson for a long time, and he will have his team well prepared. It will be a tremendous test for us and will be a fun game for our players and fans.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close