What’s next

A look at upcoming key dates for Gophers football:

National Signing Day

Feb. 1: What impact will the big news of the past three weeks — a sexual assault investigation, a boycott, then an impressive bowl victory — have on recruiting? The first glimpses of an answer will be found on the first Wednesday of February, when recruits can sign their letters of intent. The Gophers have 15 players committed, most of whom are three-star prospects, according to Rivals.com.

Spring practice

Late March/April: Football is back before we know it. By the time the frost is barely off the TCF Bank Stadium turf, the Gophers are back to practicing. The annual spring game has been held between April 9 and April 24 in recent years. There are a handful of practices surrounding the game as the 2017 team takes shape.

Training camp

August: After a summer break, training camp opens on campus and depth charts are updated. The Gophers have several holes to fill, so expect to learn some new names.

Season opener

Aug. 31: Who will be the coach when Buffalo comes to the Bank? It could still be Tracy Claeys. Who will be the quarterback? We know it won’t be Mitch Leidner, gone after contributing to the team since 2012. If the defense that showed up for Tuesday’s Holiday Bowl remains intact, the Gophers could be Big Ten West contenders again.