College football is just around the corner -- we’re less than 10 weeks away from the Gophers’ season opener against New Mexico State on Aug. 30. So, with that in mind, I’ll be examining some story lines, players and trends to watch over the next few weeks. Here’s today’s installment:

How recent Gophers coaches have fared in their second year

As P.J. Fleck enters his second year as Minnesota’s coach, he’ll try to improve on his 5-7 debut. History is on his side. Over the past 40 years, Gophers coaches have improved their records, at least slightly, in their second year.

Joe Salem

First year: 4-6-1, 3-5-1 Big Ten in 1979

Second year: 5-6, 4-5 in 1980

Second-year highlights: Three-game conference winning streak against Iowa, Indiana and Illinois.

Final record: 19-35-1 in five years

Lou Holtz

First year: 4-7, 3-6 in 1984

Second year: 6-5, 4-4 in 1985

Second-year highlights: Holtz took over after Salem’s Gophers went 1-10 in 1983 and quickly returned Minnesota to respectability. A 13-7 loss to eventual national champion Oklahoma and a 23-19 loss to Ohio State showed how competitive the Gophers were under Holtz. The 6-5 regular-season record earned a spot in the Independence Bowl – and Holtz left for Notre Dame. Interim coach John Gutekunst led the Gophers to a 20-13 victory over Clemson in the bowl game.

Final record: 10-12 in two years

John Gutekunst

First year: 6-6, 5-3 in 1986

Second year: 6-5, 3-5 in 1987

Second-year highlights: The Gophers started the season with a five-game winning streak before dropping five of their final six and missing out on a bowl game.

Final record: 29-37-2 in six-plus years

Jim Wacker

First year: 2-9, 2-6 in 1992

Second year: 4-7, 3-5 in 1993

Second-year highlights: The Gophers capped a three-game Big Ten winning streak with a 28-21 victory over eventual conference champion Wisconsin, handing the Badgers their only loss of the season.

Final record: 16-39 in five years

Glen Mason

First year: 3-9, 1-7 in 1997

Second year: 5-6, 2-6 in 1998

Second-year highlights: The Gophers opened the season with three nonconference wins and closed it with a 49-7 rout of Iowa.

Final record: 64-57 in 10 years

Tim Brewster

First year: 1-11, 0-8 in 2007

Second year: 7-6, 3-5 in 2008

Second-year highlights: The Gophers won seven of their first eight games and reached No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25 before dropping their final five games, including a 42-21 loss to Kansas in the Insight Bowl.

Final record: 15-30 in four years

Jerry Kill

First year: 3-8, 2-6 in 2011

Second year: 6-7, 2-6 in 2012

Second-year highlights: The Gophers went 4-0 in the nonconference season and returned to a bowl game, falling 34-31 to Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Final record: 29-29 in five years

Tracy Claeys

First year: Claeys took over for Kill, who resigned because of healthy reasons, after seven games in the 2015 season. He went 2-4 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten.

Second year: 9-4, 5-4 in 2016

Second-year highlights: The Gophers had a four-game Big Ten winning streak and a 17-12 victory over Washington State in the Holiday Bowl. Claeys was fired in early January 2017 after publicly supporting players who staged a boycott in protest of the suspension of 10 players in connection with an alleged sexual assault.

Final record: 11-8 in two years