A tougher road ahead
The scheduling stars aligned for the Gophers this season, helping them start 9-0, which gave them a chance to win the Big Ten West before a 1-2 finish. Next year, the Gophers still won't draw Ohio State, but it's a more difficult road ahead. Star Tribune staff writer Megan Ryan looks at the Gophers' 2020 schedule:
Sept. 3 vs. Fla. Atlantic
Lane Kiffin's Owls won Conference USA's East division at 9-3.
Sept. 12 vs. Tenn. Tech
The Eagles were 6-6 in the FCS this season.
Sept. 19 vs. Iowa
The Gophers will want payback in an earlier-than-usual "Floyd" clash.
Sept. 26 vs. BYU
The Cougars went 7-5 this season, beating Boise State and USC.
Oct. 3 at Maryland
Gophers won 52-10 this year. Terrapins had only one Big Ten win.
Oct. 10 at Wisconsin
An early return to Camp Randall, where the U won 37-15 in 2018.
Oct. 17 vs. Michigan
The Wolverines are 9-3 in coach Jim Harbaugh's fifth season.
Oct. 24 at Illinois
Illini are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014.
Oct. 31 at Michigan State
The Gophers are 0-5 against the Spartans since 2010.
Nov. 7 vs. Purdue
Standout receiver Rondale Moore should return healthy.
Nov. 21 vs. Northwestern
The Wildcats finished 1-8 this season in the Big Ten.
Nov. 27 at Nebraska
A Black Friday finale against a team that underachieved at 5-7.