per Megan:

The schedule gods have smiled upon the Gophers in 2019. Favorable is one way to put it, with coach P.J. Fleck’s team avoiding Big Ten East powerhouses Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.

Sure, the West is essentially a shot in the dark, and a treacherous November still looms. But without squinting too hard, an optimistic fan could see a scenario where Minnesota is among the division leaders heading into the Nov. 9 home game against Penn State.

“If we keep building upon what we did last year against Wisconsin,” senior defensive lineman Carter Coughlin said, “… when we finished really strong as an entire team, offense and defense, we should be really, really good this year.”

ESPN ranks the Gophers’ strength of schedule 54th of 130 FBS teams. The only Big Ten teams with “easier” slates, according to that measure, are Nebraska, Indiana and Illinois.

That said, expectations are still scattered for Minnesota (7-6 last year), with some assuming a near-bottom finish in the West and others projecting 10 wins as feasible. Here’s a look at the Gophers’ docket:

http://www.startribune.com/gophers-f...eck/557816952/

Go Gophers!!