Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Mack Brown has been intent in improving Texas' nonconference schedule in the future after a recent run of less-than-imposing out-of-conference opponents.
It sounds like the Longhorns are close to adding an upcoming opponent of some national stature.
The Longhorns and Minnesota are close to agreeing to a home-and-home series, according to veteran Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman.
It would be a matchup between Brown and his former assistant, Tim Brewster. Brewster's son, Nolan, currently is a safety on the Longhorns' roster. It would also give the Longhorns a chance to check out the Gophers' new stadium that will be opening this season.
The Gophers have played in seven bowl games during this decade, but haven't advanced to any bowl game higher than the Sun Bowl during that time. They haven't played on a New Year's Day bowl game since beating UCLA in the 1962 Rose Bowl.
The Longhorns have played one nonconference opponent affiliated with BCS conferences in recent seasons.
Their most recent home-and-home series with a Big Ten Conference opponent was with Ohio State. Their games in 2005 and 2006 were classics and showed both schools were willing to play against the very best opponents nationally.
Playing against Minnesota isn't exactly the same, but it's an improvement over recent and future nonconference games against teams like Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Sam Houston State.