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Friday, May 1, 2009
Minnesota and Texas in scheduling talks

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Three months after finalizing a home-and-home series with USC, Minnesota could be adding another national powerhouse to its upcoming schedule. 

Minnesota is in talks with Texas about scheduling a series. The Star Tribune reported Friday that Minnesota and Texas have agreed to a home-and-home series with the dates still to be determined, and a Gophers team source told me this morning that the Texas series will happen.

But Minnesota spokesman Garry Bowman said that no contract has been signed. The schools have been talking but "nothing is imminent," Bowman said.

Golden Gophers head coach Tim Brewster spent 13 years as an assistant for Texas head coach Mack Brown, the final three seasons in Austin. Brewster takes a bold approach toward nonconference scheduling -- a departure from his predecessor Glen Mason -- and has wanted to add the Longhorns to the Gophers' slate. 

Minnesota will face USC in 2010 and 2011, and it's highly unlikely the Gophers would add a second elite opponent to the slate. The Gophers also are scheduled to face Colorado in 2012 and 2013, so the Texas series might have to wait until 2014 at the earliest. Texas' future schedules include UCLA and Mississippi in the next few years but feature no nonconference games for 2014 at this point.

Whether or not the Texas series works out, you have to love Minnesota's approach. Certainly there's risk to playing powerhouse teams like USC and Texas, but these games provide great opportunities and attention for a program that needs it. 

With Michigan State beefing up its nonconference slate earlier this week, perhaps the Big Ten is turning a corner on the scheduling issue and giving its fans the games they want to see.