Head coach Jerry Kill says there's an art to scheduling -- especially when you're building a program.
If Coach Kill had his way, the Gophers would not be opening the season at the University of Southern California this week. In the first game of his first season, Kill said he would much rather be playing at TCF Bank Stadium.
"No," Kill said when asked if he would have scheduled things the way they will play out this week. "I'm very honest. We'd be playing at home. You asked. I'm being straight. I don't like playing the first game (against a) BCS (team). I want to play at home. There's a whole lot of difference between playing at home and going on the road, plus going to USC and the time difference, the whole ball of wax."
But there aren't going to be any excuses either.
"But it is what it is, so we'll bow up and we'll be excited and we'll go out and do it," Kill said of this Saturday's game with the Trojans. "It is what it is. We'll have them ready to go. I'm not worried about it. I'm looking forward to it. I expect any time we go to a game, we go to win. I'm a competitor, and that's how I'm going to approach every game."
Kill said scheduling philosophies in the Big Ten will probably be changing drastically over the next few years, with the addition of a nine-game conference schedule coming in 2017.
"I think everybody in the Big Ten is going to have to solve that problem," Kill said. "I can't give you that answer right now because I'm worried about playing USC. But everybody is going to have to look at that because we're going to an extra conference game now, and then we're going to have three (non-conference) games, and you'd better win those three. There's going to be a whole change in the Big Ten scheduling because of what's going to happen. So I think all our coaches from the Big Ten are going to have to look at what you're going to do because you'd better be ready for the Big Ten (schedule)."