The Maryland football program is coming off a bowl game in their first season under coach D.J. Durkin.
Now the Terrapins are saddled with one of the toughest schedules around. In fact, Athlon Sports rated Maryland’s 2017 slate as the toughest in the nation.
Durkin put together a 6-7 (3-6 Big Ten) mark in 2016. Maryland raced out to a 4-0 start with wins over Central Florida, Florida International, Howard, and Purdue.
However, the Terps dropped four of their final five regular season games. It took a 31-13 win in the regular season finale against Rutgers to become bowl eligible.
Things aren’t likely going to get any easier for the program with an extremely difficult slate this fall.
Below is what Kyle Kensing of Athlon Sports had to say about Maryland’s upcoming schedule.
"“No one can accuse the Terrapins of hiding in their shells. Head coach DJ Durkin’s second season in College Park pits Maryland against one of the most brutal schedules any program has faced in recent memory. Playing the Big Ten East is bad enough, with games against Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. The Terps also draw road games at Minnesota and Wisconsin in cross-divisional competition — all that after opening the season at Texas.”"
That’s definitely an assumption that many pundits around the league would tend to agree with.
Maryland starts off the season by facing Texas on the road. The Longhorns did underachieve under Charlie Strong to the tune of a 5-7 (3-6 Big 12) record.
However, it’s still not going to be an easy environment to play in. Then again, it could be a good test for Maryland early on since they’ll have to travel to the likes of Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin throughout the season.
The Terps also have a game against Rutgers at Yankee Stadium. Their final three games come against Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State.
Maryland did bring in a monster recruiting class and some of that talent should be ready to play early on. If Maryland can reach the six-win mark once again, it should be viewed as another success in College Park.