The Maryland football program got a closer glimpse into how difficult their 2017 season might be.
The USA Today Coaches poll was released on Thursday and it revealed that Maryland will begin the campaign against 23rd-ranked Texas. In addition, the Terrapins will face four other ranked teams throughout the year.
Maryland also received one vote in the poll.
It comes as somewhat of a surprise that the Longhorns will start off the season as a ranked team. In Charlie Strong’s final year, Texas underachieved in a big way and went just 5-7.
In the offseason, Texas made arguably the biggest hire when they lured Houston coach Tom Herman to Austin. In just two seasons with the Cougars, Herman went 22-4 with a pair of bowl games to his credit.
In the 2015 Peach Bowl, Herman led Houston to a 38-24 win over Florida State, who had went 10-2 on the season.
With Texas being ranked heading into the season, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Maryland was a considerable underdog when the two teams take the field in Austin.
The schedule isn’t going to get any easier when Big Ten play begins in October. After starting off their Big Ten slate against Minnesota, Maryland will travel to Columbus for a date with second-ranked Ohio State on Oct. 7.
Even with the amount of talent that the Buckeyes lost, they still have several playmakers returning in quarterback J.T. Barrett and running back Mike Weber. Maryland will be looking to build on their deflating 62-3 loss at the hands of Ohio State last season.
In addition to Texas and Ohio State, Penn State (No. 6), Michigan (No. 9), and Wisconsin (No. 10) are also on the docket in 2017. Maryland fell to Penn State (38-14) and Michigan (59-3), but didn’t face Wisconsin.
It was always going to be incredibly challenging schedule for the Terps this coming season. However, with five ranked opponents with the schedule, it might be even tougher than many Maryland fans ever imagined.