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D.J. Durkin enjoyed moderate success in his first season as the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins. After a ghastly 3-9 season in 2015, Durkin was able to coax his squad into a 6-7 record in 2016 that ended in a bowl appearance and expectations are high for the former Jim Harbaugh protege. In 2017, though, the task will not be easy.

Athlon Sports brings word that, at least in their eyes, Maryland will face the most difficult schedule in the country.

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. 

Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma and Syracuse round out the “top” five when it comes to toughest schedules and Maryland’s slate is brutal. As noted above, their division schedule is always difficult, but the trips to Wisconsin and Texas make things even scarier for Durkin and his staff.

Because of his reputation as a recruiting force, the future should be bright in College Park. With that said, upward trajectory in terms of wins and losses might be difficult to come by in his second full season on the job.

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