Update: Maryland's Bowl Fate Hinges on Ball State's Answer
I just got off the phone with Kevin McDonald, the executive director of the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho.
After Maryland lost its regular season finale, the Terrapins had a great chance to land in the Humanitarian Bowl, which has the eighth selection out of the ACC. But now that berth is in serious doubt and the team that will determine Maryland’s bowl fate is, of all schools, Ball State.
McDonald said the Humanitarian Bowl wants to match undefeated Boise State against undefeated Ball State. He has had discussions with the ACC and does not expect the ACC to stand in the way of this move. He is awaiting an answer in the next couple days from Ball State, which has expressed some hesitation about playing Boise State on Boise’s home field.
If Ball State says thanks, but no thanks, then Maryland would likely head to Boise to play either Boise State or another Western Athletic Conference team. If Ball State agrees to play Boise State, then Maryland has to make some decisions.
The first would be whether to play in the Eagle Bank Bowl against Navy on Dec. 20. School officials have said that they cannot play in the game because of final exams, but a college football official said that Maryland perhaps could make some adjustments to play in that game. That remains to be seen.
A Maryland-Navy matchup would be an ideal scenario for the Eagle Bank Bowl, which is having trouble finding an opponent for Navy. It cannot select a 6-6 team before a 7-5 team, which means that N.C. State will likely get shipped out to an at-large slot. That leaves Wake Forest, but Navy has already played Wake Forest during the regular season.
So there is a chance Maryland winds up in the Eagle Bank Bowl, after all.
If that does not happen, the only real remaining option is one of a few at-large slots, which would be in Detroit, Shreveport, Houston or Birmingham.
It all hinges on Ball State's answer. McDonald does not want to hold everyone up, so he would like an answer before Ball State plays in the MAC title game.
So that is where it stands at this moment. Things will change throughout another busy day and I will update this blog on the Boise drama throughout.
I can’t believe I already bought the ticket!
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