Poll: Does Maryland deserve a Top 25 vote?
I knew that the game in Chestnut Hill, Mass., would be the pivotal game of the season. Win and a rebuilding Maryland team would earn some scraps of relevancy. Lose and Coach Ralph Friedgen could prepare to be peppered with questions about whether his young team would ever turn the corner.
Now, let me begin this entry with somewhat of a bold prediction: Maryland will host Florida State in a primetime game on Nov. 20 with a chance to remain in the Atlantic Division title conversation.
Don’t think so? Florida State (4-0 in ACC play) plays at North Carolina State and hosts North Carolina and Clemson before it concludes its ACC schedule at Byrd. Even if the Seminoles lose just one of those games, they’ll enter the Maryland game 6-1 in league play. Maryland (2-1 in ACC play) plays Wake Forest at home and Miami and Virginia on the road before FSU. If Maryland beats Wake and Virginia, teams with losing records, it enters the FSU game 4-2 in league play.
Whether Maryland (5-2 overall) is good enough to compete with the upper echelon of the ACC is another matter. The Terps have yet to prove they are capable of that. One person believes the Terrapins are Top 25 material this week. Rob Long, of Fox-1370 radio in Baltimore, gave Maryland a 25th-place vote in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. I’m not disparaging the vote by any means because I know how watered down things are once you write the top, oh, 22 or so teams on your ballot. It becomes a hold-your-nose vote. But Maryland is an interesting case because, at 5-2, you can make an argument that the Terps are not as good as their record indicates.
The Terrapins beat a good Navy team. They have not lost to a dog team. They rank seventh in the nation in turnover margin. And they have outscored opponents 52-7 in points off turnovers.
The Terrapins have beaten just one division I-A team (Navy) with a winning record. They were beaten fairly convincingly in two road games. They have been outgained in total yards in every victory against a division I-A team. And the 222 yards Maryland collected Saturday was the team's fewest in a victory during the Ralph Friedgen era, according to incomparable Mr. Stat Patrick Stevens.
If Maryland beats Wake Forest, it will become bowl eligible with just one victory over a team with a winning record. And if Maryland beats Wake Forest and Virginia, there is a real chance the Terrapins could finish the season with a 4-4 conference record that would consist of exactly zero wins over an ACC team with a winning record. And if that happens, Maryland likely would get a virtual home game at the EagleBank Bowl.
I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I’m just saying that it’s a lot different than the NCAA men’s basketball tournament selection process in which who’d you beat is the question that matters most.
| October 25, 2010; 8:32 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Expect no changes to Maryland's offensive line this week
Next: Maryland's Danny O'Brien, Antwine Perez earn ACC honors
Posted by: CapsNut | October 25, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MARKHAGNER | October 25, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | October 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Kev29 | October 25, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DiehardTerp | October 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SirPelleas | October 25, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: carterm1 | October 25, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | October 25, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse