Which bowl could land Maryland?
(This one is all Maryland, 27-7, at halftime. The Terrapins are on their way to becoming bowl eligible before Halloween, a significant accomplishment for this team. Maryland has blocked two punts and quarterback Danny O’Brien has thrown three touchdown passes. Wake Forest’s defense was as bad as advertised.)
Maryland is bowl eligible for the first time since 2008. It is obviously too early in the season to predict which bowl will land Maryland. But it is not too early to offer educated speculation on the three most likely scenarios for the Terrapins.
Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: Maryland controls its own destiny in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Should the Terrapins win the division and also the subsequent ACC championship game in Charlotte, then the Terrapins will head to the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Sun Bowl, Dec. 31: If Maryland wins the Atlantic Division but loses in the ACC championship game, then the furthest the Terrapins can fall in the bowl selection process is fourth. The Sun Bowl, which is played in El Paso, Texas, has the fourth pick. Chances are Maryland would drop to fourth because other contending teams – notably Florida State, North Carolina State and Miami --- possess a stronger brand name and/or bring a larger fan contingent.
Military Bowl, Dec. 29: The game at RFK Stadium has been the most likely destination for Maryland all season. It simply makes sense. And this would be a strong step in the right direction for a rebuilding program. The folks at the Military Bowl, formerly known as the EagleBank Bowl, certainly would not mind a hometown team in the game. How would it happen? The Military Bowl has the eighth selection among ACC teams. Assuming Maryland does not win the Atlantic Division and has won three to five conference games, chances are the Terrapins --- yes, it’s that brand name thing again --- fall all the way to the eighth slot IF there are eight bowl eligible teams from the ACC. There is an outside chance that the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., or the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., could nab Maryland a pick or two earlier, but don’t bet on it at this point.
| October 30, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
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