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Posted at 2:23 AM ET, 12/ 5/2010

Expected ACC bowl matchups: Maryland-East Carolina in Military Bowl

By Eric Prisbell

The gridiron version of Selection Sunday is finally here. Later today, Maryland is expected to be formally announced as East Carolina’s opponent in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium on Dec. 29, bowl executives and officials throughout the ACC said.

[Please scroll down for two important polls at the bottom of this long entry. Thanks.]

Thank you very much for all the spirited comments the past week – insightful and entertaining. And thanks for all the interesting e-mails. I really appreciate them. I enjoyed reading all of them. I think it adds to the blog, and I welcome more of your thoughts today and in the coming days. My plan is to keep this as the main blog entry until the formal announcement tonight. After that, I’ll have more posts with reaction from involved parties. Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen and others will offer reaction and early thoughts on the Dec. 29 game in a teleconference tonight. The Military Bowl will also hold a media event Tuesday at a time yet to be disclosed.

This is the best outcome for Maryland strictly from a financial standpoint. The ACC gives its teams that go to non-BCS bowls $1.1 million plus additional nominal travel money depending upon the distance from school to the bowl game. Maryland will obviously save by not having to charter one or two flights to a bowl game. The school stood to lose money on every other bowl game possibility. Players will still stay in a team hotel, perhaps as long as seven nights leading up to the Dec. 29 game.

There is a 10,000 ticket allotment requirement for the Military Bowl. There is some concern that Maryland won’t be able to sell all of those tickets because fans may view a berth in the Military Bowl as a letdown after harboring long-shot hopes of a warm-weather bowl destination. There is further concern that if Maryland fans have a poor turnout, it could affect Maryland’s attractiveness for bowl games in future seasons. East Carolina fans, however, have been booking hotels since ECU was announced for the game, and officials are encouraged by the fan response thus far. ECU is pretty fired up, frankly.

Careful, this won't be a dog game. The Maryland fans who do attend are likely to see an entertaining contest. East Carolina (6-6) has the nation’s seventh-ranked passing offense and the 13th-ranked scoring offense. Conversely, it ranks 120th nationally – last in division I-A – in total defense, so look for quarterback Danny O’Brien and company to have ample opportunity to move the ball. ECU has lost four of its past five games, giving up between 45 and 76 -- yes, 76 -- points in those four losses.

Some e-mailers have asked me why I have been beating the drum so hard about Maryland-to-Military Bowl for weeks now. I never meant to gloat and certainly hope it did not come across that way. I saw this scenario coming down the pike and wanted fans to get a cold dose of reality and see exactly how much of this is about money and ticket sales and brand names: Roughly ... all of it. Nothing against the Military Bowl, run by fine people and run well. But in terms of the bowl selection process, just think about it: Had Maryland gone belly up against N.C. State, losing 50-0, the Terrapins would be going to the same bowl.

Final Bowl Projections:

Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Jan. 3: Virginia Tech (11-2) vs. Stanford (11-1)

Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31: Florida State (9-4) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)

Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 28:
North Carolina State (8-4) vs. West Virginia (9-3)

Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 31:
Miami (7-5) vs. Notre Dame (7-5)

Meineke Car Care in Charlotte on Dec. 31: Clemson (6-6) vs. Pittsburgh (7-5)

Music City Bowl in Nashville on Dec. 30: North Carolina (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6)

Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 27: Georgia Tech (6-6) vs. Air Force (8-4)

Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 29: Maryland (8-4) vs. East Carolina (6-6)

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco on Jan. 9: Boston College (7-5) vs. Nevada (12-1)

By Eric Prisbell  | December 5, 2010; 2:23 AM ET
Categories:  Football, Ralph Friedgen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: All signs point to Maryland-East Carolina in the Military Bowl
Next: Vanderbilt and Franklin, Friedgen and an extension

Comments

The Military Bowl? At 2:30 on a non-holiday Wednesday afternoon when no one will be watching and no one can get off work to freeze to death in the worst stadium in the country at this point thanks to all the neglect. What a joke. I'm tempted to say Ralph should just say no. This is a really insulting way to treat the third place team in the ACC, ending up behind teams we beat and who have WORSE records.

Posted by: EricS2 | December 5, 2010 4:19 AM | Report abuse

I live in NorCal. No way I'm going to anything anyway. All things equal and I still live in Maryland? Yeah, I'd go.

Posted by: pipkin42 | December 5, 2010 4:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to boycott watching any other ACC game. Hope all the other ACC teams lose their game. I'll watch the Maryland game and hope that they win. Go TERPS!

Posted by: spoton1 | December 5, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

What other bowls are out there that didn't have conferences meet their eligibilty #'s, that the Terps could go to???
There is something definitely wrong with the 'system', when the Sun, Care Care, Music City, and even Independence Bowls can pass over a team with better conference records, and choose who they want..To me, there is 'NO SYSTEM'at all...
The sad thing is, Maryland's gonna look real bad when East Carolina has more fans than the Terps will at RFK..It's a bowl game to them, and for us, a slap in the face.. If this pisses off Maryland fans, there is only one solution, get ready for next year, buy season tickets, and fill up Byrd.. By 'fill up' I mean sell out, not 50K, when it holds 54K.. GO TERPS !!!

Posted by: frostanna | December 5, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Prisbell, maybe you should surf through your employer's archives. You'd see that nine years ago as Maryland was closing in on the ACC Title, there were public concerns then that "Maryland didn't travel well" and the Orange Bowl was looking at other possibilities for their game because he O.B. was not obligated to take the ACC Champion at that time.

Debbie Yow guaranteed 20,000 tickets which satisfied the O.B. Committee and it is the only reason why we played in that game instead of the Sugar Bowl. Maryland had no trouble selling its Orange Bowl allotment and asked for more tickets. Maryland was given 5,000 extra which were also sold with little problem.

As a matter of fact, Maryland was apologizing to its fans because they couldn't fulfill all the ticket requests. Maryland could have easily sold 30-35,000 tickets that year had they been given enough tickets by the Orange Bowl.

Yet despite that performance; the very next year the Gator Bowl used the "Maryland doesn't travel well" canard as their excuse to pass over the Terps in favor of, ironically enough, N.C. State.

So my point is Prisbell, it does not matter what Maryland fans do in relation to this Military Bowl insult. They could sell 500 tickets or they could sell 50,000; they're going to continue to be saddled with this false impression that they don't travel well.

And no thanks to people such as yourself Prisbell to dispel that notion.

Posted by: CapsNut | December 5, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

I have been reading the discussion on this bowl situation for a couple of weeks. I was hoping to take my family to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando for the game and enjoy the local attractions. I got my grand daughter all pumped up about it. Now the let down. At first I was not going to go to this Military Bowl. I feel that it is an insult because Maryland does travel well. I was at the 2006 Champs and we were very well represented. I think the Terps are being disrespected by the bowls and the ACC. If I were the AD and Coach I would turn down the invite but I'm just an alum and fan. There a $$$ considerations to take into accout. I am reluctantly going to go to this game which will probably be entertaining and could be a trap if the guys are let down. Let's hope pride will take over and we put a whoppin' on them.

The best thing we can do is support them now and in a big way next year with butts in the seats at Byrd and FEDEX when we take down the Irish next Nov.

Terps fans have endured disappointment before and may have to again in the future. But we rebound much like the team. We are stuck with a poor bowl, with terrible prices, at a bad venue BUT we have a pretty good team that is going to be even better in coming years. Let's put aside our bitterness about getting screwed this time and show them what TERPS are all about. The only way to avoid this in the future is to field a really good team that is well supported by the fan base.

GO TERPS !!!!

Posted by: JoeR123 | December 5, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering who thought having a bowl game in Wash DC, in late December, at a run down stadium was a good idea? I love college football, and go to UMD games but there are too many bowl games.

Posted by: erniegogo | December 5, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Next years schedule is here:

http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa-11/acc/2011-maryland-terrapins-football-schedule.php

We have Boston College, Clemson, Miami, Virginia at home as well as WVU and Notre Dame at FedEx along with Temple and Towson we should have a huge increase in home attendance.

This Bowl game at RFK is frankly a joke and a huge let-down. Of course I'll be there rooting on the boys but I really think Wujack et al deserve much much better. I hope they use it as motivation to crush the Pirates!

Posted by: terp51 | December 5, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Maryland fans need to support your team. I looked up the attendance numbers and this 6-6 ECU team averaged 10,000 more fans per game than you.
We Beat NCSUX.
We played two ACC teams you did not, VT and UNCheaters.
The VT game we were leading 27-21 in the 3rd quarter.

Buy the tickets UM fans and enjoy watching one of the best offenses in the NCAA.
We have another top NFL player in Dwayne Harris and hope the Redskins know about him. Remember Chris Johnson? This guy is in that level.

Posted by: batemana | December 5, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

These comments all validate the common point that Maryland students are as prissy as UVA and U of R students. Too cold, run down stadium, oh the humanity!
ECU 65
Md 54

Go Pirates!

Posted by: rfe18 | December 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I too was looking forward to a few days in Orlando, even El Paso.

Frankly, the dilapidated venue--not the Bowl--is what will keep me away.

MB officials need to move this annual game to Nats park to ensure survival and make it far more palatable to the paying fan.

I attended the Emerald Bowl in SF--cozy venue that's perfect for a minor Bowl game.

Posted by: MerlinTerps | December 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Anyone "sending a message" by skipping or boycotting the Military Bowl -- if in fact that's the one that Maryland goes to -- will be sending the wrong message...that Maryland fans have a false sense of entitlement, even coming off a dreadful 2-10 season. Sorry, but the rest of the world doesn't share that view. It perceives Maryland as a basketball-first school whose fans frankly treat football as second fiddle.

So what if the game is at RFK, or played on a weekday afternoon? East Carolina fans aren't griping, and if the Pirates have more supporters there than Maryland, a Metrorail ride (with transfer) from College Park, it will serve as an indictment of the Terrapin fan base.

I have little fondness for the ACC (although the only conference I would leave it for would be the Big Ten; the Big East is a silly, low-revenue hybrid). But if you want Maryland in the Big Ten -- a conference that would substantially boost the university's athletic revenue, academic profile and research funding -- not supporting your team in a bowl game won't help matters.

Posted by: VPaterno | December 5, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Twerp fans. Go support your team. I'm a UVA fan and even I will probably take off on Wednesday to go to RFK to watch the game.

Having written that and having experienced the sting of not going to a bowl game the was equal to your place in the ACC standings, UMD didn't do itself any favors perception wise by having 8,000 empty seats against FSU when you controlled your own destiny, or even less when NC State came in town and there was twice as many empty seats as the week before.

Please don't go to RFK and have more ECU fans than Red and Black. That might put you out of any decent bowls in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: cjerrydc | December 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Eric,

Where is the line drawn between conveying facts and leading the charge for the Military Bowl? If you had your own blog, free of the WaPost, it wouldn't matter. However, it may carry just a little weight to see one of the top newspapers in the world solidly predicting the Military Bowl for weeks. From your perspective, did you help convince everyone of this inevitability, by writing about the negatives of Maryland's attractiveness to selection committees? Could it have been a little more balanced, showing some positives as well? What if you saw this coming and provided a steady stream of reasoning as to the unfairness of being passed over, along with all the negatives? There was some of that, but not much, in fairness.

How much did you help? When you wrote that three-part-series on the downslide of Gary Williams, you took some credit for the program's revival, as you provided a stimulus to Gary (by your own estimation). Did you help (just a little) with this selection as well?

Maybe it was as balanced as it could and should have been from the standpoint of a superb reporter--I am not saying it isn't. Just asking the question. It is a wonderful coup for you, and I do not want to detract from your day in the sun. Congratulations to you (assuming you are right about all this). You were mostly just the messenger, and you did a truly spectacular job of seeing it all come together for the Terps' landing in the Military Bowl.

To me one of the bigger insults is BC going to San Fran, a fun bowl destination. Terps beat BC up in Chestnut Hill, and had a better record than BC. The Terps of course had other wins that should have counted too, for other bowl destinations that would have been commensurate with their record of accomplishment.

Posted by: EdDC | December 5, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, maybe the Military Bowl had an earlier pick than did the San Fran bowl?

Posted by: EdDC | December 5, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Eric, god help you if your wrong. You're going to have egg on your face for pimping this story line for weeks and the perception that you secretly don't like this program will be indelible. Why else would a beat writer focus on this during a resurgent season? I stood by your GWilliams stories but it seems like you enjoy focusing on the negative.

Posted by: cjterps98 | December 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Strangely enough, I agree with most of you Terps. If I were a Maryland fan, I would want to go to a warm bowl. I also believe it is an insult to the Terps to be the third place ACC team going to the last place bowl.

The Pirates are in a rebuilding year. No one projected us to win 6 games. However; once the season started and we saw how prolific our offense is, all bets were off. We could have easily been 8-4. Injuries after the NC State win destroyed our defense. Until that point, we were improving each game. We lost our three best of the defensive front seven for the season. That's why we lost 4 of our last 5 games. It's no fun watching your offense score at will while the other team just comes back the next series and wipes out the lead. Since the injuries, the other team rarely punts. Given our circumstances, Maryland is not my first choice either. I would have preferred a team that is struggling as we are.

But it is a bowl and close for us. It’s a chance for those young players to grow. Sometimes you have to take your medicine and look to the future. It could be a good prescription for Maryland as well. Being the red-headed step child of the ACC region, we are more familiar with it than you guys are. By the way, how does it feel?

Posted by: crossbones | December 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, you knew it was coming because we won a game last week....

COLLEGE PARK — — The attorney for Maryland's Ralph Friedgen says the football coach has earned the right to have his contract extended after next season -- an assertion that places the school in a sensitive position because it has already named Friedgen's successor.

"To me, an extension is absolutely in order," attorney Jack Reale told The Baltimore Sun. "I think he has earned it."

______________________________________

After the previous win, he was whining in the in press about bonuses and now that we beat NC State, he sends his mouthpiece out in the public to try to extort more money from the University at the same time he is publicly saying that it might be too tough for him to motivate his players to play ECU in the bowl game......

Lets see him try to string 2 consecutive good seasons together first...something he hasnt been able to do in 8 years

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The Military Bowl always envisioned this game as a Navy-MD match up. Anytime MD finished 7-5, bang...send them to RFK to play a regionally attractive game against Navy. Attendance and ratings assured.

Except Navy locked in at the Poinsettia Bowl, and MD isn't interested in playing in the bowl when they finish 8-4.

One thing our sleuth reporter never commented on or even investigated is the role the ACC plays in this mess. "Travel well" is a convenient excuse, as CapNut mentioned above. It's always used against MD by the ACC as a way to send one of the southern schools to a more preferred destination. Our stadium only seats 54K, indicative of a team that must not travel well.

Clemson gets to go to the bowl in Charlotte at 6-6. Miami, who fills their stadium with 27K, has a "national brand" and gets to go to the Sun Bowl. NCST loses head to head against MD and gets rewarded with a Champs Bowl invite. Nevermind that MD drew more to the Champs Bowl against Purdue than NCST drew in any of its appearances to the same bowl. Notice the trend here?

MD wins but loses. MD lobbies to go to a bowl game where it will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Think about that. What kind of strange system rewards wins with bad outcomes and encourages teams to lose millions as a reward for a good season?

If MD is going to suffer from a southern bias in the ACC, why not suffer a midwestern bias and move to the Big 10? Sure, MD won't win much and would be happy to finish 6-6. At least then the bowl destination would fit the record. And the bowl would probably still be better than an ACC bowl. While we're at it, the Big 10 Network money would flow into MD's athletic department. Talk about fiscally responsible.

And don't forget the impact this has on recruiting. When NCST, UNC, CU, GT, and FSU all come to the DC area to recruit (like they've been doing), don't think for a minute they don't bring this up to recruits. And the reinforcing cycle begins. If MD is going to be Little Sister of the ACC Poor, at least we could be that in a better conference that pays more.

Posted by: WheelsRI | December 5, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Fans should be proactive in showing their disappointment with the bowl selection. Boycotters should stand outside RFK with "Boycott!" signs; those that go should hold up signs like "We should be in Orlando" and "BCS sucks!" Write letters to the ACC and/or the Champs Bowl. Express outrage in large numbers.

Posted by: MrScrotums | December 5, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The best thing Maryland fans can do now is to just show up for the game. ECU has tradtionaly had very good and competitive teams. They are in a rebuilding year this year but that has not stopped them from putting up some impressive numbers against good teams. Maryland has played better this year than in a long time. This could actually be a very interesting bowl game. You know that ECU is going to bring thier passionate fans with them. Is Maryland going to bring thiers? If they don't then this will give bowl sponsors in the future a narrative to use about Maryland that the Terps do not want.

Posted by: thecavs1 | December 5, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, and I think I speak for a lot of Terps fans, it's not that the Military Bowl is so awful per se (although it is an insult), it's that the match up is garbage. If we were playing Georgia in the Military Bowl I'd be psyched (even though it would still be an insult).

Posted by: steesy | December 5, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The fact that this is the result of fan attendance this year is pretty laughable. Prisbell was beating the Military Drum by Homecoming weekend, even though MD had two home games left so technically the jury was still out on the numbers. Sure, attendance to those last two games, especially NC State, was lower than hoped. And I have no doubt that played a role in the Champs Selection...and I honestly can't blame them putting NC States fan numbes up against ours this season. All that makes sense.

But the fact that Prisbell was already signaling Military at mid-season shows this really had nothing to do with attendance after all. MD could have sold out both FSU and NC State and they'd still be put in this bowl. If anything it has more to do with TV ratings...a lot of bowls simply don't think Maryland has the football appeal and draw that a lot of other schools, including other ACC schools, have. This has become a bigger problem for them since expansion nd it's not really going to change until Maryland pulls off some top 5 upsets on ABC or wins some games with last second td drives...the kinds of things TV wants out of a team. Even BC, simply because of a last-second throw 25 years ago against Miami, is generally considered a better tv draw than the Terps. The attendance canard is simply a convenient way to brush off the team. It's been used before even when there was no real evidence to support it.

Filling RFK for this game won't change any of this. It doesn't prove Maryland fans travel well because they don't really have to travel to this game. All it shows it that fans will pack into a local stadium to see the Terps...but we already showed this back in September against Navy. Of course a poor turnout won't do the team any favors either so this Bowl is basically a heads-i-win tails-you-lose scenario.

For those that are thinking of attending, honestly I'd just wait a year. Maryland will be back in the Military again next December with a 9-3 record. Looks like this cold snap will go all the way through Christmas...perhaps next year it will be warmer and hey...we might even get to play a 7-5 SMU team next go around! I'm saving my money for that matchup instead.

Posted by: ferraridoug | December 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

To everyone:

Go to the Military Bowl and make the best of it.

To MD Athletic Dept:

Right after the Military Bowl call the Big 10 headquarters and get the ball rolling.

To ACC HQ:

Kiss my a$$.

The ACC is by far the biggest culprit here and if MD doesn't do something then they will be staring at this bowl every year unless they win the ACC Championship. The rule change concerning records was intended to cater to Clemson, Florida State, etc. at the expense of Maryland. If the ACC feels this way about us then why stay? The Duke and North Carolina BB rivalries aren't worth this.

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

How high do you have to be to think that Maryland to the Big Ten is even remotely possible? The Big Ten now has 12 schools - they're full. If for some bizarre reason they want to go to 14, it would only be for Notre Dame. And they'd probably poach Missouri, Kansas or Pitt before thinking about Maryland.

Just buy a ticket to the bowl game, support the team and hope that the university and athletic department can strengthen the football program. Virginia Tech has gone from a backwater program to national prominence largely because a ton of fans show up in Blacksburg - and FedEX - and at the Orange, Gator, etc.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I will hold ny nose, buy tickets and attend the Military Bowl, if selected. However, this has angered me like no other event.

Let's make sure that we all understand this: Maryland convincingly beat NC State and essentially finished 3rd in the conference; they reside in the conference's biggest TV market and the 4th largest TV market in the country; and bowl attendance figures from the Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, and Champs Sports Bowls prove that their fans will travel. Yet, for the 3rd time in four years, they will again fall to the bottom of the ACC's bowl pecking order. As a fan and alumnus who has traveled to the prior bowl games, it is unacceptable that the ACC would allow this to happen. I don't know if the Big Ten was really serious last summer about trying to add Maryland, but if the opportunity ever presents itself, Maryland should not hesitate to accept the offer. The ACC is run by a bunch of yokels - last year, they fumbled away the Gator Bowl to the SEC (BTW, great work guys - now the ACC no longer has a New Year's day game) and they apparently has no interest in trying to protect its top TV market. Maryland needs to abandon this sinking ship and move to a conference that knows what they are doing.

Look, there is no question that fan attendance has been down this year, but why isn't some of this being be laid at the feet of the prior AD who created uncertainty in the program with her fire Ralph/keep Ralph/Franklin coach in waiting scheme? (Answer: My guess is that the one of your sources is Debbie Yow) Also, if bowl attendance figures conclusively prove that Maryland fans do travel, why do home attendance figures in an uncertain year matter? They don't, unless you are looking for a convenient excuse not to select the Terps.

As for you Eric, you have continually made the claim that Maryland "does not travel well" despite the fact that bowl attendance figures shows that to be a lie. You constantly ramble on about home attendance, but you have NEVER commented on those bowl attendenance figures. Why is that? Seems pretty gutless to me, but then, as it is so often true in your profession, why let the facts get in the way of a good story? It's time for you man up, show a little intregity, and answer the question: Why do you refuse to comment on the fact that bowl attendance figure prove that Terp fans DO travel well?

Also, I believe that one of your sources is Debbie Yow and she is using you to help steer NC State to the Sports Champs Bowl. Do you deny that?

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 5, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Waiting for official announcement before I cancel my reservations for 4 rooms at the Orlando Hilton which is the ACC team hotel.

Will go to Military Bowl with 8-12 strong who will all be sporting MD red. But I refuse to pay the ridiculous ticket prices that will be offered through the university. You can go online and buy 8 tickets to the game for under $200.00. I will continue to support the team, but not the ACC and their backdoor politics.

As far as Ralph's contract extension, let him shop himself around and see what comes up. I doubt that he will be in high demand. So he needs to shut up and and honor his contract as it is. Then see how next season plays out before asking for an extension. Having one decent season does warrant renegotiating ones contract.

Posted by: rich263 | December 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Having one decent season does NOT warrant renegotiating ones contract!

Posted by: rich263 | December 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Kev29,

You're dead wrong. Collee athletic experts are projecting that ultimately there is going to be four or five super conferences with the Big 10 being one of them. You're high if you think the Big 10 is done expanding. The realignment process has only just begun.

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

This is a gravely important issue to the ACC. If their regular season does not mean anything, then the conference ifself is irrelevant.

Posted by: cscherf | December 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I do not think that all the negative media from Eric and also the baltimore sun predicting the military bowl helped any. Its just another classic example of the Terps not getting the props they deserve happens all the time.

Posted by: westernmdterp | December 5, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Kev29,

You're dead wrong. Collee athletic experts are projecting that ultimately there is going to be four or five super conferences with the Big 10 being one of them. You're high if you think the Big 10 is done expanding. The realignment process has only just begun.

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 11:45 AM

Even if the Big Ten expands again, maybe after Notre Dame loses their NBC contract in 2015, Maryland is the longest of shots. Instead of hoping for that pipe dream, it's far more important for school officials, boosters and fans to try and improve the current situation. On field performance for revenue sports, coaching contracts, facilities enhancement, campus and College Park appeal, marketing, relationship with Under Armor, etc.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Kev29 - No, I am not "high" - in fact, I have never used drugs. However, according to reports last summer, the schools the Big Ten were looking at adding Maryland, Missouri, and Rutgers. Given the state of football at those 3 schools, why on earth would the Big Ten even consider them? Answer: TV markets - those schools represent 3 of the biggest TV markets in the country, which the Big Ten will need if it wants to compete for TV dollars against the SEC. Right now, the SEC TV contract is the most valuable TV sports property, next to the NFL, and the Big Ten wants to get back in the game. Look, I don't know how serious the Big Ten was last summer about adding Maryland. Expanding to 16 teams is a risky proposition in of itself, and adding 3 non-football powers only increases the risk. However, succesfully expanding the Big Ten product into those markets could result in a huge potential payoff in TV dollars. TV ratings(not attendance)is the future revenue growth model for sports.

One additional point: While the rumors were swirling last summer, there were some who were suggesting that Maryland should turn down a Big Ten offer. Those people are fools. If the offer ever comes up (and I don't say that it will), Maryland need to accept with open arms.

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Why would any Maryland fan directly or indirectly defend the ACC right now. It is not going to do any good to fill up Byrd next year or travel well to future Bowl games. Maryland did this early this decade and still heard the same rhetoric from the Bowl officials. I agree with the others that believe this is about the perception of MD's football program and ultimately their expected TV ratings.

The Maryland program is not likely to improve within the current circumstances. That is why I believe the Big 10 should be investigated. If you are OK with a middle of the road program then fine. If you want to see the football program move to the next level then a Big 10 move would be a great start. Maryland would be appealling because they bring the Washington/Baltimore TV market with them which is obviously currently untapped and is certainly more attractive then Pittsburgh, St. Louis, or Kansas City (not knocking those towns but they aren't big TV markets).

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The Maryland program is not likely to improve within the current circumstances. That is why I believe the Big 10 should be investigated. If you are OK with a middle of the road program then fine. If you want to see the football program move to the next level then a Big 10 move would be a great start. Maryland would be appealling because they bring the Washington/Baltimore TV market with them which is obviously currently untapped and is certainly more attractive then Pittsburgh, St. Louis, or Kansas City (not knocking those towns but they aren't big TV markets).

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 12:19 PM

If TV markets were so important, then why did they add Nebraska? For the coveted Omaha market? And the Washington and Baltimore markets (they are separate Nielsen markets - DC ranked 9th, Baltimore 26th) have been tapped by the Big Ten, their network is widely available here and member schools have strong followings in the area already (see Penn State-Indiana).

Conferences expanding for TV markets only is a theory that should have been debunked by the ACC and Big East. How are those Boston, Chicago and Miami schools doing? Market share is arguably better than market size in major college sports - and unfortunately, Maryland is losing market share in this area.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Wheeler,
I'm totally with you on jumping ship to the Big Ten if offered. At this point we are trading 2-3 marquee basketball games a year for being treated like the red-headed step-child of the All Carolina Conference on a yearly basis. We make the jump to the Big Ten, we immediately see revenue increase, Byrd would be packed every weekend, and we immediately dominate in basketball. As for the rubes who think the Big Ten doesn't want UMd: If you think it's not all about $$$, well, I can't help you. Taking UMd would open one of the largest media markets in the country to the Big Ten. On that alone, the Big Ten would want UMd.

Posted by: aviscardo | December 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Eric says: "Had Maryland gone belly up against N.C. State, losing 50-0, the Terrapins would be going to the same bowl."

Eric is right, of course. In addition, if the Terps had also lost to Navy by 76-35 (the same score that Navy beat ECU by), the Terps would still be going to the Military Bowl.

Amazing, huh? Both of those wins did not count at all! Not even a little.

The Bowl Committees should just suit up in whatever uniforms they want, and play the football games instead of the college kids. The results would be just as meaningful.


"

Posted by: EdDC | December 5, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally with you on jumping ship to the Big Ten if offered. At this point we are trading 2-3 marquee basketball games a year for being treated like the red-headed step-child of the All Carolina Conference on a yearly basis. We make the jump to the Big Ten, we immediately see revenue increase, Byrd would be packed every weekend, and we immediately dominate in basketball.

Posted by: aviscardo | December 5, 2010 12:46 PM

Again, fellow Terp fans, please start getting real. Why would Byrd be packed for Illinois if it couldn't be packed for FSU? Why would Maryland (at present) "dominate" Mich St, Ohio State, Purdue and Illinois in basketball?

I know this is a fun pipe dream for some of you, but you need to worry about the school becoming more attractive in this area first before worrying about conquering the Midwest. The grass is not automatically greener. Ask Boston College.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks EP for keeping Terp fans grounded w/ your coverage...I don't like what I hear sometimes but I don't pitch a fit like most so-called childish "fans"...the reality is we're tied for third place in the ACC, we should be lucky ANY bowl invites us...now if we beat FSU then I can justify the beef w/ the BSC. Wanna protest? Go buy tix at RFK (home of the old Super Bowl Redskins), watch UMd win and carry over your bile to the home games at Byrd next season...then, start whining about not getting an invite to Orlando, San Fran, El Paso or some other warm climate city.

Posted by: iamasofaking | December 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

there was always a chance of Eric being right, and there's nothing wrong with him being right. The problem was that he had an agenda which started 3-4 weeks, and hen he fueled it over and over with poor reserach, lazy writing and reliance on insinuations. We are likely going to the MB, but not without serious negotiations within the past week. Prisbell was too lazy to offer any alternatives or any analysis of other possibilities.

Here are the list of misinformation we got from him:

1-MD could not travel anywhere. Untrue, why do you think Anderson is trying to get us into another bowl. He doesn't bother to point out the expense allocation from the league until THIS BLOG! He doesn't address that most teams lose a little money but usually that includes the cost of fundraising and alumni events or that it's invaluable for extra practices, recruiting or perception for next year.

Eric also insinuated MD has not travelled well to bowls and as we all posted, he was completely not factual. The perception of us attending a bowl this year is because fan support is down coming off a 2-10 season, we're still in a recession and we are furthest for travel other than BC-and most importantly the attendance at Byrd. And while attendance was down, he failed to even recognize that the 4 games he often cited were Duke, Wake FIU and Morgan St.

Aside from simply being lazy with his reserach and writing, he made silly insinuations such as brand names-most ACC teams do not have brand names, it's whoever is doing well.

So the offense here is not his accuracy, there were chances for us to attend one of 3-4 bowls-the problem is that he's a lazy writer with a little bit of a agenda. During this period or redemption for the program, how often did he analyze match-ups or game results. Terps going to the MB has nothing to do about his insights, he was guessing all along with inferences and insinuations.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 5, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

You can't have your conference treating the program like a stepchild. For those of you "whining" that Ralph can't recruit, what do you expect him to do with this situation?

Come to Maryland and play in the Military Bowl every year unless you win the Championship. You get to ride the beautiful orange line, play in front of hundreds on TV, play in front of a few dozen enthusiastic supporters in the stands, and revel in the decay of a once revered stadium. Oh, and please don't consider Clemson, Miami, or Florida State even though the bowl officials would invite them even if they were 0-12, if they were allowed to.

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

kev29, while the Omaha market is pretty small at 600K tv households, big red has a top 5 national following. The interest in MD was written by the Chicago newspapers cited big 10 sources. If they go to 16, they want ND and RU to seal NYC and want MD for DC/Balt, the 4th largest market by TV household. The big10 network produces .09 per susscriber/monthly to the league when it's on an optional tier, when on a basic tier, they have negotiated that up to near a dollar. So there is real $$$ implications for them to consider Rutgers and MD. They are done with Mizzou, despite their initial interest in the StL and KC market, Kansas? really? Pitt? They already hace Pennsylvania through Penn St. The network contacts are determined through the school within the state. The real issue is whether Delaney and the Big 10 get pressured to expand to either 14 or 16 and whether ND is involved. Remember that Delaney wanted to study expansion through this year but the Pac10's play for Texas and OK forced the issue. The rush is not present right now but it may arise again.

Lastly, Md is a large land grant school that is AAU, which is a consortium that almost every big 10 is a member. They have stated that this is a big point for them.

Will this happen, I don't know, but the reasons for their interest in MD has been reported already, it didn't come out of thin air.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 5, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Congrats WheelsRI, you nailed it! I couldn't agree with you more especially the part about recruiting which, after all, is the lifeblood of a solid program. Ralph has struggled recently (think 0-line) and telling prospective recruits that if they bust their hump for four months and finish 8-4 they will be rewarded with a trip around the Beltway to play in a nothing bowl game in a dilapidated stadium against the mighty Pirates of ECU, last seen getting torched for 70 points by Navy.
To those posters who think that if Md. plays the good soldier and sells a ton of tickets, they will get more consideration in the future, I respecfully disagree. They will learn what Lefty learned more than 30 years ago, the ACC is a southern conference. Most of the people in power positions couldn't find Maryland on a map if you gave them an hour.

Posted by: tnylund260 | December 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This is in response to Kev29

"If TV markets were so important, then why did they add Nebraska? For the coveted Omaha market?"

Answer: No, they wanted a 12th team so they could have a championship game to offer the TV networks. It is still about the TV dollars.


"The Washington and Baltimore markets (they are separate Nielsen markets - DC ranked 9th, Baltimore 26th) have been tapped by the Big Ten, their network is widely available here and member schools have strong followings in the area already (see Penn State-Indiana)."

Answer: True, but that does not translate into dollars with the major TV networks. Also, combined,the DC/Baltimore TV market is #4 in the country (seperate Nielson markets are irrelevant in this case beacuse the Terps cover both markets). Right now, if if I am not watching the Terps, I am watching SEC football. The Big Ten wants me to turn from the SEC to the Big Ten. I need a reason to do that. Look, I didn't dream up that the Big Ten was interested in adding Maryland last summer. It was widely reported. The only question is: was that interest genuine and, if so, why? I don't know the answer to the first, but the answer to the second is the Tv market.


"Conferences expanding for TV markets only is a theory that should have been debunked by the ACC and Big East. How are those Boston, Chicago and Miami schools doing?"

Answer: The ACC expansion was botched (BC was never a good fit) but it was NEVER made to add TV markets - it was made to give the ACC a bigger football presence and protect its football schools (FSU, GT, Clemson)against SEC encrouchment. Still, VT has turned out to be the one good addition and I still hold out hope with Miami. The Big East expansion has been an adhoc fire drill that was in reaction to losing their teams (BTW: What football presence does the Big East have in Chicago?). Conference expansion is risky and things don't turn out as expected. However, to suggest that conference expansion for TV will not happen is absurd - it is happening now. Why do you think that the Pac 10 grabbed Colorado? Why are teams leaving the Big 12? This isn't over - it will continue for the next few years.


"Market share is arguably better than market size in major college sports - and unfortunately, Maryland is losing market share in this area."

Answer: Absolutely correct and sending the Terps to Military Bowl will not help that. If no one in this market cares about Maryland football, that means no one in this area cares about ACC football. Whether Maryland is a viable canidate for the Big Ten or not, the ACC should be concerned about Big Ten encrouchment into the Baltimore/Washington market and should be trying to shore up its biggest TV market. Instead, it is throwing gasoline on the fire.

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 5, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Kev29:

You're simply ignoring the economics of college athletics. Football is the last area of revenue growth. Basketball maxed out its revenue stream. That's why the NCAA floated the tournament expansion idea. It's the only way redo the TV contracts: add more rounds.

The Big 10 added Nebraska to increase the competitive balance of the Big 10 in football so it could pursue "non-football" schools like MD, Mizzou, and Rutgers. You don't think Byrd would be filled with PSU, OSU, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska coming to town? Their fans alone would sell out Byrd (aka, the Bullets/Wizards ticketing strategy from 1990-2005 and now). Byrd would sell out almost by default. And who cares if MD would lose? $$$$$ still flows in to upgrade facilities/programs.

Look no further than Alabama fans buying entire season ticket packages for Dook football just to see one game! MD would fare very well in Big 10 basketball and would nearly dominate all other non-revenue sports (soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, etc.). In Big 10 football? Hope for Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, and Nwestern on the schedule every now and then. Schedule Towson, Navy, and WVU for non-conference and hope to get to 6 wins. We'd go to a better bowl than the Military bowl!

Posted by: WheelsRI | December 5, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks EP for keeping Terp fans grounded w/ your coverage...I don't like what I hear sometimes but I don't pitch a fit like most so-called childish "fans"...the reality is we're tied for third place in the ACC, we should be lucky ANY bowl invites us...now if we beat FSU then I can justify the beef w/ the BSC. Wanna protest? Go buy tix at RFK (home of the old Super Bowl Redskins), watch UMd win and carry over your bile to the home games at Byrd next season...then, start whining about not getting an invite to Orlando, San Fran, El Paso or some other warm climate city.

Posted by: iamasofaking | December 5, 2010 1:09 PM |


So, can I expect you to purchase plenty of tickets to the Military Bowl?

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 5, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye ACC hello Big Ten.

Posted by: usgov | December 5, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

i totally understand the frustration with being 3rd in the acc and only going to the military bowl. but stop whining.

all i have seen in the comments from the terps is that the acc abuses them. look at us, ECU is in C-USA where the best choice of a bowl is the liberty bowl. don't get me wrong i have attended the liberty bowl both times over the last two years it is a good bowl. the acc has the opportunity to go to a bcs bowl. the way i see it, ECU is abused by being in the C-USA. in all sports except basketball we excel year by year but not much reward. we have reached our limit here. so as far as being mis-rewarded for your accomplishments all i can say is JOIN THE GROUP.
oh and the part about RFK being pathetic, obviously you have never been to the former papajohns.com bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. that was a PATHETIC bowl.
if you are a true Maryland fan you would stop complaining about it being cold or it is a sad bowl and go support your team. trust me they will need it, the pirates bring 48k minimum at home. us members of THE PIRATE NATION love our team, we'll be there. will you?

Posted by: pirateman93 | December 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The matchups haven't been announced yet, and I'm still holding out hope that the Terps will end up somewhere besides DC.

Posted by: SmittyATL | December 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Though diluted some with expansion, ACC still stands for All Carolina Conference. If the Big 10 did/does come calling, I think Maryland would be better of in that conference. Football and basketball would be sellouts.

Posted by: jeadpt | December 5, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Champs Bowl won't announce until after 7:30.

Posted by: MrScrotums | December 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Should Maryland decline? It seems to me the players have made it clear they don't want to play in this game. If that's the case whats the point in losing money to play a game that nobody seems to care about especially the fans and the players.

Posted by: Selby64 | December 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The ACC is hardly a well run conference compared to the Big 10, but this bowl conspiracy against MD is really more of an ACC football problem. 1-you've got a MD program that lost support of fans and during a recession has not been able to regain the support it had 4-5 years ago. 2-You've got some mediocre football in the ACC, MD fans in this area are not interested in seeing Carolina, Wake ot Uva football. 3-the ACC bowl tie ins are straight up garbage, which leaves the bowls even more desperate for ticket sales. The truth of the matter is that in this recession, schools with more current fan support who are closer to the bowls are safer selections.

There is little doubt in my mind that playing in the Big10 would galvanize the terps football fans. PSU, Ill, Wisc, Mich, OSU, Neb, MSU, Iowa and Purdue would garner more interest from fans and media than almost any ACC team. Along with that comes more ticket sales, suite sales, Big 10 revenue, more attention and more fan interest. There are so many other factors and it's a relative long shot, but if they do expand to 16, we would be considered and we'd be hardpress to not reciprocate.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The ACC is hardly a well run conference compared to the Big 10, but this bowl conspiracy against MD is really more of an ACC football problem. 1-you've got a MD program that lost support of fans and during a recession has not been able to regain the support it had 4-5 years ago. 2-You've got some mediocre football in the ACC, MD fans in this area are not interested in seeing Carolina, Wake ot Uva football. 3-the ACC bowl tie ins are straight up garbage, which leaves the bowls even more desperate for ticket sales. The truth of the matter is that in this recession, schools with more current fan support who are closer to the bowls are safer selections.

There is little doubt in my mind that playing in the Big10 would galvanize the terps football fans. PSU, Ill, Wisc, Mich, OSU, Neb, MSU, Iowa and Purdue would garner more interest from fans and media than almost any ACC team. Along with that comes more ticket sales, suite sales, Big 10 revenue, more attention and more fan interest. There are so many other factors and it's a relative long shot, but if they do expand to 16, we would be considered and we'd be hardpress to not reciprocate.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 5, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The ACC is hardly a well run conference compared to the Big 10, but this bowl conspiracy against MD is really more of an ACC football problem. 1-you've got a MD program that lost support of fans and during a recession has not been able to regain the support it had 4-5 years ago. 2-You've got some mediocre football in the ACC, MD fans in this area are not interested in seeing Carolina, Wake ot Uva football. 3-the ACC bowl tie ins are straight up garbage, which leaves the bowls even more desperate for ticket sales. The truth of the matter is that in this recession, schools with more current fan support who are closer to the bowls are safer selections.

There is little doubt in my mind that playing in the Big10 would galvanize the terps football fans. PSU, Ill, Wisc, Mich, OSU, Neb, MSU, Iowa and Purdue would garner more interest from fans and media than almost any ACC team. Along with that comes more ticket sales, suite sales, Big 10 revenue, more attention and more fan interest. There are so many other factors and it's a relative long shot, but if they do expand to 16, we would be considered and we'd be hardpress to not reciprocate.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 5, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah if the military bowl wasn't the 8th rated bowl in the ACC and there was a quality BCS opponent, there wouldn't be this disappointment of playing close to home in this bowl. But, going 8-4 and this conception that MD doesn't travel causing us to fall all the way to this bowl while finishing 3rd in the ACC has the fans thinking this way...

Posted by: mbmurray | December 5, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

BIG 10! BIG 10! BIG 10 ! BIG 10! BIG 10!

One last point about sending out feelers to the Big 10. Do you think Swofford would let this happen again if he discovered that this was the end result of screwing MD in favor of the southern schools. My guess is he would come back grovelling MD not to leave with promises that the Military Bowl will never be their destination if their place in the standings 5th or higher again. Blackmail works. It's a win-win situation.

Posted by: croftonpost | December 5, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

As a Terp Season ticket holder, I will not be in RFK on 12/29. This is the Bowl we should have gone to in 2007 and 2008 not in 2010. This year the Bowl selections are awful. I did not know that 6-6 made you a candiate for a bowl. A team with a 8-4 record deserves better. Since the new AD & president in College Park wanted this Bowl to save money, I think the new President can purchase 5,000 tickets and the new AD can purchase the other 5,000 tickets. Done deal sold our 10,000. Give the tickets to the soldiers at Boiling, Andrews, and Ft. Meade and the special needs, and needy students in D. C. and P G schools. I want the team to go out there and run up the score 50 -0 sounds good, who knows with this crazy weather it might be 90 in D. C. on 12/29 and 30 in Orlano, El Paso, Charlotte (it was last night) and hopefully not in Nashville. I am sure I can call up Debbie Yow and say I want to come see and root for NCState in the Champs Bowl can you get me some good tickets. My Md red can pass for NC State Red just as well. Love that wolf howl at their stadium. I wanted some place warm to spend my money, so I won't be supporting the D. C. economy this Bowl season.

Posted by: mdterpmom | December 5, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

BEWARE! ... i have a very interesting take on this Military Bowl matchup ... a lifelong Terp fan living in NC with a daughter who is a junior at ECU. I have season tix to ECU football and can promise you a great game and very tough battle. The ECU fans are very loyal and devoted to their Pirates. The Terps must be prepared and ready or they will be in for quite a surprise! what a tough game for me ... TERPIRATE!!! O yeahhhhh!!!

Posted by: sundude | December 5, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I was at the NC State game and it was cold and the temps fell into the 20's during the second half. Many fans left at halftime those of us who stayed saw a terrific performance by the Terps and a great win to clinch an 8 win season and a 5-3 record in the ACC.

Champs Sports in Orlando for a rematch with WVU would have been spectacular. WVU fans still want payback for the 41-7 thumping they took from Maryland in the Gator Bowl back in 2003 (even though they've owned us since). Meineke Car Care Bowl should be ashamed of themselves for taking a .500 Clemson team with no quality non-conference wins instead of Maryland. Charlotte missed out on an opportunity to have new fans come to their city to see this game, spend their money, etc.

My original point is that there is no reason for college football fans to freeze their butts off unless the games have meaning. The NC State game at Byrd was an important game and should have elevated the Terps to at least a mid-tier bowl game not one slated for the 8th place team in the ACC. Military Bowl if you're going to force these teams to play in the dead of winter, at least provide a venue in an NFL or MLB stadium. MD high school championship teams at least get to play at M&T which is a stadium worthy of a big event like a bowl game.

Posted by: snork314 | December 6, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

So, can I expect you to purchase plenty of tickets to the Military Bowl?

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 5, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Just like you'll be in the stands at Byrd Stadium next August.....

Posted by: iamasofaking | December 6, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Steesy, It's apparent you are emotional about Maryland's fotball program and the bowl selection process. Yes, the whole self-serving BCS process is a disappointment. Still, I hope you will be better able to manage future such disappointments in a better and more classy manner than by trashing and labeling ECU as a "garbage" matchup for Maryland. We may or not win the Military Bowl but a football program in the overall scheme of things is just a small part of what a university is and represents. You don't further your cause or refelct well on yourself by trashing others.

Posted by: ecumba | December 6, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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