Maryland Bowl Projections: Terps Still Have Shot At Champs Sports Bowl

Maryland is locked in a second battle with N.C. State to determine who plays in the Champs Sports Bowl. If Maryland loses, they could end up playing in the Military Bowl.

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Maryland Bowl Projections: Champ Sports Bowl Would Be Nice, But Military Bowl Seems Likely

Out of the remaining Bowl Games that are available to ACC teams, the most likely destination for the Maryland Terrapins remains the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. The local Bowl, which has already committed to East Carolina, who finished second in Conference USA, would like to add Maryland to its mix to attract a large local crowd.

Despite the closer location and the built-in fanbase that would represent the Terrapins in the bouncing stands of RFK Stadium, some believe that Maryland would still prefer to play in a more prestigious Bowl game. According to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, the Champs Sports Bowl would really be the desired location.

Maryland coaches and players and fans would love to play in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. But North Carolina State might beat the Terps out. Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has been lobbying for the Terps to play in one of the top games affiliated with the ACC.

Maryland will have to wait until the Champs Sports Bowl selects its teams on Sunday night before the team learns if it will be traveling to Orlando, or elsewhere.

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College Football Bowl Game Selections: Maryland Competing With N.C. State For Champs Sports Bowl

With an 8-4 record and a head-to-head win over North Carolina State, one would think that Maryland would be virtually guaranteed a spot in one of the top ACC bowl games. But as usual, it's not always what happens on the field that determines a team's bowl placement. Maryland is still locked in a battle with N.C. State, and this time, what happens on the field has little to do with it.

Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post is reporting that the Terrapins are currently competing for a spot in the Champs Sports Bowl with N.C. State. If Maryland loses that battle -- which is a distinct possibility -- they would likely slip all the way down to the Military Bowl against East Carolina here in Washington D.C. 

What does all this mean for Maryland? Right now, Maryland is engaged in a full-throttle, backroom lobbying battle against N.C. State for the chance to represent the ACC in Champs. It may prove easier to defeat N.C. State physically on the field - Maryland won, 38-31 --- than it will be to beat the Wolfpack in the verbal politicking duel.

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So, for Maryland, if not Orlando, then where do they fall? Some believe I have dwelled too much on the empty seats, but it's been the undercurrent to the entire season, and we'll see in two days if it possesses enough force to carry Maryland to an undesired destination - home.  

The big issue for the Champs Sports Bowl is whether they will get a good turnout at the game. Maryland may have had a compelling season, but their fanbase is very clearly smaller than N.C. State's, much less the other top ACC schools. If the Champs Sports Bowl elects to go with fan support over on-field play, then they will select N.C. State.

And that's where the fall begins. The Sun Bowl, played on December 31, is currently leaning towards Miami or even Boston College, though North Carolina remains a possibility. The Music City Bowl is another fallback bowl, but according to Prisbell, "it's no secret Nashville covets UNC." Even if UNC goes to the Sun Bowl, Miami is the logical fallback option. 

The only option left if N.C. State beats Maryland out for the Champs Sports Bowl is the Military Bowl, and while that game would be local, it would have to qualify as a disappointment.

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2010 College Football Bowl Selections: Clemson Reportedly Accepts Bid To Meineke Car Care Bowl

One of Maryland's potential bowl destinations appears to have invited a different ACC team. According to a report on CUTigers.com, Clemson has accepted a bid to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. 

The site is a pay-site, but Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post confirmed the report here. Maryland was a potential candidate for the game, but the Meineke Car Care Bowl officials had their sights set on Clemson and its large fanbase for a long time. 

That leaves only a few possible bowl destinations for the Terps. Earlier yesterday, the Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl announced that they will take the loser of the ACC Championship Game. That leaves the Sun Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl, the Music City Bowl and the Military Bowl as possibilities for the Terps. They will be competing with North Carolina, Miami and N.C. State for those four spots. The Military Bowl is the local bowl game here in Washington D.C., but it is also the least prestigious of the three games. The Terps last played in the Champs Sports Bowl back in 2006, when they defeated Purdue.

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NCAA Football Bowl Projections: Navy Will Play San Diego St. In The Poinsettia Bowl

As we get closer and closer to the end of the year, the NCAA football football bowl picture is becoming a little clearer. We still don't know which bowl the Terps will be going to, but we now know where, and against whom, the Naval Academy will be playing their bowl game.

According to Gene Wang of the Washington Post, the Naval academy will face San Diego St. in the Poinsettia Bowl (my favorite bowl game name) on Dec. 23rd. Here's a little bit more on the Aztecs:

San Diego State provides yet another high-powered passing attack to challenge the Navy defense. Quarterback Ryan Lindley is sixth in the country with 3,554 passing yards and 26 touchdowns, and the Aztecs also have a pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers in Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson.

I don't think that the Naval Academy had the type of season that many were expecting them to have at the beginning of the year, but just making it to a bowl game is a good accomplishment for them, and good exposure for the program.

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College Football Bowl Projections: Maryland Likely To Play In Champs Sports Bowl, Sun Bowl Or Meineke Car Care Bowl

With yesterday's win over North Carolina State now in the books, Maryland closed out a regular season that went far better than most expected. Sure, they missed out on a chance to reach the ACC Championship Game, but most Maryland fans would have gladly taken an 8-4 record before the season started. It might be enough to make Ralph Friedgen the ACC Coach of the Year in a lame-duck season.

But is it enough to reach a marquee bowl game? Obviously, your answer depends on the meaning of the word "marquee." We know that Maryland will not play on New Year's Day or later, because only the ACC Champion gets that designation. But there are a number of other solid bowl games that could select Maryland. In a conference call with reporters today, Friedgen ran those games down. Via Patrick Stevens:

Ralph impressively runs down the middle of ACC's bowl picture: Orlando, El Paso, Charlotte and Nashville. Says Terps belong in there.    

Friedgen is referring to the Champs Sports Bowl (12/28), the Sun Bowl (12/31), the Meineke Car Care Bowl (12/31) and the Music City Bowl (12/30), respectively. Indeed, if things hold up as planned, Maryland should get to play in one of those games.

Here are the bowls that ACC teams are eligible for:

 

  • Orange Bowl (ACC Champion)
  • Peach Bowl (ACC No. 2)
  • Champs Sports Bowl (ACC No. 3)
  • Sun Bowl (ACC No. 4)
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl (ACC No. 5)
  • Music City Bowl (ACC No. 6)
  • Independence Bowl (ACC No. 7)
  • Military Bowl (ACC No. 8)
Maryland finished the regular season tied for third in the ACC with N.C. State and Miami. All three teams had 5-3 records in the conference, with N.C. State finishing 8-4 and Miami finishing 7-5. Theoretically, this means Maryland could be as high as third in the conference, in which case they would head to the Champs Sports Bowl on December 28 against the No. 2 team from the Big East (currently, this would be Notre Dame, who can replace the Big East team if they are bowl eligible). If so, it will be the second time in five years that they will play in this game -- they defeated Purdue 24-7 in 2006.

However, it's worth noting that Maryland isn't nearly as much of a draw as Miami, even though Miami is in disarray after firing Randy Shannon. So there's a good chance that Maryland instead slips to the December 31 Sun Bowl against the Pac-10's No. 4 (though this spot would be filled by someone else since the Pac-10 only has three bowl-eligible teams) or even the December 31 Meineke Car Care Bowl against the Big East's No. 3 (currently West Virginia). 

No matter what, though, it looks like Maryland will avoid playing in the Military Bowl in Washington D.C. Currently, the No. 8 team in the ACC is either Clemson, Boston College or North Carolina. 
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Bowl Projections: Maryland Could Play Locally In Military Bowl

We discussed two possible college bowl game destinations for the Maryland Terrapins early tonight: the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Music City Bowl.

If the representatives of the Military Bowl have their way, they could be choosing the geographically closest team to play in RFK Stadium at 2:30 PM on December 29th.

An appearance in the Military Bowl would give Maryland a practical home field advantage. Maryland doesn't get much say in its bowl game destination, but since a visit to one of the premier ACC bowl games is no longer realistic, the Military Bowl might be a fairly desirable spot.

If Maryland's schedule leads the team to the Military Bowl, the Terrapins would face a team from Conference USA. Southern Mississippi seems like the likeliest candidate from Conference USA, but Eastern Carolina is also bowl eligible and could make an appearance as well. Both teams have a conference record of 5-2, but the Southern Miss Golden Eagles have two more total wins, and also have a non-conference win over Kansas to their credit.

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Bowl Projections: Maryland Could Play In Meineke Car Care Bowl Or Music City Bowl

There are nine possible Bowl game destinations for ACC football schools, and its important to note that the Bowl representatives themselves have the final say in what teams will come to play in their stadiums.

The Bowl games that are affiliated with the ACC are as follows:

  1. Orange Bowl
  2. Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, GA) vs. SEC
  3. Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando, FL) vs. Big East
  4. Hyundai Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX) vs. Pac-10
  5. Meineke Car Care Bowl (Charlotte, NC) vs. Big East
  6. Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) vs. SEC
  7. Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) vs. Mountain West
  8. Military Bowl (Washington, D.C.) vs. Army/C-USA
  9. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (San Francisco, CA) vs. Pac-10/WAC if Pac-10/WAC can't fulfill obligations

For the Maryland Terrapins, the Orange Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl can be all but ruled out. The Orange Bowl will get the winner of the ACC Championship Game, of which Virginia Tech is a favorite by a wide margin. The Chick-fil-A Bowl and Champ Sports Bowl gets the next two choices from the ACC, and Florida State and N.C. State seem like the likeliest candidates.

With six other Bowl eligible teams in the ACC, the Hyundai Sun Bowl will next get to pick between Maryland, Miami, Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.

According to Testudo Times, the probably destination for the Terrapins is a bit farther down the chain.

Sense says that Maryland's probably going to drop down to the Independence or Military Bowls, and I'd be delighted if they were able to get the Music City Bowl. ESPN's Mark Schlabach thinks they'll land in Charlotte against Syracuse, which I'd take in a second; his counterpart, Andrea Adelson (same link), thinks they'll be in the Sun Bowl against, of all teams, Toledo. CBS says the Music City Bowl against Mississippi State. I wouldn't trust any of those three for a second, but there you have them.

The Music City Bowl will be held December 30 at 6:00 PM while the Meineke Car Care Bowl will be held at 12:00 PM on New Year's Eve.

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Bowl Projections: Does Maryland Still Have A Shot At The ACC Title Game?

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: Well, it isn't exactly that easy ...

Not much actually changed for the Terps this weekend. They started out Saturday tied with North Carolina St. just a half game behind Florida St. in the ACC Atlantic Division. On this beautiful Monday morning, that's exactly where they still sit. Maryland beat Virginia, Florida St. beat Clemson, and North Carolina St. beat up on Wake Forest. Three up, three down.

The only difference is that with their loss, Clemson now has two more losses than Maryland. This is important because with two games left, there was a still a chance that Clemson could overtake the Terps in the standings because they beat them. Clemson now does not have a chance to overtake Maryland because of their two games left, only one is in conference. It doesn't mean anything for their chances at the ACC Title game, but it does raise the safety net a little bit in case they fail to make it. 

In terms of the ACC Title game, the Terps still have to win out if they want to make it. That means beating a Florida St. team that just beat a team that the Terps have already lost to, and a North Carolina St. team that has one of the best players in the conference under center at quarterback.

I still have trouble believing that the Terps win both of those games. They are both at home, but those are two very good teams, and Maryland has struggled a little bit against better quality opponents. They looked really good against Virginia on Saturday, but these two teams are different animals.

The Projection: If Maryland doesn't make it to the title game, that means they finished in at least second in the division, and potentially right around fourth in the conference as a whole. That still puts them in a game like the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the Music City Bowl. Things can change over the next few weeks, but I believe that those two are the leaders in the clubhouse.

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Bowl Projections: Where Maryland Will Spend Their Postseason

We're a few weeks out from the collegiate bowl season, but there is no harm in looking ahead. Maryland has already won enough games to become bowl eligible, which is a pretty substantial accomplishment considering how poorly they played last year. What bowl it will play in remains to be seen, so allow me to speculate.

Glass Half Full: We're going all the way to the Orange Bowl Baby! All Maryland has to do to make it to a BCS bowl is win the rest of its games to advance to the ACC title game in Jacksonville, then beat whomever the ACC provides for them from the Coastal division (or in other words, Virginia Tech). It's not likely, but it sure is fun to think about.

Glass Half Empty: Maryland loses the rest of its games, but since they already have six wins they still qualify for the post season. As one of the last teams in the conference to qualify, Maryland gets sent to a bowl game that is played before New Years Day, which is the NCAA football equivalent of an under card at a boxing event. These bowls could include the Military Bowl played right here at RFK Stadium, the (get ready for this one) Advocare V100 Independence Bowl which is to be played in Shreveport, La., or the (not sure this one is any better really) the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. All of these games are kind of six to one, half dozen to the other. They'll be playing some pretty bad teams from other conferences, but at least they'll be playing in the postseason, right? RIGHT?

Realist: Maryland has three games left this season, and they probably won't win all of them. Not trying to hate on them or anything, but again, I'm just being a realist. That means they will miss out on the ACC Title game, but will still have a good enough record to get into a respectable bowl. That means they could be playing in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., or even the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Both of those are pretty respectable bowl games, and a lot easier to say then the ones projected in the previous paragraph.

But the fact remains that we don't really know where the Terps are going to go because a lot of things can change over the course of three games in the roller coaster ACC Conference. My guess is that they will be playing in the Meineke Bowl against a team from the Big East. The only rational thing to do as a Maryland fan is to buy plane tickets to each location to be prepared for whichever bowl the Terps go to. You are a real fan, aren't you?

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