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)