Monday, November 3, 2008

Maryland Wins Big on Bye Week

For the mercurial Terps, the bye week might have been there biggest victory so far. They did not have a chance to play while Florida State and Georgia Tech slugged it out. Luckily for Maryland, Georgia Tech won, which places Maryland on top of the ACC Atlantic Division. Which means, Maryland is now in control of it's own destiny. If the Terps continue to win, they could go the ACC title game. That's right, the team that barely beat Delaware and lost to Middle Tennessee is now a legitimate contender for the ACC title.

Maryland is now 6-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. They go to Virginia Tech this Thursday for a nationally televised game. Virginia Tech is no longer ranked but maybe Maryland will step up because this is a nationally televised game and play the way they have in big games. Maybe they have finally gotten their act together and will continue to play to their potential. Since their first bye week, they have won two in a row. One to an unranked team, in the pouring rain. So maybe this will continue. (By the way, can someone explain to me why they get two bye weeks, I'm not complaining, I just don't remember this happening before.)

Maryland is now ranked 23 in the BCS poll and the AP poll and 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. They are bowl eligible and keep up the good play could be looking at something better than the Tire Bowl or Toilet Bowl or whatever lame bowl games they've gone to in recent years.
I know this is a lot of optimism and hope to put on the line when talking about a team that sometimes fails to show up, but I've been very pessimistic lately and am trying to see the glass as half full.

The ACC has been wide open and very volatile this year. The standings change pretty dramatically every week and Maryland has a tough schedule for the last 4 games playing VT, UNC, Florida State and Boston College, all of which have winning records overall and only Boston College has a losing conference record. I think this is actually a good thing for the Terps. They tend to play to the level of their opponent. So when they have a tougher opponent, they tend to play better than against a cupcake team.

No matter what happens throughout the rest of the season, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Terps this year. Despite their struggles and some ugly wins, they have done better than I expected. This probably means I've jinxed them and they will go off the Lithium and go back to being bipolar, but I guess I can live with that. I mean pretty much every team that is bowl eligible gets to go to one now. Even if it is the Toilet Bowl.

Whatever, I'm still excited for Thursday's game. GO TERPS!