I think Eric Prisbell, the Terps beat reporter from the Washington Post, is a dedicated columnist. Most of his reporting is spot-on. So I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that his original report on the Terps bowl prospects was correct, and assume that he is now again correct in stating the Terps had the Meineke Car Care Bowl all locked-up only to have it snatched away from them by UNC. The bowl is in Charlotte, so it’s reasonable to assume UNC held some sway over the selection committee.
Now it’s more of a matter of where the Terps are not going over where they are going. The Humanitarian Bowl reportedly doesn’t want us because they want to match-up two undefeated teams. That bowl is staged in Boise, and Ball State and Boise State apparently have the inside track on it. If you ask me, the Terps have rejected this bid in advance of receiving it and are promoting this “undefeated match-up” story as a way of letting the good folks in Boise save face.
The Emerald Bowl reportedly doesn’t want us because we played there last year and they don’t want a repeat appearance. Something doesn’t add-up there. In the past, I’ve usually heard reports that teams establish relationships with the bowl committees, and that return appearances are favorable. Were Terps fans that bad to the city of San Francisco? Do we have that weak of a draw on the West Coast? Either way, fuck the Emerald Nuts company and the bowl they rode in on. My home is a Planters home from here on. Sorry M.A.S.H., there goes our shot at an Emerald sponsorship.
If we scratch those games off my list of second rate bowl options, and assume that the Terps do not qualify for the Champs Sports Bowl or the Music City Bowl (damn!), the team drops all the way to the Congressional Bowl. The Congressional Bowl has gone defunct and is now called the EagleBank Bowl. The inaugural EagleBank Bowl has already signed Navy to play on December 20th, which is right in the middle of Maryland’s exam week. Football players are apparently required to take exams, so Prisbell reports that the EagleBank Bowl has also been scratched.
The gist of this post is that the Terps have seemingly exhausted all of their options and are now in bowl limbo. How did we get to this point? Maryland football gets good national TV coverage, we had a decent season, and there are many teams out there that view the Terps as rivals. When these bowl selection committees were given a list of ACC teams to choose from they repeatedly passed on the Terps. This situation is indicative of the fact that we are still viewed as a basketball only school.
Maryland was the only team in the nation to beat four ranked teams this year. The Terps put nine players on the All-ACC Team. We BEAT UNC and are still getting passed over for them. Where is the love?