October 19, 2009

How the Mighty (Terps) Have Fallen

Less than a decade ago, Maryland was representing the ACC in the Orange Bowl against Spurrier's Gators. There were 3 straight 10-win seasons, and bowl destructions of Tennessee and West Virginia.

This year, the Maryland football program has reached a new low in the Friedgen era. We are 6 point underdogs at Duke. That's right, 3-3 Duke is favored over the Terps. The Blue Devils have victories over Army, NC State, and NC Central, not very impressive. Their losses are to VT, Kansas and FCS Richmond. But guess what, that's one more victory over an FBS opponent than MD has. And but for an OT victory over James Madison, MD's losses would be much worse. They're already more numerous.

Assuming (generously) a 3 pt home-field advantage in Durham, that means Vegas thinks the Blue Devils are 3 pts better on a neutral site. Sadly, you could make an argument for more, after MD's last ACC road trip was 35-10 at the half, and MD hasn't beaten anyone by more than 3 pts all year.

There's been a lot of talk on this blog about keeping the appropriate expectations for a school that is not really a football powerhouse. My expectations are that we should always be favored against teams that are 6-41 the previous 4 seasons and have lost to an FCS opponent this year. My expectations are that we should at least win 1 of 2 vs any Sun Belt team, and that we should consistently pound FCS opposition. My expectations are that we should not give up defensive TD's in close games on a consistent basis. My expectations are that when linemen graduate, there will be reasonably talented players waiting to take their places. My expectations are that the team will play hard on both sides of the ball for 60 minutes, every single game. My expectations are not being met. Cast the blame where you may.

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