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Thursday, November 1, 2007

No One Gets ESPNU

No one gets ESPNU.

This Saturday's clash between UNC and Maryland is being broadcast on ESPNU.

No one on campus even could get ESPNU if they really wanted to.

So why is this weekend's Maryland-UNC game on ESPNU????

This frustrates me to no end.

As for the game itself, it looks like Jordan Steffy could see some playing time. I think this is a good decision on Fridge's part - this season looks at least somewhat lost - there's no way Maryland is going to get anything better than a mid-level bowl unless we pull off the impossible and beat BC. (More on this later.)

So why not have a QB battle? Give Turner and Steffy an equal number of snaps in each game from here on out and see who performs better. Give the winner the starting job next year. Doing this will cool down a QB controversy that will inevitably happen next summer (although Josh Portis will be back) and probably the fairest way to determine who should actually be the starter.

As for UNC, I think Maryland is clearly better than the Tar Heels, but I thought that Maryland was clearly better than Virginia, too. UNC only has two wins - one against 1-AA James Madison, the other an upset over Miami. Most of their other games have been fairly close though - they lost by 3 at East Carolina, by 2 to Virgina, by 7 at Virginia Tech, and by 6 to South Carolina. Their other two losses were blowouts at the hands of South Florida (who was destroying everyone at the beginning of the year) and Wake Forest.

If Maryland was healthy, this would be a no brainer - but Maryland has so many injuries that they started two true freshman who were supposed to redshirt at fullback and on the offensive line last week. The injuries mean that the possibility of a UNC win needs to be considered, but I think the Terps will pull it out 17-13.

Maryland should beat UNC and NC State to get bowl eligible, but a seventh win might be needed to get into a bowl game. Where is that seventh win going to come from? The remaining two games are home versus #2 Boston College and at Florida State. The Terps beat Florida State last year, but that was in front of raucous crowd at Byrd Stadium. The more likely place for a victory, believe it or not, is against Boston College.

Yes, BC is really good. Yes, Matt Ryan should shred the Terps' shaky pass defense. But here's the thing - BC chokes. A lot. Despite hanging around the Top 25 for the past 10 years or so, the Eagles have one conference championship - and that was a four way tie with Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia the year of an extremely weak Big East (Miami and Virginia Tech had left the conference, but BC had one year in purgatory). That year, they should have won the conference outright and gone to a BCS game, but choked horribly against Syracuse, allowing Diamond Ferri (fantastic name, I know) - who was actually a safety - to run for almost 150 yards and three touchdowns against them.

Then last year, they only had to beat a reeling Miami on Thanksgiving to clinch the ACC Atlantic. But, again, they lost, 17-14.

Sensing a pattern here? Whenever BC appears to be closing in on glory, they choke it away by losing to a team they shouldn't. This year, Maryland could be that team. I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just saying it could.

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