COLLEGE PARK — There are too many bowl scenarios to determine for certain where Maryland will end up, but the school seems to have a willing suitor in the Military Bowl, which calls the Terps "a logical choice."
Another possibility for Maryland: the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, formerly the Independence Bowl. The bowl — to be played in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 31 — sent a scout to College Park for Maryland's game against Syracuse on Nov. 9. It is planning to send a representative to Saturday's Terps home game against Boston College to scout both teams, bowl spokesman Stefan Nolet said.
For Maryland, the Military Bowl has the advantage of geography. The bowl, which was formerly held at RFK Stadium in Washington, will be in its first year at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, which is about 30 miles from College Park. It will be played on Dec. 27.
"Maryland makes a logical choice because of their geographical situation," said bowl president and executive director Steve Beck. "We had a terrific experience with them the last time they were here [in 2010]. They have not played at [Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium] since 1965."
Beck is scouting other ACC teams as well. The Military Bowl pits teams from the ACC and Conference USA. Because the game is looking for regional matchups, Marshall and East Carolina look like possibilities to fill the Conference USA slot.
Maryland defeated East Carolina, 51-20, in the 2010 Military Bowl — the last time the Terps qualified for postseason play. That game, which was the finale for dismissed coach Ralph Friedgen, drew 38,062 fans to RFK Stadium.
Last year, there weren't enough bowl-eligible ACC teams to fill the Military Bowl slot. The matchup of San Jose State and Bowling Green drew an announced 17,835.
The Terps (6-4, 2-4 ACC) became eligible for a bowl game by upsetting Virginia Tech, 27-24, in overtime Saturday. Maryland hosts Boston College (6-4, 3-3) this Saturday. The Eagles, who also became eligible last week with a 38-21 victory over North Carolina State, are led by running back Andre Williams, who rushed 42 times for an ACC-record 339 yards and two touchdowns against the Wolfpack.
Despite the excitement he and his team showed after its win Saturday, Maryland coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday that it is too soon to speculate about the bowl picture.
"Six [wins] just makes you eligible. You're not guaranteed anything," said Terps quarterback C.J. Brown, echoing a sentiment Edsall has shared with the team.
Maryland, being from a major conference, is likely to play somewhere. The slim chances of getting bypassed would increase if the Terps dropped their final two games and fell to 2-6 in the conference.
Maryland fan Bob Baker, a retired engineer and former Terrapin Club president, said the Military Bowl makes the most sense for the Terps this season.
"Just for this year, I'd prefer the Military Bowl for a number of reasons," said Baker, who said he hasn't missed a Terps game — home or away — since 1976. "From a financial point of view, the Military Bowl would be best for Maryland. It would be good for both Maryland and the bowl because more fans would have an opportunity to see the game."
The AdvoCare V100 Bowl — which also has a tie-in to the Southeastern Conference — is looking at Maryland and a handful of other ACC teams, Nolet said.
"I know this would probably be the last chance to select them," Nolet said of the Terps, who enter the Big Ten next season. "They were here once back in 1990 and tied Lousiana Tech 34-34 — the only tie in the bowl's history. Randy Edsall was a backup quarterback with Syracuse when they played in 1979, and he got into the game."
But selling tickets to Terps fans could prove problematic for a bowl game that is neither close nor easy to travel to.
The ACC representative is due to receive $1.4 million from the AdvoCare V100 Bowl. The Military Bowl payout for its ACC team would be $1 million. The ACC schools share all bowl revenue.
The ACC has nine bowl tie-ins. After the Orange Bowl gets the ACC champion, the Chick-fil-A Bowl gets its pick of the rest. Then comes the Russell Athletic Bowl. After that, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte and the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., make bids for the ACC teams they want.
After that come the AdvoCare V100 Bowl and the Military Bowl. A San Francisco bowl game — the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl — is also a possibility for an ACC school.
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