Though bowl games and Maryland Terrapins have been mutually exclusive terms in the first two years under Randy Edsall, many believe that will change in 2013.
Given the fact that the Terps seemed to be headed toward becoming bowl-eligible last season until they ran out of healthy bodies -- particularly at quarterback -- winning at least six games this fall doesn't appear to be far-fetched.
But how far do you think the Terps can go -- and to which bowl?
I think it's fair to assume that Maryland won't go from 4-8 to a Bowl Championship Series game, though Ralph Friedgen did that in his first year after inheriting a 5-6 team loaded with NFL talent from Ron Vanderlinden in 2001. Given where the Terps have been the last two years, I think we can take the Discover Orange Bowl (for winning the ACC championship) off the board.
I also think that the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (for getting to the ACC championship game) is out of play, considering that the Terps have to face their toughest division opponent, Florida State, on the road. The Russell Athletic Bowl and the Hyundai Sun Bowl could be out of reach this season as well. Let's consider them longshots.
More realistic are the Belk and Franklin American Mortgage Music City bowls, but the (perennial) leader in the clubhouse are the AdvoCare V100 Bowl (once known as the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl) and the Miiltary Bowl at RFK Stadium, where Friedgen's career at Maryland ended in 2010 with a win over East Carolina.
Personally, when I cover a team, I root for a combination of the best date (and how they relate to New Year's), city and kickoff time, meaning that if I were covering the Terps, I would be pulling strongly for the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Dec. 30 beginning at 3:15 p.m.
As for Edsall, I think he is rooting for any of the above.
It certainly beats the alternative -- meaning the past two years.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun