The bowl picture

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Thoughts on the still-muddled bowl picture for the Terps:

It's symptomatic of Atlantic Coast Conference parity that the Terps were near a berth in the ACC title game several weeks ago -- and now they await word on a POSSIBLE spot in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho.


With all those ACC teams bunched up in the standings, it sure was easy to drop from near the top to near the bottom in the course of a few games (and by "games," I mean "losses"). The Humanitarian Bowl gets the eighth pick of ACC teams.

Here's the deal: The Terps aren't the Humanitarian Bowl's first choice. First choice would be Ball State, and why not? How many bowl games have the opportunity to pit undefeated teams? A Boise State-Ball State matchup would look mighty good to the Humanitarian Bowl folks, so long as Ball State remains undefeated by winning the Mid-American Conference title game on Friday night.


But Boise State-Ball State is far from a done deal. Ball State is bound to have concerns about playing on Boise State's home field. And Boise State has some interest in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. If Boise State bows out, by the way, then it's likely Nevada would take its place ... and possibly play Maryland.

And what happens to the Terps if Ball State ends up playing in Boise? Maryland then likely gets an at-large bid to another game. It could well be the Motor City Bowl in Detroit. At this point, the Terps will take what they can get. They need a dance partner.

By the way, Navy still needs an opponent for the EagleBank Bowl on Dec. 20 at Washington's RFK Stadium. The Terps aren't a candidate because the game conflicts with final exams. Late word is that N.C. State, with a 6-6 conference mark, won't be coming to Washington either, and will have to seek an at-large bid. The Wolfpack is the odd school out --- the 10th ACC team in a conference with nine bowl tie-ins.

So who does that leave to play Navy? Well, Wake Forest already played Navy once this season. Navy says there's stipulation with the bowl that the Midshipmen would not play a team they had faced already. Could that be waived? We'll see.