After departure of Lions, Terps look to lighten up Maryland considers less formidable foes


COLLEGE PARK -- Will Johnny Majors have Pitt up and running again by 1996? In 1995, will Louisville still be on its upward path?

There's a certain amount of speculation involved in grading future schedules, but with Maryland added to the list of Eastern rivals that Penn State has shed in its move to the Big Ten Conference, the Terps' non-conference schedule figures to be less formidable.

Besides strengthening its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule,

the addition of Florida State to the ACC limited Maryland to three non-conference games. Athletic director Andy Geiger said that Penn State could one day return to the schedule, but in coming years the Terps also will look to the other end of the Division I-A spectrum, and even into Division I-AA for the first time since 1982.

The Terps' 1996 schedule includes a one-time date with Virginia Military Institute. VMI is a member of the Southern Conference, the nation's premier Division I-AA league, but it's still the first I-AA team Maryland has scheduled since 1982, when it beat Indiana State, 38-0.

Maryland begins a two-year series with Tulane next year and plays Ohio University in 1997, but there also are difficult challenges, such as its annual date with West Virginia and a game at Syracuse next year that finishes a home-and-home series that began in 1991.

Other than its annual agreement with West Virginia, Maryland's non-conference schedules are set through 1997. The Mountaineers are the Terps' longest continuous rival, as they've played since 1980. There have been breaks in the Penn State series, most recently in 1983.

Coach Mark Duffner has said he would like to see Maryland play Navy, a team the Terps last faced in 1965.

Geiger said: "We've had very cordial conversations with Navy [officials], but nothing formal at all. It's still kind of at the talking stage, and it will be a while before it works out."


Maryland's non-conference opponents for the next four years:

1994: West Virginia, Tulane, Syracuse

1995: Tulane, West Virginia, Louisville

1996: VMI, Pitt, West Virginia

1997: Ohio U., Pitt, West Virginia

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