Maryland coach Randy Edsall spent Saturday night and the beginning part of Sunday watching and waiting, unsure for which bowl game the Terps would be selected.
Ultimately, Maryland (7-5 overall, 4-4 in the Big Ten Conference) landed in a good spot, selected to play Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Dec. 30.
The Foster Farms Bowl — formerly the Fight Hunger Bowl and, before that, the Emerald Bowl — will typically feature the sixth- or seventh-best team in the Big Ten.
"In the end, it kind of came out how we wanted because this was a bowl that was very high on our list," Edsall said Sunday night. "When they asked us to give three bowls that we wanted, this was right there at the top of our list. From that standpoint, we were excited about the opportunity when we heard we were selected."
Aiding the Terps and other teams around the Big Ten was that Mississippi State was chosen to play in the Orange Bowl instead of Michigan State.
Had the Spartans been selected to play in the Orange Bowl, the Big Ten would not have been able to have a team play in the Citrus Bowl — another "New Year's Six" bowl — because of an agreement that the Big Ten can only send one team to the Orange Bowl or the Citrus Bowl.
Instead, No. 8 Michigan State will play No. 5 Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. Minnesota was then able to be selected for the Citrus Bowl, which had a positive trickle-down effect for other teams around the Big Ten, including the Terps.
Rather than playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl or the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Maryland will travel to California to face one of the top teams from the Pac-12 Conference.
While Stanford has a modest 7-5 record, the Cardinal — coached by former Ravens assistant David Shaw — finished each of the previous four seasons ranked 11th or better nationally and made four straight Bowl Championship Series appearances.
"You're playing a quality opponent," Edsall said. "You're playing a quality team from a quality institution. David has done a great job in the time that he's been there. The history and tradition that Stanford has here recently and everything else is one of very high-caliber, and it's a tremendous opportunity for us."
The Terps practiced last week and will practice again Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After that, Maryland will not practice again until Dec. 20, as players will have final exams from Dec. 15-19.
Coaches will be recruiting during that time, including Edsall, who will be on the road recruiting Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Edsall then has to be in San Francisco on Thursday for a bowl news conference.
Maryland will then use next weekend to practice and host recruits before coaches begin to construct a game plan for Stanford during the week that players have finals.
The Terps will resume practice Dec. 20 and work through Dec. 23. Players will be able to go home after practice on Dec. 23 until Maryland leaves for San Francisco on Christmas afternoon.
The Terps will practice in San Francisco for four days while leaving time to sightsee and enjoy attractions, like the famous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, before playing Stanford on Dec. 30.
"The bowl game [usually] gives you a chance to go somewhere you haven't been, and I don't know how many of our kids have ever been to the West Coast," Edsall said. "They're going to get a chance to go to San Francisco and go to Alcatraz and do some of the things that we're going to be able to do. But you also have to stay focused on the fact that you're going there to play a football game as well."
NOTE: Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Juwann Winfree have both looked "really good" in practice, Edsall said. While Diggs has not played since suffering a lacerated kidney against Penn State on Nov. 1, Edsall reiterated that Diggs will play in Maryland's bowl game. Winfree was suspended the final two games of the Terps' regular season due to a violation of Maryland's student-athlete code of conduct.