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Little H

PS: your evil twin at the other newspaper seems to think we're headed to the Military Bowl. Thoughts? Any chance MD declines that and gets picked up by a Bowl with an open slot?


Little H ---

Im inclined to believe the Military Bowl is the most likely destination.

Part of the deal of having conference tie-ins is that you go to whatever bowl wants you if they have a conference tie-in. Maryland doesnt have a legitimate excuse to turn down the Military Bowl (its not at the end of finals week anymore), so it is not going to dictate that sort of thing unless it wants to not bother with a bowl game at all.


Hi Patrick,

Thanks for posting the attendance data...you're the only one who has discussed Maryland's fan base and the bowl tie-in and actually provided data.

Something else I haven't seen mentioned by anyone, and I'm curious as to whether it's possible: Should Maryland fall to the Military bowl, could they decline it, thereby forcing the Hunger to select them? The Hunger is at least a travel bowl and would likely match them up against very good Boise St or Nevada team. This seems like a much better way to end the season than against ECU in DC. I know it would likely cost the University some dollars but given the quality of the opponent it seems to me it would be worth it. I know they cited exams in 2008 and got into the Humanitarian instead of the Eaglebank. Could something like this happen this year? Normally it would seem like bad etiquette but at 8-4 I think Maryland should be playing a better opponent than a 6-6 CUSA team.


OK..so the Pack coming off a good season and with HIGH expectations for this year had great attendence
BUT how come with the division title on the line
they traveled barely 1/3 of their allotment to Byrd??? A much closer venue than Orlando!

Joe in upstate NY

I think when we are counting attendence figures, we must keep in mind that Maryland started the year on a sour note, attendence being linked to the awful 2009 season. We all knew season tickets had fallen way off and even at the start - the Navy game in Baltimore - there were many empty seats. Maryland plays to a winning crowd: Terps go high performance, attendence goes way up. Do badly, the stadium empties. It has ever been so. Yet, we tend to "travel" well when we go to a warm weather bowl. Give us a decent bowl and the Terps turn out. Remember the huge turn out for the Orange, Peach and Gator Bowls?

In any case, it smells like an invite to RFK on Sunday, unless UConn loses - and that might well happen. I'd bet Dr. Yow's influence has NCSU in the Champs Bowl, UConn loss or not. So? Are we then squeezed into a lack-luster bowl against a 6-6 opponent? I think the ACC has already done the squeezing and we have little choice. As for me, I think it would be great if Coach F could give the team a chance to vote down the Military Bowl and thus reject the insult. I would like to see the team hold its head high that way. They deserve better.

All of this is specious, in any case. University football teams should play in a national championship tourney.


"Are we then squeezed into a lack-luster bowl against a 6-6 opponent? I think the ACC has already done the squeezing and we have little choice. As for me, I think it would be great if Coach F could give the team a chance to vote down the Military Bowl and thus reject the insult. I would like to see the team hold its head high that way. They deserve better."

I agree. 7-5 or 6-6 you take what you can get. But 8-4 and beating a quality team in the last game deserves better. Patrick is great with stats...if this all does go down perhaps he can find an ACC team that got the shaft more than this year's Maryland team did. Sure, there's been some teams that lost the ACC championship and were dropped to the 4th place bowl, but the only thing I can find similar to Maryland this year (since expansion) was 2005 BC, which got shipped out to Boise despite being 8-3. Surprise surprise, the Car Care Bowl (which picked before the Micron PC) took a 6-5 NC State team. I can't remember, but was this what started the 2 conference-win rule in the ACC regarding bowl selection? (BC was 5-3 in the league while NC State was 3-5 but State got the better bowl). Even this wasn't as bad as what might happen to Maryland, since BC played the up and coming Boise State team and the MPC bowl wasn't the last place bowl that year. It also wasn't 10 miles from their stadium.


Tom ---

Which is worse? You dont fill a couple thousand tickets for a road game on Thanksgiving weekend, or you have a third of your stadium empty for a 7-4 team that same weekend?

If I was an N.C. State, I was saving my money for a one-night trip to Charlotte and possibly a longer stay in Miami. I suspect their absence at Byrd is more than made up for by the fine attendance at home all year.


Ferraridoug ---

Part of the deal with the tie-ins is the security of going somewhere. The drawback is youre not going to be able to decline a bid unless you want to play nowhere.

Honestly, I would think the possibility of pounding a 6-6 team would not be so awful in the case of a snub. Plus, the game in San Francisco is played at the same time as a Maryland-Duke basketball game. It is not a stretch to argue few would watch the bowl game, even against a Boise State.


Ferraridoug ---

You are correct. The 2005 BC freefall is what precipitated the ACCs one-win rule.

I would argue that was worse than what will probably happen to Maryland. Im not sure traveling all the way across the country to play a good team on its home field in lousy weather (and it was lousy that day) is a better fate than playing an underwhelming team in your backyard.

One major point I simply cannot stress enough: Bowls are not about matchups, at least not for the most part. They are not about rewarding good teams. They are certainly not about fairness. They are about squeezing every last cent possible from the permutations available.

The only way Maryland isnt going to suffer the same annual fate as BC (the first rule of ACC bowl selection is BC will fall as far as possible.) is if Terps fans show up in droves at RFK --- and then buy plenty more tickets next year for regular season games. Money drives everything, and the less Maryland fans spend, the worse their team will fare in bowl selection in the future.


Thanks for the responses Patrick. Good point about the Duke game...and you're right...more MD fans would likely watch that than the football game!

My feeling is that Maryland's season has been one of steady improvement. The team that played NC State was vastly different than the one that played WVU in Morgantown. To me, it would be a shame to take a big step back in playing ECU. ECU has had some very good teams in the last few years but (and I'm sure their fans would admit it) this year was not one of them. They were humiliated by Rice and Navy and I see little benefit in Maryland playing them. In fact, regardless of an antipathy about the bowl I don't see a large Maryland contingent showing up, which will of course look bad regardless of the outcome of the game. To me it's more or less a lose lose.

I see much more upside potential in Maryland playing Boise or Nevada...MD could lose and maybe lose big but at least it keeps the season momentum going up. The blowout against Florida in 2001 was still helpful to the team in getting more speed for 2002 and 2003. I just don't see anything positive that could come out of a game with ECU, even a blowout Maryland win. I would also add that, despite low attendance and high cost, a game with Air Force would be good for Maryland. AF is a much better team than it's getting credit for.

I think part of the frustration among Maryland fans with the Military is that, competition-wise, it's quite inferior to the bowls its sandwiched in between (Independence and Hunger). Because of scheduling quirks and the like it's much more noticeable than it would be in other years among these bowls. In fact, AF and Boise are almost certainly better than the likely Champs, Car Care, and Music City Bowl opponents I've seen projected (ND, USF/UCONN, Tennessee). Thanks again for the info.


arguements can be made back and forth....I do know when MD went to the Orange Bowl; Terp fans PACKED their section for the division clinching game @ NCS (even with looming other travel expenses) !!!


Everyone is missing Patrick's point: It's all about money!

History of bowl travel is meaningless when the Terps lose a cool million dollars at the gate this season.

Talk all you want about insulting match-ups with other teams but the Terps fan base was a no show this season and the team, sadly, will pay for it.

If the Terps do manage to land in El Paso or Orlando, it will likely be due to Ralph's connections.

With a new AD, I think going head to head with Debbie Yow in the ACC is going to hurt the Terps bowl chances this year.



I disagree that it would take a leap of faith to think MD could match its 9K ticket sales for the 06 Champs Bowl. I am basing this mostly on anecdotal evidence, but I have heard from literally dozens of fans who haven't been to a MD bowl since the Orange bowl in Jan 2002--and every single one of them is eager to travel to Orlando or Nashville or Charlotte for this year's game. I think we could bring 15,000 easily to one of these games...maybe even 20,000. I have no way to prove it unless we get chosen, or unless Prisbell puts up a poll asking fans if they would travel. But I am positive we could match the 9K that we sent to Orlando last time.

Joe in upstate NY

It would be interesting to know what the response to the AD's "pre-sales" marketing effort. Positive response? No or incidental response? And to what bowl?

As for me, old guy that I am, the warm Orlando sun sure sounds good. And, there is a direct flight from Elmira NY, where I live to Orland. No direct flight to RFK Stadium. Makes a difference, you know!


@ Tom --

On 11/22, this message was posted on the Wolfpack Club's FB page: "Although the Wolfpack Club has sold out of our allotment to this weekend’s game in College Park, Maryland still has plenty of seats – they also have a Thanksgiving special of four tickets, four hotdogs, and for cokes, for $65. Please click on the link below for more information..."


As a BC fan, all I can say is don't fall into the trap of not going because it's a crappy bowl game. That's how the cycle of being picked last starts. Many BC fans say they will go once we play in the e.g., Orange Bowl, but until bowls have hard evidence that fans will travel, they will defer to NC State, Clemson, etc. every time. As a BC fan, all I can say is get used to it.


While these numbers are telling for this particular year, and you make some good points, you must also consider two other things. 1. Maryland was coming off a pathetic 2-10 season. 2. Maryland must compete with two NFL teams less than 30 miles from their stadium.

In the entire collegiate football world, I can think of only two other teams, Stanford and Cal, that have this type of situation. Maryland alums fills tens of thousands of seats at Redskins and Ravens games. Many of these people will travel for a Maryland game if it is attractive. 30,000 traveled to Miami for the Orange Bowl.

Personally, I think the current BCS system is broken. Bowl organizers should not be allowed to skip over teams with a better record. If there is a tie, fine, let the bowl officials decide. But then the next bowl in line should be forced to pick the next available team with the best record.

Poor Temple, they went 8-4 and got shut out. While some other 6-6 are going bowling. It's just not right. It's against everything college football should stand for.


cosmkdbree ---

Im not about to debate that the system isnt at best dysfunctional and is fair. It is dysfunctional and inherently unfair.

But if you want an explanation for why N.C. State would go over Maryland based on the confines of the dysfunctional and unfair system, the attendance issues are a big part of it. Bowls dont care about why attendance is lousy. They just care that it is, and move on to something else.

On the point of nearby pro teams, Rutgers might as well count as well. Piscataway is a 40-mile drive from East Rutherford.


ECU with a 6-6 record averaged 50,000 per game this year. It just goes to show what a bunch of crap it is that better conferences overlook the Pirates because of being in a city of 87,000. UM is in a huge metro, yet you don't fill your stadiem and I doubt if that many people are watching the game on TV. It's funny that attendance doesn't mean anything as far as getting in a conference, yet when it comes to getting in a better Bowl game, it speaks volumes even with an 8-4 record.


Time for Anderson to stop wasting time on how the snub happened. We're in the ACC and the southerners take care of their own. Anderson needs to get us out of that backwoods conference ASAP. The southern media hates us, just look at all the pre-season hoops poll snubs. We're never going to get picked for an ACC bowl slot in a southern city when a southern school is in contention. If anyone thinks we're ever going to get a fair shake from the ACC, and I've been waiting since 1970, you're just fooling yourself. The Big Ten looks like a pipe dream, but I'd settle for the Big East where we'd at least get some respect. I think hoops games against G-Town, Syracuse, UConn and Pitt would more than make up for Duke/UNC. Still can't figure out why BC would voluntarily take on this abuse.


Rich ---

While I disagree with just about all that you say, theres only one thing that Ill argue is completely illogical. Thats that the media hates anybody.

I can assure you that pretty much every sportswriter or broadcaster I know has far better things to do with their time than hate anything in their line of work so much that they connive and conspire to screw someone over. They have families and mortgages and dream vacations and tuition bills and student loans and soccer practices to ferry their kids to and retirement to plan for and personal goals and long-term aspirations. Theyre like anyone else, and most of the well-adjusted ones (a group which I realistically cannot claim to be among) do their best to keep their work away from home as much as possible. At the very least, they seek balance.

Theyre people, just like anyone else, and someone covering N.C. State or Clemson or whoever closer to the center of the conference has far too much to deal with --- both with their jobs and their lives --- to frankly give much of a damn one way or another what happens to something or someplace they dont deal with on an every-day basis.

So if believing the media hates Maryland warms your heart, more power to you. Youre just massively incorrect in doing so.

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