Dear Jim Delany,
Maryland has ocean beaches. New Jersey has ocean beaches. Everyone likes ocean beaches. But until now, the Big Ten hasn't had any ocean beaches, and we've been sad. Many of us move away from our Big Ten homes, towards places with beaches. And jobs. But mostly beaches.*
But now we have our own Big Ten beaches! Every year, thousands of Big Ten students drive towards the closest ocean beach and make literally millions of horrific decisions. Some of those horrific decisions now happen in Big Ten territory! We're basically the Pac-12, except with a victory in the Rose Bowl. So let's make sure everyone knows it. Let's say it loud and proud.
"Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten: It's Beachin'!"
Do you get it, Jim?
Yeah. I know. Didn't even go to grad school, bro. Just came to me in the shower.
Anyway, "Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten: It's Beachin'!" is the best thing anyone has thought of in at least ten minutes. I recommend you use it.
I spoke with Pete Volk of the Testudo Times to get his thoughts as to the past, the future, and whether Randy Edsall is going to get his UConn all over our stuff.
Maryland! Turtles! Beaches! You're on my Metro line! And now you're in the Big Ten! How does it feel?
It feels a bit crowded. There's all this money laying around, Bret Bielema still hasn't picked up his stuff and the whole place smells like meat and potatoes. Not that we're complaining, mind you -- we'll take some of that cash, thanks, and pick up any tips we can on beefing up linemen.
What should we know about Maryland athletics right now beyond "Under Armour" and "Randy Edsall"?
Stefon Diggs! He's really, really good. Let me show you! Maryland is also a basketball school, but the positive swing of the football program is starting to make that a slightly closer race. There's also lacrosse, which we're bringing our buddy Johns over to help you guys get more acclimated to. He's a little awkward, but we promise it'sadorable how proud he is of his D-III football team.
Have you gotten all the UConn off Randy Edsall yet? Because I think a good power washing could help.
Edsall's most UConn moment came last season, when poor timeout usage cost them the game against Boston College. He called his second timeout with about a minute left: the game was tied and Boston College had the ball at their own 27 on third-and-three. Edsall hoped there was a defense in the country that could stop Andre Williams on third-and-three in a crucial situation, then hoped that defense was his, then saw Williams run for 36 yards on the very next play. Two plays later, he attempted to ice the kicker on a 52-yard attempt, but did so late enough that the kicker was able to get the attempt off (he missed). After getting a free practice kick, Nate Freese sent the next one home, giving the Eagles the win.
So unfortunately no, I'd say there's still a little bit of UConn still on Rockin' Randy. And no, I definitely don't dream about that game every night so don't ask me.
So it's been an interesting and uniform-combination-ful few years for Maryland football, with injuries and Mike Locksley galore. But last year, you went 7-6. Do you think 2014 can be another step forward?
It should be, but I'm not sure if the schedule will cooperate and give a more tangible improvement. Edsall and Locksley have taken Maryland's recruiting to another level, and the talent influx makes this Maryland's team the most talented in recent memory (and also the one with the most depth). There are big question marks -- they'll rely on some young blue-chippers on the offensive line and have some uncertainties in the secondary -- but this is a good opportunity for the Terps to make some early noise.
Your schedule looks... rough. Which B1G game are you looking forward to most? If you say "at Penn State," you are wrong.
Who's Penn State? Give me at Michigan. This is probably Maryland's best chance to win at The Big House for a while, and the Terps have to knock down at least one of the old Big Ten powers to reach their goals this season. But yeah, that Ohio State, Iowa, at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Michigan State, at Michigan stretch? That may not be so kind to the turtles.
Who are the Maryland players we should know, either because they are awesome or because Maryland fans want to heave them into the sun?
Besides Diggs, former blue-chip running back Wes Brown is back after a wiretapping charge (that was later dropped) netted him a year-long suspension. Five-star offensive tackle Damian Prince is coming into the program, so people are excited about that as well. Former five-star JuCo recruit Deon Long joins Diggs in the receiving corps, and Maryland has potentially the best receiving unit in the Big Ten. Linebacker Matt Robinson is a fun player to watch as well: he's a converted safety who has bulked up and is now equally adept in pass coverage and run-stuffing. Also on defense are defensive end Andre Monroe and cornerback Will Likely, two top talents who fell to Maryland due to their short statures (5'11" and 5'7", respectively) and have since been two of the Terps' most consistent performers on defense.
Some Maryland fans would likely want to heave quarterback C.J. Brown into the sun, if you had to pick one player. The sixth-year quarterback has had an inconsistent (and injury-riddled) tenure as the Terps' quarterback,lacking the arm strength to utilize the top-end speed of Diggs and Long and rarely taking full advantage of the explosive weapons around him. He's one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the country, however, and can score on long runs. Locksley's play-calling can be frustrating from time to time as well, but everyone generally lets that slide because of his recruiting efforts.
Predictions for your first year in the Big Ten?
If Maryland finally has a season with normal injury luck, 8-4. If the curse of Under Armour returns, 6-6.
- At least two (2) home games in which opposing fans are louder than Maryland fans
- At least twenty (20) ACC buyout fee jokes per game on Twitter
- One (1) debilitating loss to Syracuse
- Zero (0) scout team linebackers playing quarterback
* I saw the ocean for the first time when I was 21.