Maryland Minute 6.28.09 - Football Preview Edition

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NYT: Maryland Football's #66
The New York Times ranks every single football team, from 120 to 1, Maryland's #66 on their countdown. It's definitely lower than expected, at least for me. Their summary isn't very flattering, either.

The lifeblood of any football team, college or pro, is the play up front, and while the Terps have a number of past highly-rated recruits in the two deep, these units remain major question marks. There are some things to like about Maryland, such as its experience at quarterback and talented skill players, but I don’t believe this team is equipped to make a run at an A.C.C. championship. If it enters November with five wins, like I predict it will, Maryland has a good chance at reaching bowl eligibility. It the Terps slip up early – say, lose to Middle Tennessee State – Maryland may finish with the worst record in the Atlantic Division. I’m not crazy about Maryland, but I do think the Terps will return to bowl play. But barely: 6-6, 4-4 in the A.C.C.

Dennis Dodd: Maryland's #5 in ACC Atlantic
I don't know if this is better or worse then the NYT prediction.

5. Maryland -- We can see the end of the Ralph Friedgen era in College Park. Offensive coordinator James Franklin is the coach in waiting. The Terps should take a major dip after going 8-5. Twelve starters have departed including receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Friedgen loves Torrey Smith and redshirt freshman Kevin Dorsey as emerging talents at receiver. Franklin has done a good job shaping senior quarterback Chris Turner.

Is it just me, or does that seem like a vaguely positive review for a 5th place team?

Terps offer local DB, competing with Wisconsin again
Can someone explain to me why Wisconsin is recruiting defensive backs in the DMV? First Frank Tamakloe is a Badger, and now the Terps are competing with the guys in Madison for Blake Countess, a DB from Good Counsel.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound rising junior picked up a verbal* offer from the University of Maryland, according to Good Counsel assistant coach Kevin McFadden. The defensive back currently holds two verbal offers -- his other offer is Wisconsin. Countess was one of the breakout stars of the 2009 Nike Baltimore Combine -- posting the eighth best SPARQ** Rating and the third best of all sophomores.

Lance Visiting Cincy
I can't tell if this makes me happy or sad. And I don't really know why.

Star recruit Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn's Lincoln High is taking an official visit to Cincinnati this weekend, sources told Sporting News on Saturday. Stephenson is one of the last remaining unsigned prospects for the 2009 class. The source said Stephenson has been playing pickup games with current Bearcats and attended the Deveroes Summer League.

The most interesting thing about this? Cincinnati, like Maryland, is participating in the Maui Invitational. Is there any chance he wouldn't drop 40 on us?

NCAA Riches to NBA Rags: No. 6, Juan Dixon - The Dagger
Not exactly great to see a Terp on a list like this, but it's great for a trip down memory lane to the good old Juan days.

Dixon validated himself by leading Maryland to the NCAA championship (winning Most Outstanding Player honors in the process), but today that feels like a forgotten achievement. There is frequent talk about '01 Duke, '03 Syracuse, '04 Connecticut and both championship Carolina teams, but when's the last time you heard about those Terps? When's the last time you heard about Juan Dixon?

Ex-Terp Hook wins Dave Sanders Award
Interesting story that highlights some history of Maryland's Woman's basketball. The article talks about Gail Hook, former Terp great, who is now a high school basketball coach, and how she lead the Terps to the National Championship game, where they eventually lost to UCLA.

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