Former WT blogger and current freelancer extraordinaire Patrick Stevens at D1scourse threw together a calculation ranking the 12 ACC teams on their performance over the past decade. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I'll jump straight to the standings, with Stevens's explanation for Maryland's spot:
Maryland (27): 1 BCS appearance (12), 2 Gator/Chick-Fil-A appearances (14), 1 mid-tier bowl (4), 2 low-tier bowls (4), 4 bowl wins (4), 4 season record 1-2 games below .500 (-4), 1 ousted coach (-3), 1 season record 7+ games below .500 (-4).
Ralph Friedgen's first three seasons: 28 points. The rest of the decade: -1 point. To be fair, Ron Vanderlinden takes a minus-4 for the 2000 season. But a total of three points in the expansion era is utterly blah. Judging from the crowds at Byrd Stadium this past fall, fans have taken notice.
Sure, the ranking method is rather subjective and surprisingly skewed toward old success, but it's better than anything else I've seen anyone come up with.
Maryland is heavily pulled up on the ranks by Friedgen's first 3 years (as they should be). It's easy to forget how nice Maryland had it during that period. Considering where Maryland was at the beginning of the decade and where they were at the end, almost being in the top half of the conference is quite an accomplishment. Of course, I guess a mix of bad and great performances will get you to middle of the road, which is exactly where Maryland is.
It's also a bit jarring to see how the paradigm is shifting. The old powers are remaining powers, while the bottom teams are moving up. Wake Forest, Duke, and North Carolina have all experienced revivals of a sort, leaving Maryland with Virginia as the new bottom of the barrel, at least for the time being.
I'd really like to see this done by the past five years or so, too, to get a better read on the current team prestige standings. Still, if you at all enjoy ACC football, I'd heavily recommend checking out the entire piece.