Maryland can, theoretically, lose to UVA but still win the ACC Atlantic. They can also, theoretically, lose to N.C. State and still win the ACC Atlantic. The only game on Maryland's schedule that's a literal must-win for Maryland to have any shot at the ACC Atlantic title and a trip to Charlotte: Florida State. At home. And now, at night. On ABC.
Yeah, as far as division-deciding games go, Maryland-Florida State will be a pretty good set-up: the Nov. 20 game will be at 8:00 (first night game in God knows how long) on ABC, presumably regionally broadcast. The Noles will be favored to win and probably will, considering how Maryland played against Miami, but the Terps nearly pulled that one out on the road and FSU just lost to UNC at home. This one is at Byrd Stadium, so you never know.
There is talk of a blackout, which of course will be the case considering that Maryland will wear the Wounded Warrior digs. There's just something not right about it to me: two years ago, Maryland hosted FSU (the same weekend as this year) at Byrd Stadium...at night...with division title implications...and it was a blackout.
Had Maryland won that game, they would've been playing for the ACC Atlantic title the next weekend against Boston College. Instead, they got crushed, losing 37-3 and hardly putting up a fight. I was at that game, for the record - I don't go to many - and it was cold and miserable.
That said, I also remember the first blackout against FSU, which Maryland won and which will forever be the Jeremy Navarre game in my mind. I won't deny that there's something electric about a night game with the potential importance that this game will have plus a blackout, especially with the cold and wind as piercing as they were that night; I'm just saying I'm conflicted.
Anyway, one more thing to the Super-Fans out there: this is the one game that everyone should just have. Forget for the time leading up to it that Maryland will probably lose. Forget the inherent problems with the team. Forget that Friedgen and Franklin have made you hate them in the past and will probably do so in the future. As long as Maryland can take care of UVA, this is the one game with the right set of circumstances - divisional implications, a hated opponent, at home, at night, on semi-national TV, and a blackout - to make me look at it more as a fan than a blogger. And if I can do it, you should to.
And, if they get creamed, you can go right back to being outraged.