Oh, how quickly things change and news travel. Earlier this morning, Dave's MM led off with a DCist post that linked to a post by TerpTalk that was from the 4th of July about Maryland and Texas. Steve Yanda from the Washington Post is now refuting that report. According to his source, no agreement has been made, although discussions are in place; those discussions, however, do not involve either 2014 or 2015, which were the years reported earlier.
Maryland and Texas are in discussions to play each other in football in a home-and-home series in coming seasons, according to a Texas source familiar with the development. The source said no agreement has been made and that Maryland is one of several schools with whom the Longhorns are in talks about future non-league games.
Multiple reports are claiming that Maryland and Texas have agreed to play each other, first at FedEx Field in 2014 and then in either Austin or Dallas in 2015. The Texas source denied that such a deal is in place and said that the discussions between the two schools about a potential future matchup do not involve either of those two seasons. Maryland representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Well then. For what its worth, the biggest news in this - to me, at least - is the year change, not the fact that the deal's not done. There's always a possibility that it could fall through, but there's also a possibility that this is a traditional flat denial. Once news gets out, it's rare that it falls through. Besides, this isn't the first time there have been these rumors.
What's interesting here is that they're either looking ridiculously far in the future (2016?) or a lot closer than we first thought. In fact, the first matchup would probably come in 2012; the rep said that Maryland-Texas wouldn't meet in either of the aforementioned years, so to account for a home-and-home they'd need to meet two years earlier than 2014.
Honestly, I like that; it would be the season after the Notre Dame game, and Maryland's team probably figures to be better in 2013 or 2012 anyway. Plus, it guarantees a premier opponent for the next three seasons; first Notre Dame, then two years of Texas. It boosts strength of schedule, and if Maryland turns into a contender at any point in the future, it would help with BCS standing (yeah, right).
Most importantly, though, it's a recruiting tool, and a big one. Games against Texas and Notre Dame guarantee huge audiences and big time talent to go against. Players love big games, and Maryland will be playing plenty of them in the future. It also can't hurt the "pro factory" aspect; the audiences guarantee plenty of publicity.
Jordan Ruby at SBN DC doesn't seem too psyched for the prospect of getting beaten by Texas, but understands the positives of publicity. Personally, I'm still hoping that $3.5mil will be put to good use by bringing in a permier AD and/or football coach. And if it is, Maryland might actually be competitive.
Even if they don't, it's cash, it's a recruiting tool, and it's pub. If it happens, it's only a good thing.