No typos there. The ACC released their preseason media poll today, and Maryland was 5th in the Atlantic Division, beating out only Wake Forest. Math whizzes: yes, that's second-to-last place. Florida State was the runaway division winner on the Atlantic side, while VT was a similarly easy favorite in the Coastal Division.
I'm really having trouble with this whole "Maryland as second-to-last in the division" thing. I get that they're breaking in a new coach, sure, and hey, there are a few other question marks, like the wide receivers (though there is certainly talent there) and OL depth.
But Danny O'Brien returns, as does Davin Meggett, Kenny Tate, and much of the defense, and the team won 9 games last year. What's more, it's not like they were insanely lucky to get those 9 wins. Sure, they were probably more like a 7 or 8 win team, but it wasn't crazy that they ended up where they were.
Perhaps I could understand it if the teams ahead of Maryland weren't so shaky themselves. Is Maryland really so much different from BC? Montel Harris and Luke Kuechly are stars, but are they better than Danny O and Tate, or so much better to make up for relatively average Chase Rettig at QB? BC went 7-5 last year, beating two bowl-eligible teams. Maryland went 9-4, beating four bowl-eligible teams. Neither team loses a huge piece. Seriously, who voted for these guys to win the entire ACC?
Or what about N.C. State or Clemson, both of which are instituting new QBs and losing their best defensive players? Is Mike Glennon really that convincing? And, I mean, c'mon, someone really picked BC to win the whole thing? I don't even care if they do, it's still dumb.
Eh, whatever. As has been documented so many times, no Maryland-based sportswriters participate in this poll, so there's a very large hometown bias to overcome. It just reiterates the fact that the poll really is a bit of a joke.
In less rant-y news, the coach interviews were today as events continued at the media event. Randy Edsall touched on a bunch. For starters, he confirmed that Zach Kerr is off the team. No explanation was given, but it's safe to assume it was academically related - remember that we saw this coming awhile back. Kerr had a lot of potential, but was rarely used except as a one-man wrecking crew on kickoff returns. Joe Vellano stole his spot and never looked back. With Darius Kilgo and Andre Monroe both taking off their redshirts this year, I'm not sure they'll miss the depth.
Edasll also talked about how Maryland's hand was essentially forced regarding opening off the season with a game against Miami. He doesn't "prefer it," but the ACC and ESPN can put conference games whenever they darn well feel like it, and it would appear that they felt like they should put Maryland-Miami in the open time slot they had for that day. Frankly, I think it's better - a high-profile, Labor Day matchup will be great for exposure, and the potential momentum boost is worth the risk, in my opinion. Particularly because I can see Maryland winning.
I found this note particularly interesting: Maryland's new offense "has nothing to do with" what Edsall ran at UConn. Danny O'Brien watched film from LSU, from BYU, and even from the Chicago Bears, but not a game of UConn. That's good news: as much as the run-run-run mentality Edsall had in Storrs worked, it was never going to be a fan favorite. The boring aspect of it was one of the big downers to the Edsall hire when it happened. If they're going full-out on Crowton, at least we'll be able to expect a fun spread-type O.
And lastly, some poor scribe at 247 wrote down the entire Edsall media session. Some things are repeated from above, but most aren't, and it's worth a read. And if you ever thought if that big outrage over the names off the jerseys would do anything, think again [emphasis mine]:
But the thing I never worry about, I don't worry about pleasing everybody. If I think I have to please everybody, we're not going to be as good as we need to be, and I'm not going to develop. I'm just going to do the things I think are right for our program, and I think people will appreciate the things we do. I think we're seeing that.
You're never going to win everybody over. I'm not trying to win a popularity contest. I'm trying to develop young men. And develop a program that withstands the test of time.
So, no names then.