Maryland's going bowling, so let's take a look at where they might end up, in order of likelihood.
A quick rundown of how this happens: conferences have bowl tie-ins, meaning that if the bowl has to select a team from that conference (if there is one eligible). The ACC has eight different bowls, and with 11 different teams they can fill them all up. If there are not enough bowl-eligible teams from a conference to fill a spot, that bowl is free to pick from any conference (unless they have a secondary agreement).
The bowls generally pick from a variety of factors, most notably financial -- which fans are going to show up, and which fans are going to watch on TV. A good game is good for business, however, so that is also taken under consideration.
Option 1: Military Bowl
Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
Date: December 27, 2:30 p.m. ET
Possible opponents: East Carolina, Middle Tennessee State or Tulane (edit: nope!)
Ah, the Military Bowl. Maryland's most recent bowl game appearance, and their most likely option for their final game as an ACC school -- I mean, the executive director of the bowl basically said as much. They have the eighth and final ACC pick, and it's hard to imagine they won't pick the in-state Terps.
This year, it's in Annapolis, but the most likely scenario may be a rematch of the Terps' last bowl game -- against East Carolina. That worked out well for Maryland last time, but Ruffin McNeill's squad is very dangerous this year.
Option 2: Heart of Dallas Bowl
Location: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Date: January 1, 12 p.m. ET
Possible opponents: Rice or North Texas
With two teams likely in the BCS, the Big Ten has an open spot, so Maryland would be filling in for its future conference here. This is probably a favorite choice for many Terp fans, as it affords the opportunity to travel somewhere new and see a game in an historic football stadium.
Option 3: Pinstripe Bowl
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Date: December 28, 12:15 p.m. ET
Possible opponents: Houston, Cincinnati, SMU
The Big 12 didn't fill its allotment either, so here we (possibly) are. I imagine this would be another desirable spot for Maryland fans, as New York is A) not Dallas and B) loads of fun. This option also provides a game against a BCS team (if you believe the AAC), and those matchups would all draw national attention.
Option 4: Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Date: December 26, 6 p.m. ET
Possible opponents: Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo
No, unfortunately this game is not held in a literal pizza bowl. But this is the first bowl we've come across that holds a high selection number for the other conference (the second pick of MAC schools), so I would be extremely wary about this one. A loss to Ball State on national television would not do wonders for the program.
Option 5: AdvoCare V100 Bowl
Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
Date: December 31, 11:30 a.m. ET
Possible opponents: Washington State, Arkansas State, Oregon State
I take back anything I may have implied about Dallas -- it is certainly not Shreveport, and that's the greatest advantage you could have as a city.
This bowl has the seventh pick in the ACC and tenth in the SEC -- since the SEC didn't have ten bowl eligible teams this year, it's a big guessing game as to who Maryland's opponent might be.
- Most Maryland coaches, including Mark Turgeon and Brenda Frese, were initially opposed to Big Ten
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- Volleyball drops two on the road in a season defining weekend
- Maryland-NC State final recap: Terps roll to final ACC win, 41-21
- Maryland-Morgan State recap: Balanced offensive attack leads Terps to blowout win, 89-62