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Penn State's Upsets Giving Maryland a Surprise (Semi-)Marquee Win

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Remember back when everybody, me included, thought that Maryland's game against Penn State was a lose-lose? If the Terrapins lost, it would've been a bad loss to a bad team. The beatdown the Terrapins eventually gave the Nittany Lions was thought to be nothing more than a win over a cupcake.

Those days are over, because out of nowhere that's become Maryland's best win, and actually a rather impressive one. I'm sure you heard about the surprise wins over Michigan State and Illinois that Penn State pulled out at home earlier in the year. They then followed that up to road losses to Ohio State and Purdue by a total of three points. And, would you look at that, they just beat #15 Wisconsin earlier today. That's their third impressive win in the past five games, though all came at home, and it validates themselves as more than a temporary presence.

So despite the low expectations out for the Nittany Lions, they currently stand at 12-8 overall and 5-4 in the Big Ten, putting them inexplicably at fifth in the conference. And want some better news? They're currently a top 50 RPI team. They were #55 before the win over Wiscy, and now they're in the top 50 by two services: #46 by Warren Nolan and #49 by Jerry Palm.

This probably isn't the marquee win Maryland was looking for, but it is a top 50 RPI win on the road, and that's pretty noteworthy. It won't make the tourney for Maryland, but it's just been upgraded to "useful." If nothing else, this proves (at least to some measure) that Maryland is capable of winning legitimate out-of-conference games, and on the road no less.

Now the real question is: can they keep it up? I'm now a huge Penn State fan, as much as that hurts me.