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Maryland bowl projections 2013: Where will the Terps play? Looking at the available options and possible opponents

At 7-5, the Terps will be bowling. Will it be Annapolis, Shreveport, Dallas or somewhere else?

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

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.