Maryland won at least a piece of five Big Ten titles last season. Field Hockey, Men's Soccer, Women's Basketball, and Women's Lacrosse won titles outright while Men's Lacrosse shared their title with Johns Hopkins. Here's what those teams all have in common. They are all non-revenue sports.
Only Ohio State (3 outright and 3 shared) won more Big Ten titles last season but NO SCHOOL won more outright titles last year than Maryland.
Here's how it works. I grade every team's week and look at their Big Ten title chances on a scale of 0-5. A five means it is highly likely that the team will win the title. A zero means you have, well, zero chance.
Let's start with the first Maryland team to sweep both the Big Ten regular and tournament titles.
Sasho Cirovski's squad is led by a mix of upperclassmen and freshmen. They managed a scoreless draw with fourth-ranked Notre Dame in their season opener and then blanked and beat St. John's, 4-0. This week however, the sixth-ranked Terrapins took their game to another level in their home opener against top-ranked UCLA. The Terps knocked off last year's NCAA runner-ups in overtime, 2-1, in front of a raucous crowd of almost 8,500 fans. Mael Corboz scored and Sebastian Elney headed in the winner in overtime to shock the Bruins.
Record this week: 1-0 (a 2-1 overtime win against #1 UCLA)
Record this season: 2-0-1
Grade for the week: A+
Title Chances: 5. Men's Soccer was picked to win the Big Ten and they are playing like it. A perfect record so far on the season despite playing two top-five teams, including the top-ranked team in the country. They are playing with a chip on their shoulder and they are clearly trying to send a message that last year's one-and-done performance in the NCAA Tournament will not happen again.
Now to the perennial national contenders who were the first Maryland team to win a Big Ten title.
After getting off to a nice 2-0 start against Temple and St. Joseph's, the third-ranked Terps dropped overtime matches to #13 Boston College on Friday and fifth-ranked Duke on Sunday. Seventh-ranked Albany comes to College Park on Friday.
Record this week: 0-2 (3-2 loss in OT to #13 Boston College, 2-1 loss in OT to #5 Duke)
Record this season: 2-2
Grade for the week: B-
Title Chances: 5. Maryland is still the favorite to win the Big Ten because of their talent, depth and experience. The Big Ten has improved but Maryland is the class of the conference.
Steve Aird has the Terps at 8-0, their best start to the season in a decade. Once they get to Big Ten competition, those losses are going to pile up because of the level of competition.
On Saturday, Maryland was down 0-2 and was facing match point but came back to beat Penn and then beat Howard in four sets. They swept both matches on Sunday. They'll face some better competition next weekend including Texas Tech, GW and Navy.
Record this week: 4-0 (3-2 win against Penn, 3-1 win against Howard, 3-0 wins against Western Carolina and George Mason)
Record this season: 8-0
Grade for the week: A
Title Chances: 0. Maryland has no shot to win the Big Ten title because Penn State and Wisconsin exist. Penn State won the national title last season and they aren't going away. Maryland only won three conference matches last season. Aird's rebuild is on the fast-track because of the recruits that he is bringing to College Park but it will take another couple of years for them to realistically compete for anything in this conference.
Last year's team was tough to watch because they had a very good defense but couldn't find ways to score goals despite sometimes having ample opportunities. This year, they have a very good defense and an offense that is more dangerous because they have a healthy Alex Anthony.
They had a bad 2-1 loss to TCU on Friday night but managed to score two second half goals in a come-from-behind win against SMU on Sunday. SMU is not very good and a loss to the Mustangs would have been very discouraging to this team.
Record this week: 1-1 (2-1 loss to TCU and 2-1 win against SMU)
Record this season: 4-2
Grade for the week: B
Title Chances: 1. I am putting Maryland's chances at highly unlikely. If they are struggling to beat La Salle and SMU and can't put away mediocre teams like TCU, they won't dominate in Big Ten competition. Penn State is the class of the conference. They have won the Big Ten title outright in three of the last four seasons and have maintained a general stranglehold on the Big Ten crown for almost two decades. There is no reason to think that Maryland can wrest control of the conference away from them.