The University of Maryland has announced the dates of its 2019 Homecoming week. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 2.
Let’s check Maryland’s sched—OH.
Picking Michigan as homecoming opponent is ... bold choice is really the only way I can think to describe it.
Maryland’s recent strategy on Homecoming opponents has been in line with what most programs do: to schedule a team the Terps can have a good shot at beating. In 2016, it was Purdue. In 2017, Indiana. This year it was Rutgers. These all resulted in wins. This strategy makes good sense. The school wants people to go to the game and have a jolly good time.
Continuing to follow that strategy would have likely meant playing Indiana again. The Hoosiers come to College Park on Oct. 19, so it would have put Homecoming right around the same time it was this season. But following this strategy isn’t without flaw. In a stacked Big Ten East, it leaves only a few opponents available for Homecoming, and none of them will inspire much feeling in your fan base.
Playing Michigan means risking another blowout at the hands of the Wolverines. Since Maryland’s win over Michigan in 2014, the Wolverines have clobbered the Terps by 28, 56, 25 and 21 points. Scheduling them as Maryland’s Homecoming opponents is at least partially a bet that the Terps can inspire enough passion that fans are willing to make the trip, and that enough students will follow their tailgates with trips into the stadium. If that happens, Maryland Stadium would start to look the way many fans fondly remember. If it doesn’t, a lot of those empty seats from this past weekend might simply be covered with maize and blue. Maybe it’ll be worth it. Only time will tell.