Phil Steele, college football’s resident guru, has put out his bowl game predictions for the 2013-2014 season. Despite finishing 4-8 last season, Steele has the Maryland Terrapins going bowling for the first time since Randy Edsall became head coach in 2011.
Steele has Maryland pegged for the Military Bowl on December 27th, which pits the ACC #8-seed against either Army or the Conference-USA #6-seed. In this specific prediction, it’s the Terps going up against Southern Mississippi. The payout for this bowl game? A cool million dollars.
The bowl would be familiar territory for the Terps, at least. Back in 2010 (which was also the last time Maryland made a bowl game), the Terps took on East Carolina at the Military Bowl in a game that featured a lot of smack talk between former QB Danny O’Brien and the Pirates. The Terps ended up thumping that high-flying Pirates offense 51-20 in what was Ralph Friedgen’s last outing as coach of the team.
That Steele has the Terps in any bowl game at all is welcome news, because it shows he thinks the Terps are going to improve considerably over last year. Considerably, of course, means only needing two more wins (at the least), but it’s progress. He gives Maryland fans hope that their beliefs in what Randy Edsall is currently doing is moving the team into the right direction, and we should applaud that.
No, the Military Bowl doesn’t carry tons of prestige — last year it was San Jose State against Bowling Green — but it’s definitely a start. It’s also placed in a location that will ensure Maryland can fill up the stadium; they play the game in Annapolis at the Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. On television, that wouldn’t look too badly to recruits, as Maryland fans will make that trip, especially since they aren’t taking bowls for granted nowadays.
It’s early, of course, and I do think Maryland will finish higher than eight in the ACC, but for now let’s just be happy that at least someone outside of the Old Line State thinks these Terps will be solid next year.