3.) Michigan State
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Why this could be a loss:
Even though this is a home game, Maryland is going to have a rough time beating the Spartans here. This game has always stuck out as being too much every time I’ve seen that first Big Ten schedule. The Terps get Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn State before they get…Michigan State? There’s no respite. It’s a brutal stretch for any team in the country, and Maryland gets it.
Michigan State is going to get one of two Terps teams. They could either get a team that’s doing as well as expected after going 2-3 or 3-2 in their first five Big Ten games, or they’ll get a team that’s 0-5 in the Big Ten and reeling off a bye week. Speaking of bye weeks, Maryland is 1-4 during the Edsall era in games following bye weeks. They’ve also never beaten a ranked opponent during the Edsall era, and Michigan State will be ranked.
Why this could be a win:
Maryland could win this game because, again, if there were ever a team capable of competing against Michigan State, it’s this one. The Spartans hold the all-time advantage 4 wins to 1 for the Terps, but Maryland won the most recent one (in the fifties). On field, though, Maryland has the advantage of a bye week and unfamiliarity. Michigan State has no idea what to expect from Maryland, and the Terps will have a long time to prep on how to stop that Spartan offense.
Then there’s the fact that Michigan State could be coming off an emotionally draining win (or loss) against Ohio State. Everyone in the Big Ten has that game marked on their calendar because it could very well decide the East, and the Terps can capitalize on that. Michigan State could come into this game unfocused and unprepared.