Which Big Ten School With a New Head Coach Do ESPN Writers Think Improved Most?

Jesse Temple says Maryland:

OK, so I’m taking a flier here on the Terps. But I am basing this pick, in large part, on the hiring of D.J. Durkin as head coach and his assembled staff, which has caused reason for optimism. Durkin’s defensive background can only help Maryland, which surrendered 421.2 yards per game last season and ranked 90th nationally. Durkin, as defensive coordinator at Michigan last season, led a unit that ranked fourth in the same category. Durkin is a fiery competitor, and even at age 38, he has quite a pedigree in college football. He worked under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, Meyer again at Florida and Harbaugh again at Michigan. There’s no question Durkin has a monumental task ahead of him in his first head-coaching job. With Mike London, Pete Lembo and Scott Shafer on staff, Durkin has surrounded himself with head coaching experience. Maryland also went 7-6 in each of the two seasons before its 2015 debacle, so the program isn’t that far off. It has the resources necessary and the right coaching staff in place to succeed.

Link to the article, which also includes two writers who pick other schools.



Bleacher Report Thinks Penn State-Rutgers is Bigger Than Any Rivalry Maryland Has

Far be it from me to criticize an amateur website with delusions of grandeur, especially given that this blog kind of resembles that remark (minus the delusions of grandeur), but what in the world is Bleacher Report thinking in its listing of the Big Ten’s greatest rivalries?

I can understand most of the rivalries they list superseding any of Maryland’s in-conference rivalries, given that many of them have decades upon decades of tradition, complete with trophies and buckets and such that are passed back and forth each year depending on the outcome of the games.

What I don’t understand is how they could list Penn State-Rutgers over Penn State-Maryland, or even Maryland-Rutgers.

Let’s look at this for a minute.  Rutgers has a historically bad record against Penn State based on out of conference play. Then they get into the Big Ten and drop two games in two years to the Nittany Lions while fielding a generally awful team, failing to beat even a sanctions addles Penn State squad.

Meanwhile, Maryland also has a historically bad out of conference against Penn State. However, Penn State head coach James Franklin, formerly an assistant at Maryland, immediately declared Maryland in-state recruiting. Then, prior to the first game between the two teams, there was a brawl during warmups. When Penn State’s team Captains came out for the coin toss a bit later, Maryland’s team Captains refused to shake their hands.  Then Maryland beat them, at Penn State! There’s also the historical backdrop of Maryland’s out of conference series with Penn State being discontinued because Penn State demanded two home games for every one game at Maryland, and that all games be officted by Penn State refs as if we were some FCS team or something- and don’t think we’ve forgotten it!

Bleacher Report cites Penn State and Rutgers sharing a border as the justification for their “rivalry”, but, guess what? Maryland and Pennsylvania also share a border


Update: They included Maryland-Penn State at #5 in last year’s version of *this same list*.  Come on, Bleacher Report.  Do you not consult your previous year’s listing for reference before you compile a new list?  What made that rivalry slip from #5 to out of the top 10?  One loss?

Amateur hour.



Surprising Name to Show Up at Spring Practice- In Uniform

Baltimore’s own Wes Brown will be at this year’s spring practice, Rivals.com reveals as part of their running backs preview.

Brown’s status was uncertain given his second suspension by the team towards the end of last season.  Many thought that he would not be back.

Despite his predilection for getting into trouble off the field, and occasional inconsistency on it, the upperclassman would be important depth for the Terrapins, and almost certain to compete for carries if he can keep his nose clean.

Brown backed up the now-graduated Brandon Ross last year and had a small but vocal fan base who called for former head coach Randy Edsall to give him more carries last year.  He got a few more under Mike Locksley, but didn’t look as good as many had hoped.  Even so, every year is another year of experience for a veteran, and another year where more of the toughest run-stoppers he faced previously have graduated from other teams and will be  replaced by younger less experienced players.

It’s unknown at this time whether or not Brown will be eligible to play from game one, or still serve out some extra enforced Saturdays off come next year, but Wes being at spring practice is a good sign.  Though Brown will face some stiff competition, including the returning sophmore Ty Johnson, senior transfer Trey Edmonds, incoming freshman Jake Funk (He of the 57 touchdowns in a single high school season fame), and others; if Brown is allowed to go through all the practices and play from day one, there is a chance he could be the featured tailback.  More likely, if he plays, he’s a role player, but he was last year’s number #2, and last year’s #1 is gone, which means he can’t be ruled out, particularly if the new coaching staff gives him a fresh start and clicks better with him from a teaching and motivational perspective.

Terps Get Their First Verbal Commitment of 2017


College Spun reports, and, Twitter confirms, that tight end Andrew Park has verbally committed to being the first person to join DJ Durkin’s 2017 freshman class at the University of Maryland.

Park is from Virginia, which, as we all know, is in-state recruiting for Maryland.

Urban Meyer, you stay away from this one! We’re not your advance scouting service!😉

The Terps got the verbal despite interest in the prospect from Big Ten rival Penn State (Imagine your humble blogger trying really hard not to make the obvious joke about Penn State), and an offer from Maryland’s very special former ACC rival designate, the University of Pittsburgh (Either you get that in joke about Maryland’s “rivalry” with Pittsburgh or you don’t. It’s a long story. I’ll save it for a slow blog day😉 ), among others.

Some sources tag Park as a 3 star recruit, while others have him down as unrated.

Sources say that the key factor in the big man’s decision was the excellent grounds-keeping at College Park. “It will likely be a walk in the park, or a walk for a Park getting from class to class,” he probably did not say.

“Hey, did somebody call my name?” Senior cornerback Will Likely  almost certainly did not interject as he was probably not walking by.

Um, anyway, Maryland got a verbal from a tight end. Putting the Park back in College Park!

I’m clearly not a graduate of Maryland’s journalism school…

What I can tell you, however, is that Park is 6’5″ and weighs 233lbs, plus or minus the weight of a celebratory dinner. I got that information here, the bad joke was all mine.😉

Good day for Maryland football!

Great to have the next great Maryland TE in the fold.

We have a long tradition of great players at the tight-end position, including NFL star Vernon Davis.