Maryland makes history Saturday.  For the first time since the early 1950’s, the Terps will play a conference game that won’t involve the letters A, C or C.  We’re almost used to schools trading leagues like shirts–the ACC’s newest member Louisville for example has played in Conference USA, the Big East and the American Athletic Conference (of America) since 2004.  There are some old guard Maryland fans who still think of the ACC as one with South Carolina and without Georgia Tech, let alone the Florida schools or ex-Big East teams.  Although coach Randy Edsall and his players say that this is just another game, it represents a new era that we’ll be looking back at for years to come.  This marks the first step towards a future that could sport a 70,000 seat Byrd Stadium…or one that turns the Terps into Rutgers-South.  Not that just one game makes or breaks a future– but the first step has to head somewhere.

 

Alma Mater Update– Syracuse plays Notre Dame in the annual Heisman revenge game.  Heisman revenge?  Twice the Fighting Irish propped up a substandard candidate for college football’s highest honor…and they went on to win despite a superior season by an Orangeman.  In 1956 Jim Brown rushed for 986 yards and 13 TD over 8 games for a 7-1 SU team…only to finish well behind Paul Hornung who after throwing 3 TD and 13 INT for a 2-8 Notre Dame.  In 1987 Don McPherson passed for 22 TD, ran for 5 more and even caught a TD pass for an 11-0 SU team– evidently not as good as catching 39 passes and 3 TD with 3 more scores coming on punt returns for an 8-3 Fighting Irish squad.  Not that one is bothered by that any more than the fact that the Fighting Irish used the Big East like a cheap mistress for its non-football sports while staying married to football independence…and is now using the ACC in a similar fashion.

 

Maryland at Indiana– both teams are coming off road wins…but not all road wins are created equally.  The Terps topped a Syracuse team that couldn’t get out of its own way– while the Hoosiers upset #18 Missouri.  IU boasts a solid ground attack (310 yards per game–and 6 yards a carry) led by Tevin Coleman while the Terrapin D has had issues stopping the run (212 ypg against FBS schools) this fall.  CJ Brown is coming off his best game of the season–and looks to exploit a Hoosiers defense that allowed 45 points to Bowling Green.  Terps triumph, 35-28.

 

Virginia Tech vs Western Michigan– the Hokies need to get their act together before this year dissolves into a scraping to six wins world.  The 12 penalties they committed last week against Georgia Tech give VT 40 for the season.  Michael Brewer tossed three interceptions last week…and one has to wonder if he’ll be the long-term solution or just a short-term problem in Blacksburg.  The visiting Broncos can put points on the scoreboard–after posting 34 in a week one loss to Purdue WMU’s scored 45 points in consecutive weeks.  Hokies hold on, 38-26.

 

Virginia vs Kent State– the Cavaliers know full well how good teams from the Mid-American Conference can be…losing last year to Ball State by 21.  This year UVa has played very well against elite competition by beating Louisville and losing one-possession games to a pair of teams currently in the top 20 (BYU & UCLA)…looking much better than the 2013 dumpster-fire.  Greyson Lambert is a question mark with ankle injury–but don’t worry, coach Mike London isn’t averse to using only Matt Johns against the Golden Flashes.  David Watford despite playing his way out of the starting job last year remains an option… and the school may be looking into remaining eligibility for Matt Schaub, Aaron Brooks and Don Majkowski.  Cavaliers come through, 31-16.

 

Navy vs Western Kentucky– what to make of the Hilltoppers?  They beat Bowling Green, who beat Indiana, who beat #18 Missouri.  They also lost to Middle Tennessee, who lost to Memphis, who almost beat UCLA, who almost lost to Texas.  Blast you transitive property!  One thing the Hilltoppers can’t do is defend:  WKU is allowing 41 points a game.  Midshipmen bounce back from a loss to Rutgers, 27-17.

 

Georgetown falls at Colgate, Howard slips to North Carolina A & T, James Madison loses to Delaware,  William & Mary pound Stonybrook,  Towson tops Maine,  Morgan State beats Norfolk State.

 

Last Week: 8-3

Overall: 31-9.  Don’t worry, I’ll come back to earth once we completely enter conference season.

 

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