Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC of course comes with a host of new friends to play with. While several are neither "new" nor "friends," still consider these posts your primer on which teams, schools, players and coaches you'll be hating from 2014 (2013?) until the next time college football decides to realign.
In our latest profile, we acquaint ourselves with a team who may be foreign to us, but whose head coach is no stranger. Of course, we're talking about (SU Alum) Randy Edsall's dream job: the Maryland Terrapins.
School:University of Maryland, College Park
Location: College Park, Md.
Stadium:Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium (capacity: 54,001) | Comcast Center (capacity: 17,950)
Football & Basketball Titles: 2 (football: 1953; basketball: 2002)
Notable Football Alums: Randy White, Boomer Esiason, Frank Wycheck, Vernon Davis
Notable Basketball Alums:Len Elmore, Len Bias, Joe Smith, Buck Williams, Steve Francis
As Sean remarked when we were cordially invited to the ACC, it's remarkable that we've never had a bigger rivalry with Maryland. Now that this overdue regional grudge match is a reality, it's just a shame their program seems to be on a downturn. You may have heard about the shenanigans going on down there courtesy of Randy Edsall (he who bailed on Connecticut to live out the "dream" of coaching the Terps). Historically, however, Maryland has been a successful program, one whose history gets lost amidst the ACC's storied basketball history. With nine conference titles (third-most among current league schools), a .532 all-time winning percentage, one claimed national title and another retroactive one (1951), they've certainly got plenty of tradition to go around. Hell, they've even got a streaky history of high and low points, something we Orange folk can also relate to. In a surprising turn of events, we've actually faced the Terrapins 34 times since 1920 (a pretty high number given our lack of conference affiliation and their constant affiliation for much of that period). While we've got a slight 18-14-2 advantage, much of this was accomplished via an eight-game winning streak in the series from 1965-72. In turn, Maryland also had their own little streak going 8-0-1 against us from 1973-83.
In basketball, we're decidedly less familiar -- just seven games, of which we've only won two (one was a 2004 tourney game, however). As you may recall, Maryland managed to win the NCAA men's championship the year before we did, a moment that served as the high-water mark for a program long UNC, Duke and NC State's whipping boy in the ACC. While success was fleeting until the mid-to-late 70s (sound familiar?), the Terps righted the ship as a program, and hit their stride under Gary Williams, who coached there from 1989-2011. Jury's still out on this new era obviously. Whole different story if Nick Faust turns into college Juan Dixon, though (as opposed to the terrible pro version of Juan Dixon).
We've very little to argue about with Maryland (yet), but things will change quickly, I'm sure. The basketball record will (hopefully) swing back in our favor, and with the way Edsall seems to be screwing things up down there, we may have a shot at really pushing the football record to a more significant advantage as well. I'd call the two schools even, if only because the official titles scoreboard reads 2-2. Obviously we score big with the lacrosse tiebreaker, and they'll thank us when the ACC's five-team league is the best the sport's ever seen. Not so much when we win a few more national championships in that sport, however.