Maryland's Bowl Foe Could Be a Familiar One

By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Regardless of whether Maryland wins its regular season finale at Boston College on Saturday, one of the Terrapins' more intriguing bowl scenarios involves them potentially earning a berth to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte to face a familiar foe: West Virginia.

Bowl invitations will not be formally made until Dec. 7, and the possibilities will remain convoluted at least through this weekend. But college football officials have suggested a Maryland-West Virginia matchup on Dec. 27 could generate strong interest at both schools and be economically feasible for both fan bases.

The schools have engaged in an intense rivalry in recent years. During the 2003 season, the Terrapins beat the Mountaineers in the regular season and the Gator Bowl. West Virginia has won the last four meetings in a series that temporarily ended after the Mountaineers' 31-14 victory last season.

What's more, bowl officials have said that geographic proximity will be a larger factor this year because of the economy. Fans of both schools would be within driving distance of the game.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl has the third selection of Big East teams, and the Mountaineers remain in consideration for a number of other bowls as well, including the Gator and Sun. The Meineke Car Care Bowl will select an ACC opponent after conferring with executives with the Music City Bowl and the Emerald Bowl.

"Everyone except Duke is on our radar," said Will Webb, executive director of the Meineke Car Care Bowl. "Maryland is certainly attractive because of their proximity. We don't know what's going to happen to Clemson or North Carolina State. If one of those got eligible, they would be attractive to us as well."

Scott Ramsey, executive director of the Music City Bowl in Nashville, also is interested in Maryland. But Maryland's chances of playing in Nashville or Charlotte could diminish because of one team: Clemson.

If the Tigers beat South Carolina on Saturday to become bowl eligible, they will be an attractive team for a number of bowls because of their fan base, which historically has traveled well. And if the Tigers were selected over Maryland, the Terrapins likely would not go to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco because they played there last season.

Such a turn of events likely would send Maryland to Boise, Idaho, to play in the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30.

"Boise would be okay with me," Maryland center Edwin Williams said. "I have always wanted to play on a blue field."

Friedgen Talks the Talk

Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen elaborated on the defensive communication issues that arose in Saturday's 37-3 loss to Florida State and put the onus on players for not speaking up.

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